August 18, 2010

Self-Made Serenity

Since Monday, I have been getting up at 5 am.

For about a month now I have been grouchy, short tempered, easily angered, impatient (more so than is usual for me), and complainy (it's a word, I just made it up.)

I have felt like I'm drowning. Like I couldn't breathe. I've been snapping at the kids, which breaks me heart, and I'm pretty sure all Ben has heard lately was me complaining about something-or-other.

And I realized.... I've had NO time to myself. No time for just quiet. No time for relaxing. No time to just sit and ponder and just breathe. Naptimes are either a noisy fight to get them to actually sleep, or are filled with me running around to get chores done while little ones aren't underfoot.

I know. I have kids. Time alone is rare, and I feel like I sound horribly selfish for saying "I just want to be alone for a little while!!" But I know there's other mommas like me, on the edge of exploding (or running away....).

So I decided that I was going to start getting up at 5 - an hour before even Ben is up - to have time to myself. It's been difficult. The first day was easy, but yesterday and today have been a little harder. And it would be so easy to turn my alarm off and drift back to sleep. But I've stuck with it so far, and you know what I've noticed?

I've been more patient.

I haven't lost my temper as easily.

I feel like I haven't been as grouchy.

I feel a little lighter.

I guess it's working, this whole time to myself thing. I've been getting some shawl knitting done, since I don't have little hands trying to "help". It's been very nice.

And I've enjoyed the wee morning hours. It's still dark, most of the world is still asleep. It's fairly cool, and walking out in the damp grass this morning to try to get a picture of the sky felt delicious on my feet. (That's not my picture, by the way. All I got was black.)

I wonder, does it make me selfish? Does it just sound horrible to say that I need time to myself? I feel like a bad mommy, saying I just need some time without them. But I guess if the alternative is snapping at them and being impatient all the time, I'd rather be a little selfish in the morning.

So, if you're going crazy too... maybe you could get up at 5. ;)


Farm Girl said...

No that is normal, having to carve out time for yourself when you have small kids is always a challenge. I know the kids will tell you they hated quiet time, but I had to have it one hour a day from 2-3 or I would have lost my mind. They didn't have to sleep, but they had to stay in their rooms and be quiet. It doesn't make you a bad mother to want that, in fact it is good you see it now, but it will save your sanity and them later.
I am glad you found that getting up at 5:00 works for you. I am glad you feel better too.
See ya later.

Mimi said...

What a smart mama you are! Taking care of you is soooo important! Now that I have more alone time, I can see how very important it is in relationship to your Lord and family. I always found if I have quiet time before everyone woke up, I was better equipped to handle the every day life stuff. Last week my grandbabies were here and I found myself in need of 'me' time. So the alarm clock was once again used and even tho' my day started very early, the rest of the day went smoother!
I love the way you take care of your family....reading your blog is a joy!

Meg said...

Oh thank you guys so much for your kind words and encouragement. I've felt like such a bad mommy, saying I need me time. I'm glad to know it's OK and that everyone does it. :D

Wordmom said...

I still like to get up before the rest of the family -- even if it's only long enough to have a cup of tea and a complete thought to myself -- and it's a sanity saver. Mom sets the "tone" for the whole family (hence the "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" slogan). Just a little "me" time will go a long way!

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