cardinal rule

Remember when you were a kid and you begged for your friends to sleep over or to stay outside just a little while longer? When your mom said “Fine, but only five more minutes” and it turned into an hour? You’d wink and giggle with your crew, maybe a high five or two. You just wanted to stay in that moment, enjoying the fun you were having. It’s as though you knew somehow, later on in life you might be lacking free time or that right to be care free…

Nowadays you’re busy, really, very busy. Maybe your working a full time job and going to school at night. Maybe your working two jobs and trying to have a life as well. Maybe you have a job, a house to run, kids to raise, and a husband to make time for (Supermom) Your brain has to function on high speed and in all different directions. There may be days when you don’t know if your coming or going. Somebody is wearing mismatched socks, the toast was burned, you left the car running. If you’re like me, sometimes I can’t find the other shoe-it’s the shoe I want to wear, because it matches the outfit that took a while to put together, and now I’m in a sweat looking for it, which will make me late, but then I’ll bitch about the traffic…when really all I need to do is organize my shoes.

Before my “grown up” job, I had the pleasure of nannying for several families. Beautiful homes, beautiful, delicious, healthy children that I knew from the day they were born. It was a special role in my life, to be on the inside of a family I didn’t belong to by birth. Of course with the progression of time, I felt like a part of them by extension. Unfortunately there always seemed to be a common thread with the moms, these amazing women  who constantly referred to their “past lives” when confiding in me.  Being in a marriage and having a family is work- let’s be clear. No matter how much they loved their lives now, some of them admitted to losing their identities completely. What used to fuel them, what used to be passion for a subject, a field, a hobby had fizzled away somehow,somewhere…without them actually giving permission for it. Maybe it’s the counselor is me, but I started to really feel for them, they were sad about it. One or two of them literally ached to matter more than just playing house all the time. They absolutely, positively missed “ME” time.

So I started scheduling it for them-literally forcing them out of the house for a book club once per week or a class at the gym. For the others who were clever enough to think that running to Target and returning with bags of “stuff” for everyone else qualified, I bought a gift certificate for a manicure 😉 I’d make her do something for herself if it killed me. There was one mom who went to the movies alone at noon, because the Saturday matinee of  “High School Musical” wasn’t doing it for her…commendable.

Whether you’re a mom or not, you cannot lose “you”. No excuses. There are amazing things that make you who you are. There may be quirky interests you have, don’t lose them. No one likes you pretending to be someone else. You cannot possibly be perfect at all you do, or anything at all for that matter- let it go. Just remember to find time for you, otherwise to be honest, you get grouchy. Sometimes you may even begin to resent. I’ve seen many of relationships start to suffer because one person resents the other.

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble”

Sometimes you’ll have to turn something down, say no and mean it…because you need your sanity. You need that time carved out just for you. Even if you truly just start with your coffee or tea in the morning alone for five’s a beginning.

This blog is my “me” time…because personally, taking this time away from everything else is a cardinal rule.

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