hmbpie

Today on Facebook a conversation was started about how kids have to go to bed at a certain time so parents can have me time. Other people commented on how they need this time at night so that they can have a healthy relationship with their spouses. Even though I was there in that thought process a mere 11 months ago, reading the thread made me so grateful that I quit thinking these types of limiting thoughts.

Last night Austin came in after I had layed down and started watching Star Trek and asked if I would help him cut some stuff. He wanted to cut out stick figures. I could have (and probably would have a year ago) told him this was my time to do what I wanted to do without him. Instead, I flipped over and started cutting out stick figures. After we were done Austin took the stick figures, asked if he could play in the bathroom (which is attached to the bedroom) and play. I said sure. He helped me clean up so I wouldn't trip over boxes or slip on paper in the middle of the night and then turned off the light for me.

This morning I woke up and in the bathroom were the stick figure guys hanging on a towel and action figures hanging off cabinet handles. It cracked me up!! I opened up the q-tip box and there was even one in there!

I felt very limited when I needed me time. I was needy and restentful when I didn't get it. I'm glad I don't feel I need it nightly anymore. I'm glad I have been able to find the joy in being around Austin even after the sun goes down and find times for myself throughout the day if needed. I'm glad that I can find connection with my husband even when Austin is still awake. It feels so free! I wish I could help everyone feel this free!

Claire

>>>>>>>>>>>> I'm glad I have been able to find the joy in being around Austin even after the sun goes down and find times for myself throughout the day if needed. I'm glad that I can find connection with my husband even when Austin is still awake. It feels so free! I wish I could help everyone feel this free!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I love this! I agree wholeheartedly. So many people talk themselves into needing 'me-time', like being with their kids is such a burden. They rejoice on facebook when they get some kid-free time. They tell their children that they 'have needs too' and that kids must respect mum's needs. These mums come off sounding needy to me. I much prefer the mingling of different configurations of togetherness, depending on who is around and who is doing what. It's not always easy, there are times when I get distracted, and it takes a conscious effort to bring my attention back to my child. But I have seen, again and again, the simple truth that the more a parent plays with, listens to, and includes their child, the better their relationship.

Claire

Sandra Dodd

-=- I have seen, again and again, the simple truth that the more a parent plays with, listens to, and includes their child, the better their relationship.

Claire-=-

That's going on Just Add Light and Stir, because it's simply truthful and perfect.

I love this wording, too: "I much prefer the mingling of different configurations of togetherness, depending on who is around and who is doing what."

Lately I've spent a lot of time with Keith, Holly and Marty, but rarely all at the same time. Puzzles, movies, errands, concerts, projects, yardwork, with one or two of them, and often it changes in the course of the activity. If I were separating "family time" from "me time," or if I only considered it "family time" if all four of us were in one place, I would be wasting energy and thought sorting acceptable/non-acceptable, productive/non-productive, whatever/whatever, instead of being present and appreciative of the moments as they touch on one another, some seeming too quick, others seeming languidly forever, and all of them mine.

Sandra

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

LauraM

Yahoo! for both of you and all the people who will benefit in your childs life when he further fully engages in social interactions where all find joy. I agree that there is this absolutely sad concept that me time must be had, at all costs, on a regular schedule, As if it is utterly important. while definately important for ones peace of mind, yes, i think when/ if parents go along mindlessly requiring this time for themselves and not choosing to see the moments of give and take, the moment they *can* give, than once again kids are put off to be independent when it's not necesary.

limits vs. possibilities. it's like rocket science sometimes:-)

