Enjoy the little things in life…for one day you’ll back and realize they were the big things – Robert Brault
Sunday mornings are probably my favorite time of the week. The house is quiet, and I get two or three hours of alone time, which I desperately need in order to be functional. I used to feel guilty about this. Who has the audacity to have four kids and then demands time for herself? However, over the past seven years I have perfected the art of being alone and not feeling guilty about it anymore. I need solitude just as much as I need water, food, or fresh air. It’s just the way I’m hardwired.
As a single parent, carving out time for myself, to do exactly as I please (versus what I should do or need to do) used to be challenging (it’s probably challenging for non-single parents too). Working full time and and juggling kids schedules made me a time-studies expert. I thought if I carefully orchestrated my weekends to accomplish everything on my To Do List, the rest of the week would run smoother, and I would be less stressed and my children would be happier and more well adjusted. The problem was – I never felt any less stressed on Monday morning, even if I worked around the house all day Sunday, crossing things off my To Do List, left and right. If anything I felt more tangled, more disgruntled, more overwhelmed. My Sundays used to look a lot like this:
- Up early to utilize quite house for completing freelance work for the week
- Jump headfirst into big Sunday Breakfast because [scientific fact] families that eat together have smarter kids.
- Move onto chores- corralling children to do their fair share of work, not because I want the house clean, but because making children do chores is vital to growing them into responsible, hardworking adults and if we slack in that department, they will end up living under a bridge or in jail. Also pretty much a scientific fact.
- Muster energy for an obligatory work out of running or at the least a very brisk walk up a steep hill. Not only good for my health, but also setting a good example for my impressionable children.
- Run errands in town to get groceries and supplies for the week. Count the six minute drive to Hannaford’s as “me-time.”
- Return home with said groceries and supplies and commence prepping food for the week, so that we can have at least two or three of the vital sit-down meals together, in between sports practices and orchestra concerts and all the other activities that eat up a typical school week.
- Continue with housework or yard work in good weather – further opportunity to shape my children’s character.
- Make lunch and dinner somewhere in between all the chores, exercise and errands.
- Collapse exhausted on the couch somewhere in the late afternoon or early evening, wondering how the weekend flew by so fast
- Vowing to be more organized next weekend so we can get more done
Over time, I’ve slowly begun to reclaim Sunday mornings for myself. We still have chores, errands and such, but I have given up trying to please my To Do List, which now sits in the corner, tapping it’s feet, frowning at me as I fritter away the early morning hours journaling, reading, or sipping tea and looking out the window.
These days I am content to smile sweetly at my To Do List and continue on with my Sunday Musings.
A cup of hot tea and a notebook = pure happiness.
Do you need alone time?
There are definite signs of spring at Boxshop, despite the fact it is snowing and there was an one hour delay for school this morning. I’m grateful for the extra hour home today, since it feels like I’ve been on screech for the past month, trying to balance work, kids, school, life in general. I know when I start to feel smothered (by my own hand, no less) it’s time sit down and take stock of what I’m doing – what I need to do, want to do, would like to do, ect… I dug out my New Year’s goals and compared them to what I was currently spending time and energy on. After a little soul searching over a cup of hot tea, I was able to cull some things from my ever present To Do List; In this case it was some low wage freelance work I thought would be interesting to write about, but instead ended up being a huge time suck. Life once again feels more manageable, not to mention more enjoyable. Letting go of things that don’t add value to my life is a skill I continue to work on.
On Tuesday afternoon I took some of my new found free time to snap a photo of the snow drops just starting to show. They are the first signs of spring at my little farmhouse.
Do you ever find yourself needing to slow down?