The other thing that has become painfully clear is how little alone time stay at home moms (SAHM) get. Yes; specifically SAHM's, not just all moms, although we're all lacking in sufficient alone time.
Let me paint the picture: I drop Henry off at school for his very first day. As soon as I'm alone, I head straight to my favorite coffee shop, get a latte (which I consider a treat - I never get fancy coffee!), and head over to my favorite spot in Dallas: White Rock Lake. I roll down all the windows, open the sun roof, and simply sit there in silence, enjoying my coffee, listening to birds and watching a rowing team practice on the lake.
It crossed my mind that I have not been alone, truly, absolutely alone, more than once or twice since Henry was born. Sure, I might get an hour to run to a crowded grocery store on the weekends, and a few times I've been able to coordinate schedules with my husband so I can get my hair done. But people are always around, talking to me, getting in my way, telling me how much things cost or asking me questions.
But true, quiet alone time is a rarity.
SAHM's are never alone. It's rarely appropriate to use the word never, but that's indeed the case here. I don't get to go to the bathroom by myself. Even though our bathrooms have a separate room for the toilet, that door stays open so Henry can see me. All moms know this is the easier way to do it! He's always in the car with me. He's at my feet when I write blog posts, sometimes behaving, sometimes not. My meals are not my own; because he's with me all day, he eats whatever I eat and usually prefers it right out of my hand or off my plate. Even when Henry goes down for a nap, I have to keep an ear out for him and drop what I'm doing to get him when he wakes. I don't get a guaranteed one or two hours of non-baby time per day, no promised showers and definitely zero thinking time.
I love having Henry with me, but last week I was reminded on how important being alone is. Un-rushed. Without having to ask my husband to watch him while I scramble to get something done, checking my phone for any emergencies/questions that come up. I'm talking completely alone time, time to think, time to sit and just be, time to slowly sip your coffee/eat a meal un-rushed and without little hands getting into it.
|My lake side treat: a 2% latte and breakfast sandwich. No little hands got into this sam'ich, I shared with no one!|
After just 30 minutes by that lake in the car by myself, I noticed I was much calmer. I was happier. I didn't resent anything in my life. I had a more positive perspective on things. Alone time is important for the mental health of all of us, but even more so for the SAHM who rarely, if ever, gets it.