~Laura

--- In [email protected], "hmbpie" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Today on Facebook a conversation was started about how kids have to go to bed at a certain time so parents can have me time. Other people commented on how they need this time at night so that they can have a healthy relationship with their spouses. Even though I was there in that thought process a mere 11 months ago, reading the thread made me so grateful that I quit thinking these types of limiting thoughts.
>
> Last night Austin came in after I had layed down and started watching Star Trek and asked if I would help him cut some stuff. He wanted to cut out stick figures. I could have (and probably would have a year ago) told him this was my time to do what I wanted to do without him. Instead, I flipped over and started cutting out stick figures. After we were done Austin took the stick figures, asked if he could play in the bathroom (which is attached to the bedroom) and play. I said sure. He helped me clean up so I wouldn't trip over boxes or slip on paper in the middle of the night and then turned off the light for me.
>
> This morning I woke up and in the bathroom were the stick figure guys hanging on a towel and action figures hanging off cabinet handles. It cracked me up!! I opened up the q-tip box and there was even one in there!
>
> I felt very limited when I needed me time. I was needy and restentful when I didn't get it. I'm glad I don't feel I need it nightly anymore. I'm glad I have been able to find the joy in being around Austin even after the sun goes down and find times for myself throughout the day if needed. I'm glad that I can find connection with my husband even when Austin is still awake. It feels so free! I wish I could help everyone feel this free!
>

Sandra Dodd

Claire, I quoted you today and already have an enthusiastic blog comment that must be shared with you! (And others might want to see and share this too.)

http://justaddlightandstir.blogspot.com/

Little things can make huge differences in the peace of the world.

Sandra

JustSayin

I am so glad to see this subject - I have always loved being with my kids and never even THOUGHT about going on vacation without them (many of my friends do this) or doing any activity that couldn't include them. I don't know why, it's just how I've felt since the minute my first was born.

You cannot imagine how many times I've been told by family and friends that I need "me time". But I don't! My pleasure comes from going to new places with my family or just simply hanging out with my boys. I actually really enjoy their company! They are smart and interesting and are always challenging things. They know who they are and what they want and need and it's refreshing and energizing to be around people like that. I do not know many adults that keep me as interested as my kids do ;>

The trouble is when everyone is insisting that I need "me time", I start to question myself - maybe I really do need me time! What's wrong with me that I feel OK without it? Maybe I'm not really OK! Ironically all this pushing of "me time" just tends to make me feel guilty (for not giving myself what I didn't even need in the first place). That's why I am grateful to see this topic - I can say oh, wow, maybe there's not really anything wrong with me :>

I think most people feel they need me time because a) some external voice says they do or b) they don't like being with their kids, which I have alwasy felt is the result of setting up adversarial relationships with them from the get go. So I try to remember that when they insist that I need "me time" it's coming from an entirely different perspective - they don't enjoy their kids, so they can't imagine NOT wanting to get away from them. Parents so often set themselves up as "us against them" it's just sad.

My brother and his family are on vacation in Cape Cod - they rented a beautiful house with a stunning view of the water where they are staying for two weeks. And all he can say is he can't really call it a vacation because he is with his 2 1/2 and 7 1/2 year olds. A self fulfilling prophecy because he so often forces his agenda on his kids. It just makes me sad. Not only would I give anything for a two week vacation anywhere, never mind in such a beautiful setting, I would give anything to be sharing that extraordinary time with my kids.

But I feel one way and he feels another (I try to point out that there are ways not to have the "us against them" perspective, not sure it gets through but maybe a little) and I suppose it will always be that way (that we are just different in how we relate to our kids).

Just as I don't appreciate people pushing "me time" on me, I suppose I should not push "kid time" on them. I just think they are missing out on something really special.

--Melissa



--- In [email protected], Sandra Dodd <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> -=- I have seen, again and again, the simple truth that the more a parent plays with, listens to, and includes their child, the better their relationship.
>
> Claire-=-
>

Sandra Dodd

-=-Just as I don't appreciate people pushing "me time" on me, I suppose I should not push "kid time" on them. I just think they are missing out on something really special. -=-

Out in the big world, that's probably a courteous thing to do.

When people come to this discussion, though, pushing kid time on them is the best thing anyone could do. :-)

Sandra

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

plaidpanties666

"JustSayin" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> I think most people feel they need me time because a) some external voice says they do or b) they don't like being with their kids
*******************

There are introverts in the world, though! I definitely find I need some time to recharge my batteries either through solitude or near-solitude. What I found, though, is that I don't need the big chunks of time I thought I did. When my kids were little - especially Ray, who was sooooooo social and could talk almost all day long I learned the difference between "almost all day" and "every single second of the day". I learned to get "me time" in very very short increments - as little as the time it takes for a boy to go pee.

