Yup, you read that right – I love being away from my children.
It took some doing to embrace this truth about myself. It’s funny that it took so long. I knew at a fairly early age that I enjoyed time away from my parents, that too much time spent with friends was a strain on friendship, and that time apart from my husband was beneficial.
Just to be clear, I also love being with the important people in my life – especially after we’ve spent time apart! I am grateful to be in a family that gets to live together, under one roof. Being apart is by choice, not necessity. (I do not have to earn income in a faraway land) One of the reasons I chose to start my own health coaching practice is so that I could spend more time with my family. I subscribe to Attachment Parenting (the irony is not lost on me!). My love for my children runs deep, deeper than I could have imagined before they entered my life.
I know a lot of moms – they are friends, clients, community. And all of them love to spend time doing things on their own. Most of them would hesitate to declare their desire for time away, unless it was for something “productive” like work, errands or school. When they allude to their desire, it is usually with wistfulness — “If only I could…!” — as though the possibility no longer exists.
I used to hesitate too, but here it is – my declaration — I love being away from my children, having fun on my own, and nourishing myself. In fact — I require it!
Feels good to speak my truth!
I am a GREAT mom who finds nourishment in quiet alone time, traveling adventures with adults, and lunch dates with my husband. I like to read novels, have uninterrupted conversations with my girlfriends, and watch rated R movies. One of the many lessons my children have taught me is just how important and beautiful these things are to me.
When I try to deny the truth about my needs, I am a much less patient and loving mom. Let’s face it – this mom gig involves non-stop giving! When I gave birth I didn’t suddenly become someone without needs. I need to fill my cup just as much as I always did – more, actually! Now my cup needs to be full enough to share, and it seems harder to do!
It can feel like I’m taking something from my family when I carve out time for my own pleasure. I use excuses like money and time because I feel I haven’t earned it, though there is no point at which I feel “caught up” enough to have achieved the right to it.
What I’ve learned (and keep re-learning!) is that what takes away from my family the most is when I keep trying to earn self-care instead of simply doing it.
I’m curious to know – Do you enjoy time away from your children? Do you take time just for the joy of it? What if you did? What would you do? How might it impact your family? How might they benefit? What stops you?
Personally, I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to be away from my children at the Magical Mama Retreat November 6-8. I would dearly love to see you there, embracing your need to get away, to rediscover the True You, to receive sisterhood, delicious meals, nature and more. YOU are worth it. YOUR FAMILY is ready for a rejuvenated Mama!
Intuitive Nourishment Coach