cartoon cow writing at a desk

Me, Myself, and I (3.12.16)

I love my family and homeschooling our 3 beautiful daughters, however I also enjoy being all by myself. Me, myself, and I. My kids may interpret my following statements – “I need to recharge my batteries. I need to take care of myself. If I don’t-get-a-break I’m going to turn into a monster! I need to go away and spend time by myself.” as “Mom doesn’t love me. Mom doesn’t want to take care of me. Mommy doesn’t want to be around us.” The bottom line is I have to take care of myself in order to be a more effective, kind, caring, compassionate mother.

I am replacing, “Mommy, can you fix my nail? Mom, she scratched me! Mommy, she’s building a spa in my Starbucks! Mom, they won’t play with me! Mom, she’s watching Scooby Doo without me! Mom, I wanted to fix lunch today! Mom, she left the blow dryer out! Mom, she ate the last muffin! Mom, can we go out to lunch? Mom, can you fix my hair? Mom, have you called the breeder (for a new puppy)? Mom! I cut my finger! Mom, I can’t find my….” with total peace and quiet. I love peace and quiet. I used to work alone in our house before we had kids and I loved the peace and quiet. I’m a people person, but I also like to be alone with me, myself, and I.

I go away to someplace where I can experience peace and quiet and turn into a hermit for 24 hours, two nights, or whatever our “schedule” can support. Once I pull out of the driveway, I begin peeling the layers of motherhood off from my psyche. By the time I arrive to my destination, I crash from exhaustion. Once I’m in my room I begin my happy dance. I do a little jig celebrating being alone with me, myself, and I. “What is that sound?” “Nothing! It’s called peace and quiet!” I savor this experience, wrap myself up in it, and lose myself in myself.

I don’t watch any television when I’m gone because I don’t want to, I don’t need to, and it doesn’t feed my soul. I don’t even listen to any music, unless I want to. I sleep in, if I want to. I go to bed incredibly late, if I want to. I eat when I want to. I’m on a loose schedule at home based on our lifestyle, however my schedule during these retreats is even looser. I read, if I want to. I write, if I want to. I reflect. I rest. I listen.

I take bubble baths. I don’t shower. I don’t get dressed for the day. I don’t even exercise! I am literally a hermit for however long I am by myself, because when I return to the family, it’s back to all hands on deck 24/7.

I pack some clothing and my camera in case I want to go exploring. I would love to experience an adventure, but I have to take care of my basic needs first. I have to refill the part of myself that feels depleted from caring for children non-stop. As mothers we give and give and give. We care, we care, we care. We fix, we fix, we fix. We negotiate, we negotiate, we negotiate. We also cook (I’m fortunate to live with multiple cooks – my husband and my children cook, so I get a big break in that department), we clean, we organize, we support, we manage, we work. Mothering is exhausting! And we have the modern conveniences of dishwashers, washing machines, and wrinkle free clothing compared to our predecessors! God Bless Mothers. Mothering is the most important job on the planet, however if we don’t take care of ourselves no one benefits. Do yourself a favor – listen to your inner compass and take care of yourself. You, your kids, and your family will benefit and you will be modeling healthy self-care for the next generation. Shalom.