So here I sit… 10:36 on a Friday night.
I can hear my daughters wombie lamb going in the other room, she’s blissfully asleep. My husband is happily snoring away and I’m still sitting here. Is it because I’m not tired? No, I am quite exhausted.
I’m still sitting here for two reasons.
One. I cannot yet turn my mind off. I find, even though I am generally more tired than I used to be, that I have a harder time winding down. I think it’s because my to do list gets longer and longer and I’m afraid I’ll forget something. Plus, when I had a particularly productive day, and my inner drill sergeant is quiet, my mommy guilt picks up that perhaps I was so productive that I didn’t get enough quality time in with the Little Angel (LA) and I should have… after all she’s only little once. Either way it takes much longer to drift off.
Two. It’s so nice and quiet now. The tree is happily blinking away in the corner. Everyone is asleep but me.
Don’t get me wrong I love being a mother. It is even better than I dreamed it would be. I would not give it up for all the money or time or fame or chocolate in the world. However, I have always been a person who craves a little solitude. Growing up I lived in a house I affectionately called Grand Central Station. How did I cope? By carving out some “me” time by taking a bath nearly every evening.
Sometimes the bath lasted 15 minutes and sometimes an hour. My parents heaved a sigh of relief when they saw the first water bill after I moved out. But it was my time. No friends, family or phone calls (as much as I love them). This habit has lasted up until now.
It’s not so much that I’m missing the bath per se but I do sometime miss the uninterrupted me time. Hubby is great about giving me a bath here and there and he always picks up LA right when he comes home to try to give me some time. But eventually she needs me again and the me time I got was used up with something that I needed both hands for (like dinner, feeding the dogs, making the dog food, or currently, making Christmas presents).
Here’s the thing. Even as I type this I feel incredibly guilty for even saying I miss having more solitude time. I am so incredibly blessed between my incredible, supportive husband and my beautiful, healthy, charming daughter…. why would I want any time on my own? I shouldn’t… but I do.
Another part of me knows it’s natural. It’s how I’m made and it doesn’t mean I love my family any less. But I do find when I can carve out a bit of me time I can return to them refreshed and more ready to be fully with them. When I don’t, part of my mind drifts off wondering if I can get one more thing done before dinner or if I can slip away to fold the laundry before bed.
If I can get that time I can relax relatively guilt free while I nurse LA or cuddle with Steve watching a movie.
Part of me thinks I need to learn to “need” less me time… after all I’m likely to get less rather than more. Another part of me thinks I need to find a bit more. The last part of me thinks it’s a combination. I need to take it when I get it and enjoy it without guilt and I need to relax when I don’t get it. The house will not fall apart if the laundry sits there another day. My husband will love me if dinner isn’t as creative as it used to be. And my daughter will still smile at me whether I sang 3 songs to her during changing time or only 2.