I could very well be alone in this thought, but some days, MOST days, I am fully convinced that I have less hours in the day than other moms out there in the world. Or really, just people in general. Have I taken on too much? Should I focus on more of the things inside my home instead of doing anything for myself? These are the questions I ask myself daily while I’m working on my lap top filled to my eyeballs with guilt and half playing make-believe with Jax, still in my pajamas with unbrushed hair at noon. How many things can I do at one time? Can I watch the new Greys, attempt to work out, plot out a blog post, clean the house, and play dinosaurs with my non napping two-year simultaneously while Lu naps? More questions I ask myself daily. And let me tell you, the answer to the latter is simply, no.
Instead, I end up picking up a few things around the house before being sucked into the “Mama! Come play with me” demand the one hundredth time it is spoken. But still, I am in my pajamas and my hair is unbrushed. I’m pretty sure Justin is on the verge of protesting me wanting to buy new clothes for this reason alone. And with good reason, when do I wear them?!?!
In my defense, whats the point in getting dressed up in my finest attire when I am destined to be covered in my daily dose of child gunk? On the upside, my clothes stay really, REALLY nice hanging in my closet and doing their very important job of letting me know that I AM a real person (probably…).
A real person who apparently needs to have a routine. I have been pretty horrible with them, but as it turns out, even a small routine can be extremely helpful. Who knew that every single article and mommy book would have had it right all along. But don’t worry, I am not completely turning over a new leaf. You can still count on me to be just as unorganized as normal. I refuse to let a routine tame us. Still, this family needs a happy medium.
And so we developed “quiet time”. Our happy medium. My life saver.
It’s only an hour a day, but it’s an hour a day where we all do the things we need to do for ourselves. No obligations, no restrictions (yes, I am talking about SCREEN TIME). There may be a little controversy over that last part, but I am going to be honest, I don’t care. It’s the hour of happiness.
Let me set the mood. Everyone is quiet, the room is dimly lit and most of the time we are all snuggled up in bed together cozied under a number of blankets.
Lu’s favorite thing is boobs, so she nurses and ultimately sleeps. Jaxon watches his videos on the tablet or plays with his “little pieces” toys and I do what I need to do. Anything except cleaning, working out, or being productive, of course. No, this time is to relax and unwind and do something for ourselves. Normally I read, but other times I watch a show, or maybe even write. Either way, at the end of it, we are all feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back to our previously scheduled activities.
We started a few weeks ago and I am amazed at the difference it has had in all of us. One hour a day, and yet it feels like a completely different world. A little something to work towards throughout the day and a little consistency to boot. Jaxon may not be a napper, but it has really helped him take time to calm down midday without the hysteria of him thinking I am forcing him to sleep. And sometimes he does actually sleep… In the end, the snuggling keeps our hearts happy and the activities keep our brains sane.
Everything will undoubtedly change in a few months or when new routines come into play, but one thing won’t. This whole experience has taught me a huge lesson. No, not JUST that routines are important, or that baby books know what they are talking about, but that we can’t all just man power our way through the day losing sight of everything except our to-do list. Taking time for ourselves and having a period of slow down time in a quiet room is refreshing and healthy. It can change our entire day and the way we feel about it.
It is absolutely necessary, and nothing worth feeling guilty about.