I walked out of the door and sat in my car. I took a deep breath. It is time for just me. I listened to silence as I drove to the store. I casually looked over my list, slowly crossing off my items as I placed them in my cart. Alone time is rare, but so needed.
Moms need time alone. We know we need this. We are told to take this time. We have help available to us. We still don’t do it.
We feel guilty for it.
We feel bad leaving our children with someone else, even if that person is our husband or mother. For stay-at-home moms sometimes that guilt stems from the fact that we are the primary caretakers of our children. We see them all the time - every waking moment. It is hard to just give that job to someone else.
For working moms, maybe we feel as if we are already spending time away from them, so we don’t want to spend any more time away. We value our children and we want to show them that. So, we give up time alone in order to not miss anything.
We also feel guilty asking our family or husband to take care of our children - even when they offer! We know the stress and responsibilities others are facing, and we know having small children can add to that stress. We try at all cost to avoid placing a burden on everyone, which only leaves us with the burden to handle everything on our own.
We do not have time for it.
Many moms are single parents with no support system. Some stay-at-home moms are home all the time with little contact with other moms. Or, we may feel as if we do have the support system, but our schedule is just so tight we cannot fit time in for us. We have sports, church, and school functions that take up time each evening. Sometimes our husband’s schedule is so strenuous we must be home with our children. If we do come to the end of the week and have an evening free, we are so exhausted from the constant running around that we end up just sitting on the couch.
To combat these two reasons for not taking alone time, we can remember these truths:
Time spent alone refreshes us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
I love a certain conference that comes every year to our area. It is usually a Friday evening and Saturday daytime. I have arranged to go each year and have been so refreshed each year I attend. Recently, my husband and I took some time to go to another conference for a few days. We left my little ones with my mother and had a great time being renewed. I love to go and have lunch by myself sometimes at Panera on the week my husband is off work. Or, often times I go to the grocery story by myself in the evenings. Those little pockets of times aways refresh me spiritual, mentally, and emotionally.
Time spent alone helps my children.
Any mom who has taken time away can attest to this. When we are refreshed, we are more patient, kind, and gentle. When we are stressed or anxious, it comes out in harsh words and quick tempers. Our children need us to take the time away. We can gain better perspectives and refocus our attitudes. We are much happier mothers when we have some time alone.
Time spent alone helps my other relationships.
Those that watch our children while we spend time alone get to interact and care for these little ones. Everyone benefits when you get someone to watch your children: the young babysitter who is learning mothering skills for the first time, or the grandma who misses when her children were little, or the husband who has worked all day away from his children. These people get the privilege of loving and caring for your little ones. Remember, your little children are a blessing. We are building our children’s relationships with others when we leave them for time alone.
As a mother, we also benefit and develop stronger bonds when we let others watch my children. I was able to develop a great relationship with a young lady in our church when she was 14. She watched our kids for four years and is now in college. It has been such a blessing to see her grow and mature in her faith, coming along side her to encourage her! All because I wanted time alone.
Take that time momma. Combat guilt with the truths that everyone benefits when mom takes some time alone!
About Sarah Frazer | Abiding in Grace, sarahefrazer.com
Sarah Frazer is a a former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom. She spends her days home schooling, writing, cooking, cleaning, and loving on her family. Her family includes her loving husband of almost ten years Jason, six-year-old son Jack, four-year-old son Titus, and 2-year-old daughter Emmalia Kate. They are excited to be adding to their family in 2015 through adoption. Sometime in March or April they will be flying all the way around the world to get their little girl, Liana Joy Manhua from China. She has documented their adoption journey on her blog, Abiding in Grace at www.sarahefrazer.com. She also writes about the journey of motherhood. You can find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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