---Meredith

m_aduhene

i have unschooled for 10 years and have had very little time away from my children. but i am at the moment sat in my brothers home in vienna without my children. it was a huge decision to leave them with my husband to come here but my mum needed to see my brother and cannot fly alone. it is me time to some extent and after 10 years it feels kind of nice in some ways to be here alone but i am missing them and thinking of them . i go back on wednesday having been away 6 days and i know i will be VERY glad to see them (oh and my hubby)
blessings
michelle
--- In [email protected], "LauraM" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Yahoo! for both of you and all the people who will benefit in your childs life when he further fully engages in social interactions where all find joy. I agree that there is this absolutely sad concept that me time must be had, at all costs, on a regular schedule, As if it is utterly important. while definately important for ones peace of mind, yes, i think when/ if parents go along mindlessly requiring this time for themselves and not choosing to see the moments of give and take, the moment they *can* give, than once again kids are put off to be independent when it's not necesary.
>
> limits vs. possibilities. it's like rocket science sometimes:-)
>
> ~Laura
>
> --- In [email protected], "hmbpie" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > Today on Facebook a conversation was started about how kids have to go to bed at a certain time so parents can have me time. Other people commented on how they need this time at night so that they can have a healthy relationship with their spouses. Even though I was there in that thought process a mere 11 months ago, reading the thread made me so grateful that I quit thinking these types of limiting thoughts.
> >
> > Last night Austin came in after I had layed down and started watching Star Trek and asked if I would help him cut some stuff. He wanted to cut out stick figures. I could have (and probably would have a year ago) told him this was my time to do what I wanted to do without him. Instead, I flipped over and started cutting out stick figures. After we were done Austin took the stick figures, asked if he could play in the bathroom (which is attached to the bedroom) and play. I said sure. He helped me clean up so I wouldn't trip over boxes or slip on paper in the middle of the night and then turned off the light for me.
> >
> > This morning I woke up and in the bathroom were the stick figure guys hanging on a towel and action figures hanging off cabinet handles. It cracked me up!! I opened up the q-tip box and there was even one in there!
> >
> > I felt very limited when I needed me time. I was needy and restentful when I didn't get it. I'm glad I don't feel I need it nightly anymore. I'm glad I have been able to find the joy in being around Austin even after the sun goes down and find times for myself throughout the day if needed. I'm glad that I can find connection with my husband even when Austin is still awake. It feels so free! I wish I could help everyone feel this free!
> >
>

railyuh

--- In [email protected], "plaidpanties666" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> "JustSayin" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> I think most people feel they need me time because a) some external voice says they do or b) they don't like being with their kids
> *******************
>
> There are introverts in the world, though! I definitely find I need some time to recharge my batteries either through solitude or near-solitude. What I found, though, is that I don't need the big chunks of time I thought I did.
----------------

Yep, another introvert chiming in! My first thought was that I can think of two more reasons. 1) introverts who need "me time" to recharge and 2)in order to pursue a hobby

I agree with Meredith that for the first I don't need big chunks of time. I also may not need it every day, so it isn't like I have to get away from the kids or put them to bed early so I can have that time, but I definitely benefit from some solitude (or near solitude like she said, I know that sometimes if I can spend a few moments knitting in the midst of everything else going on that is a little boost of inner solitude/meditation that helps recharge me).

For the second one I mentioned, this may not apply as much when kids are older or to every hobby, but both my husband and I have hobbies that are difficult to pursue with young kids around (ours are 5 and 2). We do involve our kids in our hobbies as much as possible (for him it is working on motorcyles, for me it is knitting and spinning), so we've got even our youngest turning wrenches and experimenting with my spinning wheel. But at some point if we want to seriously pursue these hobbies then we definitely benefit from pursuing them alone at least some of the time.

