Get Your R & R

Hello Scribblers, J here.  Happy Saturday to you all.  I’m going to ask Casey or Susannah to reply to your comments on my behalf because….dum da da daaaaaaa…I’m away today.  Yes, this is the weekend when I abandon all of my other hats, and just be me.

Are you unfamiliar with my hats?  Check out this post from November when they all fell off.  Basically, I’m a mom/wife first, author second and everything else falls to a distant third place.  The woman that I was before I acquired all those other hats is in there somewhere, but often buried under the hat tree.

I was lucky enough to have a few years (back in my mid-twenties) to do whatever I wanted.  I had no responsibilities other than to pay my bills, small as they were.  I would lounge around all day (on weekends) and read, or go to a movie or do crafty things.  That’s me, that’s what I like to do.  Of course I love all of my other responsibilities too, but sometimes those hats get heavy.  Do you ever wish you could shake them off, just for a few minutes?

Six years ago, I started going to an annual scrapbooking weekend retreat in January.  I love it.  I leave early Friday morning and come home late Sunday night.  No kids, no dishes, no cooking, no diapers, no housework.  Just 3 days of crafting.  I look forward to this event all year.  I’ve made some friends that I see just at this event.  I love it.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for two and a half years now.  I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting around eating bon bons all day, but I didn’t know that this would be the toughest job I ever had.  And in addition to the lack of pay check, there’s no annual review or bonus to tell me how well I’m doing.  Just the same routine every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  I think that might be the definition of drudgery.  

But the thing I’ve learned over the last couple of years is that it is VERY important to take some time for myself, separate from writing time.  Writing is my part-time job that hopefully is going to pay financial rewards some day.  It’s a good thing for me to take time to make myself happy, to refill myself with patience and creativity.  It’s good for me, it’s good for my kids and it’s good for my husband.

I’m not abandoning my boys when I take one weekend off a year, and a day a month, too.  I’m teaching them that Mom is a person who has hopes and dreams and works to find the time to make those dreams come true.  That it’s important to do so.  And I’m giving them a tremendous gift: time just with Daddy.  Daddy works hard all week and only gets to spend an hour with them each day before it’s their bedtime.  More on the weekends, of course, but still.  Other moms at the retreat call home every few hours to see what the kids are doing with dad.  Are they eating healthy?  Staying away from the TV?  That’s not for me.  I call at bedtime to say goodnight and that’s it.  It’s not Daddy’s first rodeo.  If he wants to feed them McDonald’s 3 times a day (he doesn’t) for 3 days once a year, it won’t hurt ’em.  If he wants to get them all sugared up right before bed, well, it’s his funeral – what do I care?  I’m not there to worry about it.

Today’s secret: It’s important for you to take time for yourself, doing something you want to do.  It’s good for you and those who depend on you.

Today’s question: How do you pamper yourself?

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8 thoughts on “Get Your R & R”

  1. I am right there with you. I am home with my kids all week long (I home-school them, so I’m not only mom, but I am also teacher) It’s important for every one for me to get away.

    Although, I will admit, my husband and I have never gone away together. It’s always one or the other. It might be time. 😉

    Have a great R & R weekend! You deserve it, Mom!

  2. I like your attitude, J. “It’s his funeral”, LOL. Dad’s are notorious for not thinking through the consequences of being “the fun one.” It is an eye opener for them to have to deal with the fallout without Mom there to take the heat and keep everything together. I’m sure you find that you are much more appreciated when you get home after a weekend away.

    Even as a single mother, I always made it a priority to take time for myself. I went to martial arts classes a couple of nights a week when my kids were young. That outlet was a gift for me and for them. I became a much more confident person and I think fostering a sense of independence for myself and them was a good role model for my kids.

    It also gave me a bit of an edge when my boys started out growing me:-)

    I’m finding it more difficult these days to know when to “step away from the computer” and take a break. I’m my own boss and therefore I push myself harder than anyone else ever would. I have no one interupting me or demanding anything of me, which probably sounds like heaven to those of you with children pulling on your sleeve every five minutes. But the downside is that it’s easy to get caught up in the “endless to-do list”, and forget to come up for air.

    That’s where my sweet hubby comes in. My husband looked at me this morning and said, “You are working so hard, honey. You need to take a break.” If he didn’t remind me, I would stay buried under my mountain.Tonight is pizza night and cards with the neighbors.

  3. My husband and I go on a movie date day on Holidays when work is closed by daycare is open. We’ve seen 2 movies in 2 months….looking forward to President’s Day for this very reason.

    1. Nice! We try to have a date a month although it’s been more like 1 date every 2-3 months lately. But we do want to see The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games in the next couple of months, so maybe we’ll improve our odds.

  4. J, you definitely deserve some R&R. Parenting is wonderful, but it is stressful. And like any full-time job, you need a solo vacation once in a while so you can recharge your batteries and remember who you are, even if it’s just for a few hours. I’m lucky (and my son is even luckier) in that Mr. Suze is a very, very involved Dad. My son is pretty mature and independent for his age (13). Both have been wonderful about giving me space and time to spread my wings as a writer. As your boys get older, J, it will get easier for you as well. As far as pampering myself, I like to take time to do my nails (I keep them short, but I love it when I have some polish on them), which I rarely have time to bother with. I’m also a sucker for facial cleansers and miracle creams, so I like to go to CVS and shop for those, then come home and try them out 🙂 And one of my favorite things to do is to go to a coffee shop, have some ridiculously expensive coffee, maybe something chocolate to go with it, and read a novel for an hour, guilt free.

    1. ooooh – reading. I picked up a book on my way away, The Altar of Bones…it’s really good so far and instead of washing dishes and making a roast for dinner, I spent the afternoon reading. Shhhh…don’t tell! 🙂

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