Growing up as an extroverted kid, I always thrived on being around people.
I loved spending time with friends. When we weren’t spending time in person, we would talk on the phone for hours at a time (much to my parent’s chagrin). If I wasn’t doing either of those two things, I’d be pouring my heart and soul into an 18-page letter.
As I’ve gotten older, I find that while I crave time with people, I also crave alone time. I need time alone to recharge and refill my creative reserves. To assimilate and learn from my experiences.
(I think that officially makes me an ambivert.)
While motherhood has been one of the most amazing journey’s I’ve ever embarked on, it doesn’t exactly run rampant with “me” time.
For the first year of Anna’s life, I felt like I always had to be with her. (I was her only food source, after all.
When I wasn’t with her, I would feel immense guilt.
I would beat myself up for being away, telling myself that I was a horrible person for wanting or needing space. Regardless of how much fun my husband had with her or how much better I felt when I took the time away.
When I did get the space I craved (i.e.—naptime) I felt like I had to make the most out of every single solitary second. Forget relaxing and recharging, it was time to work.
Wake up. Eat. Play. Nap. (Work.) Wake up. Eat. Play. Nap. (Work.) Wake up. Eat. Bedtime. Work. Collapse. Rinse. Repeat.
All of this to say, I would have an epic meltdown every few months. The exhaustion, anger, and resentment would hit capacity and I would erupt.
I’d get my alone time, but it came a cost.
And then, after a few weeks, it would go back to how it was before. A slippery slope back to dysfunction.
I would feel great again, like I could take on more. Or, like I didn’t need that extra 30 minutes to myself because, hey, I love spending time with my girl. And I know how hard The Hubster works, so I want to make sure that he also gets time for himself.
So I’d give up my time to make sure that everyone else got theirs.
But then the resentment would start to build again. And the same cycle would repeat.
The good news is, I recognize the pattern and the impact it has on me.
I’m working hard to build in more me-time; spending the first 30 minutes of my day exercising. Also making a point to get more girl’s nights on the calendar. The coup de grâce? I’ve hired someone to come in two days a week to give me a break.
All of this to say, I’m taking back some time for myself.
And it feels good.
What about you? Do you take time for yourself regularly, to recharge, refresh, and refill your cup? What’s your favorite way to pamper yourself and give yourself some lovin’s?