Sometimes I get the feeling that it is seen as a negative thing if a parent enjoys or wants time away from their kids. We aren't dropping our kids off to go on vacation alone, or even to go out to dinner. But if my husband wants an afternoon alone in the garage to saw apart pieces of metal, or I want to take one Saturday a month to go to the local spinner's guild we try to make that happen for each other. Maybe this isn't the sort of thing people are talking about when they talk about "me time"? I do like having some time to myself on occasion, but I also flaked out of taking a weekend trip alone this fall because as the date has approached I decided I'd rather have the kids and my husband come with me.

-Annie

Claire

I wrote those words, but now, accompanied by Sandra's beautifully evocative photo of two flowers growing side by side, they take on a life of their own out in the world.

I know words have the power to change people's lives because the collective wisdom I have read here over the past 4 years has transformed my life and my children's lives in profound ways.

Claire

Sandra Dodd

-=-
I wrote those words, but now, accompanied by Sandra's beautifully evocative photo of two flowers growing side by side, they take on a life of their own out in the world.-=-

Thanks.

It's was a Holly photo, something she sent me last summer because I was missing all the day lily activity at our house. It seemed a good, peaceful match. Another side-by-side article that might go with all that set of ideas is http://sandradodd.com/truck


As to "me time" and doing things kids can't do, I was sewing today, with pins and needles and scissors all over the place, but there were several years when I had toddlers and that was just too dangerous. If I wanted to sew something (a medieval costume for a child, for instance), I would work on it when they were asleep and put my supplies away carefully). Mostly, I didn't sew. It was more important to be with them.

Keith and I switched out on doing things without kids for an hour or two, or a day or two. A couple of times we both went somewhere (once we took Marty) and left the kids with an adult or family they really liked and trusted, some of the time at our house rather than elsewhere.

Balance is important here. Sometimes a while away won't hurt. Neither always nor never are the way to go. It depends on the temperament of the kids an their emotional state, their age, the parents' ability to get back in an emergency---lots of things.

Sandra

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Sandra Dodd

I was going to send this back to the author for repair, but I fumbled the rejection and lost the address. Sorry. However this was composed had other characters in it and I was going to send it back for cleanup. But I cleaned it up myself. :-/ Joanne (I don't know which Joanne;sorry), please don't use whatever program (Word?) next time. Or maybe you were using some kind of e-mail fancy-font??

This thread has been really helpful for me!
And I appreciate Meredith writing here about introverts too. I am an introvert
and have always needed at least a little time of solitude BUT what I have
learned here and on other unschooling lists is that I do NOT need the huge
chunks I always thought I did. In fact, I am slowly learning to recharge with
the little moments here and there.

I was also just thinking that this whole "me time" thing really has probably
grown out of the schooling culture. I mean, from such a young age, so many of
us had other tell us what to do with our time. This happened to me with school
and later with work and I realize that I built up this idea in my head that I
never had enough time for me. Enough time to do the things *I* wanted to do.
So I jealously guarded it and found what I did get never felt like enough. I
would hoarde it. And I think I went into parenthood with this idea too.

BUT now I get it. And it is really such a small shift I needed to make. Yay!

Joanne

--- On Sun, 8/14/11, plaidpanties666 <[email protected]> wrote:


From: plaidpanties666 <[email protected]>
Subject: [AlwaysLearning] Re: Me Time
To: [email protected]
Date: Sunday, August 14, 2011, 12:45 PM


Â



"JustSayin" <[email protected]> wrote:
>> I think most people feel they need me time because a) some external voice
says they do or b) they don't like being with their kids
*******************

There are introverts in the world, though! I definitely find I need some time to
recharge my batteries either through solitude or near-solitude. What I found,
though, is that I don't need the big chunks of time I thought I did. When my
kids were little - especially Ray, who was sooooooo social and could talk almost
all day long I learned the difference between "almost all day" and "every single
second of the day". I learned to get "me time" in very very short increments -
as little as the time it takes for a boy to go pee.

---Meredith



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]