The first thing I thought when I read the first question was: ” I lock myself in the bathroom…” Humorous as that my sound… it is true…. there are times when I need to listen to a important call, or relax in the tub while they are in bed….. and I do.. I lock myself in there….
But I think that most people are looking for a more serious answer to the question…. so here I go…
Let me start off by saying these are loaded questions, especially within the homeschool community. I am teased by public school mom’s about not know what free time is…..and that’s OK, I don’t want their kind of free time. Would life be ‘easier’ if I didn’t have to answer 50 million questions a day? Would life be simpler & all my bills paid on time, not to mention, my house would be cleaner if I didn’t have a crew of 4 here all day to mess it up? I am sure in the eyes of some it would be easier…. but for me the trade off on what I would have to re-teach my children at the end of a day…. Well, lets just say I have given up on having a home that looks like a Pottery Barn catalog….and for me the lack of free time that comes with homeschooling is worth it.
Now does this mean I never have any time to myself? EVER? That I live in constant chaos, and always surrounded by needy, whimpering, clingy children? Nope…. not at all.
I like to start the day out in the quiet of the morning… Just me, a cup of coffee, and the Lord. This is the most valuable “me” time I can get in a day. When I miss this time, I know it. My day just isn’t set right, but with it…. I am a much more patient, kinder, gentler, gracious mommy. Matthew 11:38 says: ” Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This explains every mom, since Eve…. and is the only way to find true rest. Rest without Christ, is just plain escape.
I still think it is important to carve out time during a week in order to complete tasks that do not require constant interruptions… ie… time with your husband, bill paying, journaling, previewing reading material for your family, knitting or sewing, other household tasks or chores. I choose to do many of those tasks while the house is quiet in the morning or evening, or at nap times…. Sometimes, when there is more energy than my home and yard can handle, I will take them to the park and let them RUN!… Usually during those times, I take a book I need to read for the bigger kids work, or perhaps pay a few bills ( I keep them all in my day timer, so they aren’t getting lost!)… often I just have my Bible, and I will take the time to read a few more things from God’s Word.
I remember when my older two were little… 1 1/2- 2 1/2 up through about 4…. My favorite ‘escape’ was Mc Donalds. I had a husband that traveled for weeks at a time, and I would work nights, and have the kids all day. They weren’t old enough for formal school, and being housebound with them would wear me down. My ‘escape’ ( I call it that cuz it was…. I was frustrated, overwhelmed and lacked a Christ-like perspective) consisted of dinner or lunch at Mc Donalds…. and a book for mommy to read. I would feed them, and let them run. Meanwhile I would read my book, blissfully tuning out most of the ambient noise of the playland. I didn’t really leave refreshed…. I always had to carry them out kicking and screaming, one under each arm…. but I was able to be free of their needs and demands for a few hours.
Even reading what I just wrote, it sounds so selfish. How irritated I would choose to be, because of my children…. wow. Now, two more kids later….. and with a heart that is desirous to glorify God….. I don’t need that sort of time anymore. I don’t need to run from my children, or just have some me time. I don’t think it is the kids who have changed… nor the things that they do…. they still whine, cling, and barf on me…. It is me who has changed. My perspective on mothering, and teaching, and training has grown to be more Christ-like.
Really I think that is the key to it all. Is the time that you spend away from the distractions of your family, however that takes shape, honoring to God. If the answer to that is yes…. Then I think that is a wise use of time…. if the answer is no…. or if the reason that you need the alone time sounds selfish….. you might need to re-evaluate.
Since this is an issue with many different opinions, please don’t forget to click on the big cruise ship (at the top of this post) and check out what other folk’s have to say on the subject…. the few I have read already are wonderful!