One fried processor replaced, and I’m hoping our computer problems are resolved. I’m glad to be back and thanks to you loyal folks who are still checking, still reading. I’m sharing a post I wrote last Friday evening; hope you enjoy…
I am alone tonight for the first time in weeks. My yoga and writing took a backseat in my life this past several weeks due to a number of factors (primarily, broken computer and pulled back) and I have forgone my weekly alone time for the sake of trying to catch up and keep up with my family and home life before the holidays. I called my husband at work this morning with a request that he take our daughter V out tonight for a Daddy-Daughter Date, something he has been missing as well, and he came home armed with a Dora the Explorer balloon and plans. And the plans sounded so cool that I, well, I felt sad not to be a part of them. M planned to take V to a new restaurant and he had discovered a new playplace for V with a pirate ship climbing area! Missing my husband at the end of the work week, and excited for some fun family time, I thought about joining them. I even teared up when my little gal asked if Mama could drive and when told it was Daddy-Daughter date night, said, “Bye, Mama” in the cutest little voice. I love my family. I love sharing our fun family moments and spending time together. Being with them makes the most mundane experience special. More than anything, I am thankful for each moment with them. And I know how precious each moment is with people you love. BUT.
Sometimes I let the love for my family trump what I need to do for myself. Given my patience level this week, it is time for alone time. As an introvert who is sustained by the moments of quiet and introspection I have in my life, I’ve been spiritually malnourished lately. As tempting as it is to reject an opportunity to take that quiet time, I know my husband also needs alone time with our daughter. He needs time to experience life as the go-to parent. He needs to have first-time experiences with our daughter, the kind I frequently get as the stay-at-home parent, where he gets to take V somewhere for the first time and enjoy the joy of a novel experience with her. And V needs to have special time with her Daddy, where she doesn’t have to worry about the way Mama does things, where she can enjoy the unique gifts her Dada brings to her life. Sometimes, it is hard to let go of my loved ones but it is the most loving choice for all of us for me to do so.
So tonight, you will find me drinking white wine, eating homemade mac and cheese, and blogging by myself as I listen to some relaxing holiday tunes. Tonight, I talked with my little sis on the phone for a while to appease my loneliness, then settled in to a night of writing, something that nourishes my soul and energizes my mind. Tonight, I know that maintaining balance means that I withdraw from my beloved ones and breathe deeply on my own for a minute. When I hear the garage door rise, signaling their return, I’ll be a happier and more patient Mama, and M and V will have added another experience to the ties that bind them together. Sometimes, it’s good to step away.
I know so many good moms and dads that struggle with this balance. When M and I were in the early stages of pregnancy with V, we made a kid contract, an agreement of how we wanted to handle sensitive issues like time for ourselves, holidays, religion, and other matters once our daughter was born. Though we sometimes detour from the plan on paper, and we are a very child/family-centered household, it helps to have agreed to take time away for personal restoration and growth. It gives a balance to our lives to know we can depend on a night to ourselves a week, or a date night bimonthly(still working on this one…). Though we struggle to keep a regular schedule, and illness and life and personal choices sometimes interfere with this routine, it helps us to have a plan. It helps our parenting and our marriage to maintain our individual persons. And it helps our relationship with V for me to take a step back from time to time and allow my husband the space to give his unique and special parenting time to V. Though I miss them when we are apart (enough to make me occasionally cry when they depart on an adventure), I am thankful that we give each other these gifts. I encourage my fellow parents to take this time, to make room for yourselves and your spouses in your lives. Your parenting will reap the benefits of this balance. Hopefully, years from now, when little V is grown and our hearts break as she embarks on adventures of her own, we’ll still have a connection to ourselves and each other to fall back on as we fondly look back on all the special moments we’ve shared as a family.
Linking up with Things I Can’t Say for