Friday, February 27, 2015

8 Reasons Why Alone Time for YOU is Good FOR YOUR KIDS

The other day I did it again.

I took time for myself.

Gasp.

When I rejoined the family, my husband asked me if I enjoyed my alone time.
Me: Yes. (Pause.) But now I feel guilty.
Husband: Why?
Me: I don't know. It just seems like there's so much else I really should be doing. Alone time seems like a waste of my time...and kind of selfish.
Husband: (With more passion than I would have anticipated.) So, you really think you should never take time for yourself? No. Everyone needs time to refuel. You should take time for yourself. It's good for our kids to see you take care of yourself.


Hmm. “Good for our kids.” I didn't think of it like that. Taking time for myself is a mental battlefield. I suspect it is for many moms. We know we need it. We know it's good for us. But life is demanding - so it is sometimes hard to give ourselves permission to take time away. Or when we do sneak away to refuel, we might feel guilty, which makes it hard to fully enjoy our break.

But my husband is right: rejuvenating time for mothers (and fathers) is good – no, even great – for our kids. Here are eight reasons why:

1. Your kids learn to also take care of themselves. What if your children grew up and never took time to do something they love like hiking, photography, gardening, or reading? If my kids never saw me take time to refuel and rest, often through pursuing my hobbies and passions, would they grow up thinking they always have be working, serving and doing?

2. Your kids learn coping strategies. It doesn't matter how old you are, at some point everyone needs a time out. One of the best coping strategies we can teach our kids is to step out of a situation, breathe deep, refuel (often through doing something they enjoy), and gain a healthy perspective before they jump back into life. Let's show our kids through our actions that a time out for adults is okay, too.

3. Your kids learn ways to unselfishly love their future spouses. One of the biggest ways my husband loves me is by declaring it a "boys only" evening and giving me a little time off. My boys love their special time with dad and are always excited to see me when I return. My kids watch my husband consider my needs and treat me with kindness. He is teaching our children to someday do the same thing for their future spouses.


4. Your kids learn that community is important. In order to have alone time, we sometimes need someone's help: grandparents, an aunt, a spouse, a friend or a babysitter. When we build a community of friends and family who are willing to support each other, sometimes by taking each other's kids, we teach our children that we all need each other.

5. Your kids learn to ask for help. There are moments in life that can be stressful and maybe even dangerous if we do not ask for help. Our kids should grow up seeing us ask for help, so when they need to, they will also have the confidence to reach out for support.

6. Your kids learn to be brave and dream. Sometimes, what we pursue in our alone time teaches our kids courage. For example, my favorite way to refuel is through writing and photography. It takes courage for me to let others read what I write or to look at my pictures. My kids see me being brave as I pursue my dreams. Teach your kids to be brave and dream big. They will learn if mom could do it, so can they.

7. Your kids learn a little bit about who you are. What we choose to do in the limited time we get to ourselves often lets our children peer into our hearts and see a different side of us. They learn a little more about what interests us and what we enjoy doing. (And maybe, if we’re lucky, one of our interests might someday also interest them. At some point, it could be a place for us to connect.)

8. It gives you more quality time with your kids. What? How is this so? If I haven't had time alone, then during the time I spend with my kids I will sometimes be thinking of other stuff I want to do or should be doing. When I schedule my time a little better and include space for my kids and space for me, I can better focus fully on my kids when I am with them.

Mama who is reading this, are you like me? Do you need convincing to value your own needs? Know that your family works best when you are healthy. Spending time doing things you love is good for your soul. What is good for your soul is good for the whole family. I hope this helps. And I hope the next time you get a chance for some alone time you enjoy it, 100% guilt-free.




Just in case you are wondering what my kiddos are doing in this photo, the one on the left is Iron Man and the one on the right is Spiderman. Now, can you see it? :) They were so little. The years go by too fast! (Thank you to our friend Jessi who took this photo for us.  We love it!)
Grateful to be linked to Christian Mommy Blogger and these blogs.

20 comments:

  1. Always love reading your perspective!

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    1. Kim, I always love reading your perspective as well!:)

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  2. I agree with this whole-heartedly! In the evenings after dinner, my husband will take our little guy and play together with him leaving me to clean up the kitchen and have a few moments to myself. Some nights I join them where they are playing, some nights I don't rejoin them until after bath time. I am thankful for my husband who knows I need that time and its a sweet time for him to be able to spend with our little person! I received a piece of advice when we were pregnant with our Little: "He is coming into your life, not the other way around." Basically, don't loose who you are and keep special times with your husband - like you've said, it's healthy for the little people to see that! Great post!

    {Hi from Five on Friday link up!}

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    1. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I love when women share what they do in their family. I always learn something. I like what you said about: "Don't lose who you are and keep special times with your husband." Thanks for sharing your wisdom with me!:)

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  3. I understand how you feel completely. I am getting better about taking some time. But it never fails, if I dare leave without a child in tow, their sad little eyes get me everytime. Great post!

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    1. Yes, their sad little eyes can get me too!:) I think that is okay too that sometimes our kiddos "win." :) Thank you for leaving a comment. I always treasure the comments people leave.

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  4. These are great points. I just wanted to share that I recall telling my children I was just going to rest in my bedroom and read a book and that I need some alone time. About 15 minutes later my daughter knocked on the door saying, "I will be glad when you finish having your alone time." I had to laugh to myself.

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    1. So, funny! Kids are the best! Thanks for leaving your comment. I enjoyed your thoughts!

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  5. Love this post, great points to help other Moms justify their alone time. Many blessings to you ❤️

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. Many blessings to YOU!:)

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  6. I love this post. I never thought about how taking alone time teaches my children things. It made me feel better about skipping out of work early and taking a mommy date lunch by myself. I even went as far as sitting at the bar and eating so I wasn't around kids! Thank-you for sharing :)

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    1. Awesome. :) That is wisdom right there. I bet you were feeling refreshed and excited about jumping back into mom life at home.THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts. I always treasure comments.:)

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  7. I completely agree! Even though for me, I have an entirely different set of reasons! Namely, because it gives the kids time to bond with dad or grandma and because it saves my sanity! lol

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  8. These are great reasons for a vital activity for us mothers. I'm right after you on Nourishing Joy's link-up. I'm pinning this and following. :)

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    1. Thank you and I am following you back!:)

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  9. Thank you for sharing this post at Good Morning Mondays. May God bless you as you raise your children. Blessings

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