Taking Time for YOU

Taking Time for YOUAs I sit on the dock looking out over the lake, I can’t help but feel a calmness come over me. The tiny ripples in the water with the backdrop of blue skies brings joy as the summer warmth washes over me. A book in hand, and it’s quiet. I thrive in the summer and am in one of my favorite places – the lake my husband grew up on as a child. I feel very fortunate that “the lake” is one of the many great things my husband shares with us. I’m so grateful my kids love this place as much as we do.

Now the reason that initial vision I described didn’t have kids splashing me, needing sunscreen, wanting me to hold them, crying, asking for a snack, or needing to go to the bathroom, is because it’s nap time. Yes, all three of my children sleeping at once. Most of our days at the lake are busy and kid centered so on our latest trip here I found some calm in the middle of the chaos. It reminded me how much NOISE is in my life. While I love the noise (for the most part), it made me realize how much I also need some quiet too.

My home is filled with five people. Three of them are two and under so naturally, our house is loud. At any given time of day, you can usually hear someone or something making noise. I love our people noise because it means our home is filled with love. I could definitely do without some of the crying and whining, but I know it comes with the territory. Anyway, back to the quiet…

Taking Time for YOUWhen I actually realized how much I enjoyed the quiet for a little while, I felt so rejuvenated. I had time to just be. Nobody needed me during those moments, and I was free to use my time as I pleased.

Throughout the rest of our time at the lake, I chose to find more moments like this when I could, as I know it’s much easier to do away from home. I went out paddle boarding one morning, where I found even more peace. Again, the water was calm, the sun was shining, and it was quiet. All was well, until I found myself taking much longer to turn the paddle board around than I remembered… I may have ended up in the middle of the lake just to get the thing going in the opposite direction. So much for that sense of calm during those moments! But after that, it was back to smooth sailing and enjoyment. And yes, I did turn around just fine the next couple times I needed to.

We all need a brief “break” from being a mom to help us remember who we are so we can continue to love ourselves and then love our families. While it’s easier to have a break away from home, here are some things I have been trying to add into my life on a regular basis in an attempt to keep my sanity household running smoothly.

Reading

Taking Time for YOUI read children’s books ALL day long. As a former primary school teacher, I enjoy children’s books and am more than happy to read them to my children. I’m thankful my kids love to read! As an adult, I like to read other books too. Usually when I hit the pillow at night, I just want to go to sleep. Recently I have been making a point to read (at least) one chapter of a book per night. Since starting, I have actually finished multiple books and enjoy reading before bed again.

Saying YES but only to things you ACTUALLY want to do

Usually saying no is the hard one, but saying yes when you really want to is important too (not just when you feel obligated). When a friend asks you to get together, make time if you want to. If you don’t want to, say no, and make time for something you do want to do. I enjoy getting together with friends, but lately it doesn’t happen nearly as often as I would like. When the opportunity last arose, I took it and was SO thankful I did. The more you say YES when you really want to, the easier it will become to make time for you and things you enjoy.

Taking other people’s help

If you are fortunate enough to have friends or family offer to help, take them up on it! Even if it’s just for an hour to grocery shop alone. It’s amazing how much one can accomplish out of the house alone.

Finding time for one thing (at least) EVERY DAY that is just for you

Taking Time for YOUThis could be as simple as drinking your coffee or tea in the morning while it is still actually warm. Okay, maybe that’s not so simple most days. For me, some days that means actually sitting down with my kids to eat breakfast, exercising, catching up with a friend, taking a nap, being outside, turning on music, etc. This may be a big thing or a small thing. Just take time for YOU!

What do you do to take care of yourself, or how do you choose to spend your quiet moments? Wishing you plenty of quiet moments to yourself that make you thankful for your noise.

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