I’m an introvert. I love to be alone, to have a quiet house, to be able to hear myself think. I love to create, and to completely immerse myself in the creative process. I love to read a really great book – I love getting so completely absorbed in a book that I lose track of time and where I am.
When I had Javi, my limitless “me time” got a whole lot more limited. My days fly by, filled with caring for a little person’s needs, ticklefests on the floor, and lot of laundry, sweeping and mopping. It would be easy to look at my full days and decide that I don’t have time to take time for myself. There are lots of things that seem more important. But the reality is that if I don’t take some time for myself to restore ME, that I will do a subpar job as a wife and mom.
So I’ve tried to be really, really purposeful in making the time to do things that refresh me. I’ve already talked about how in those first few weeks my showers and baths were “me time.” I don’t read books, I devour them, so I was able to churn through several novels in my nightly baths in those first few weeks. Escaping into the pages of a book for half an hour did wonders for me.
Once Javi was a little bigger and was nursing less frequently, I would leave him with Lover and jet out of the house for a few hours of shopping, chilling at Barnes & Noble, or grabbing a coffee. (I need to mention here how awesome my husband is, he never begrudges me these times alone, and I never worry about leaving Javi in his very, very capable hands.)
Now that Javi is ten months old, he’s good at playing by himself for quite a while, so the mornings have become my special time. I get up at 7:30 or so when Lover leaves, and then I have anywhere from half an hour to an hour of time to drink tea, read blogs, pray, or whatever else I feel like. Then I go get the little monster and we start our day.
I’ve also figured out how to break up a lot of my creative projects into small little steps that I can work on little by little. I thrive on crossing things off my to-do list, so I love making progress, even if it is infinitesimal.
I’ve also had to make some mental changes. I’ve had to accept that I won’t be able to lose myself in a book for an entire day. I’m not going to be able to immerse myself in a project for days on end, letting the house go to pot and forgetting to cook meals. I’m getting used to being interrupted constantly. For example, as I’ve written this post, I’ve gotten up four times to get Javi engaged with a toy, give him a drink, switch the laundry and get Javi settled with another toy. That’s just the reality of my life right now, and when I remember that, my days are a whole lot easier.
There will come a day when I’ll have endless free time again. But in this season of life, I need to be creative about getting “me time” and be flexible about how I get it. I’ve purposely written this post without a list of ways you can have “me time”, because it’s different for everyone. And I don’t know what it is you need to feel like you are ready to take the world on again. So I’m just encouraging you to make it a priority!