In talking to parents, especially mothers, in the 6 ½ years that I’ve been a mother, I’ve learned that the hardest thing many parents face is finding time to oneself. This is definitely the thing I struggle with the most. Everybody in the family has needs which must be met, and as attachment parents, we realize the vital importance of meeting our children’s needs. Unfortunately for me, a casualty is often my needs. API even lists Strive for Balance in your Personal and Family Life as a Principle, but that has continually been my hardest item to meet, especially in regards to my own need to rejuvenate.
I’ve tried many things to get a few hours to myself every week. I’ve read books in a local sandwich shop. I’ve gone to the mall. My husband would even take the kids to the zoo on the weekend so I could get a few hours to sit and veg. However, none of those hit the nail on the head for me. Nothing met my needs.
But then a few years ago I hit upon something that met my need for alone time out of the house as well as the added benefit of exercise. I started walking. As soon as my husband came home from work, I’d head out the door, sneakers on my feet and mp3 player in my pocket. It’s a routine that still continues today.
My walks last about 35 minutes, and I go seven days a week, weather permitting. I really look forward to this time every day, I love that I’m able to exercise, and as a very non-athletically-gifted person, walking is about the extent of my coordination skills! I love that I get time to wind down at the end of the day, and the fact that I get to listen to my very favorite podcasts uninterrupted is the icing on the cake.
My children are ages six and three, and it took me four years to discover this way to rejuvenate my soul. What do you all do? How much time do you need for yourself, and how do you find it?