I’m not the best at taking time for myself. I used to be super good at it; that was before 2 kids, 1 dog, 1 husband, and 1 never ending to do list in my head. I never had a problem going on a run, going out to lunch with friends or even taking myself on a random shopping trip. (I totally took for granted all the alone time I had on my train rides to and from work… The times I had nothing to do or worry about other than reading my US Weekly.) I’d say I was very good and doing things for me.

Over the past couple of years I’ve really struggled with taking time for myself (and dealing with the ‘mom guilt’ associated with this). I had started thinking maybe this phase of my life was just all about everyone else and not me.

I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I’ve learned taking time for me is good for everyone in the family. I think I am a much nicer wife when I’ve been able to get out of the house without my mini-mes in tow, and have been able to have adult conversations without being constantly interrupted to fix a toy or to break up a fight. Even though I know I need some alone time, I’m definitely still struggling to find balance and make it happen on a more regular basis.

Today I took a minute for myself. I put the son down for his nap, made sure Grandma and Grandpa were okay with me leaving (and would watch the daughter), and then I headed to my favorite place… Sharon Woods. Anyone not from the Cincinnati area won’t know it, but basically it’s a walking trail around a lake with lots of shade, hills, and a snack shop. (Of course the snack shop is important!!) It’s a place where people running by smile and say “hello,” can you even imagine?!? I went there with no agenda… I didn’t have to run 3 miles or keep an eye on my kids. I just went to the woods and walked, sat on benches, and had time alone.

image image

Let me tell ya, it was much needed. I still haven’t found a way to turn off the constantly running to-do list in my mind, but I have found a way to quiet it. I saw nature, watched some other moms corral their kids and enjoyed actual silence. Thank goodness for trips back home and help from the grandparents.

I know life gets busy and stressful, but I hope all of you have your own “happy place” you can retreat to alone from time to time to recharge. I’m definitely looking forward to my next visit to Cincinnati and my next trip to my “happy place.” I hope my kids find a place like this growing up that they can revisit someday as well, maybe while I watch their kids!

Alright, back to reality!!