*Guest Post written by Janice
I absolutely adore my children. With that being said, I also enjoy personal time to myself. If because of the busyness of life, I skip my alone time, I can feel the negative effects in my mind, heart and spirit. There is something within me that yearns for the space and place to be solitary and do as I please, whether that is just time to reflect and meditate, take a bath or go for a run in the woods. The activity doesn’t matter so much as does the habit itself. I need this time, and as I grow more and more into my role as mother and wife, I realize how much I benefit from the act of being alone for a moment each day.
My children attend boarding school, so I have no problem finding “me time” during the year, but when summer rolls around it’s a totally different story. I get so excited that my kids are home, and we have so many different activities, that I don’t even notice that I’m lacking time for myself. Suddenly, one morning I wake up and I feel different. I have come to recognize that the feeling is my internal warning system that I need time alone to rejuvenate and be renewed and refreshed.
The first summer that I felt this, I initially was overwhelmed with guilt and did not want my children to think that I needed space from them or didn’t love them. Instead of taking my time away from them, I decided to wake up earlier each morning to have my special time. Most mornings, I will take a short walk and come back to have coffee and quiet meditation. This time I have to myself is so important, but the importance is almost always noticed most by its absence. Whether you have to get up early or stay up late in order to fit it in, be sure to make the time for this invaluable ritual.
If I ever snap at my kids and express irritation due to my lack of solitude, I quickly apologize, and adjust my schedule so that I can have time alone. I often get asked if I feel guilty about needing time away from my children, and I always answer with a resounding “no”. I feel absolutely no guilt or shame whatsoever because I am at my best, being the best mother I can be, when I allow myself this time. My children and my husband benefit from my devotion to sanity!
Janice enjoys hiking, getting out into nature and seeking a healthy balance in her life. She plans to write a book about the effectiveness of therapeutic boarding schools and is has already published one shedding light on the true value of military education benefits.
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