How do you take time for yourself and refill your cup? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 28 Old 09-09-2009, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you have very young children at home and perhaps even WOH, how do you find/make time to fill your cup?

How do you persuade your dh or family to give you the time and space you need to do so?


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#2 of 28 Old 09-09-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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I care for my kids during the day and WAH during naps/evenings/weekends. I'm quite introverted, so spending time alone is important to me, but luckily I've never needed to persuade DH to give me that time.

For us, we value:

1) Family time
2) One-on-one time between each parent/child
3) Couple time
4) Alone time

...so we ensure that all of those things happen at least once a week (most of them happen much more frequently than that), and no one has to feel guilty for making space in our family schedule for time for themselves.

During my alone time, I do stuff like go for walks, go to a cafe with a crossword puzzle, go to coffee or a movie with a friend, get in the tub with a book, etc.

During DH's alone time, he does stuff like go running, go hit golf balls, go to dinner or a baseball game with a friend, etc.

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#3 of 28 Old 09-09-2009, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds great Limabean.

I think our problem is that dh resents when I take time even though we have discussions about why it's important, etc. and he agrees. But then the time comes and all I hear for days after is about how tired he is, how hard it is, etc. When he needs a break I urge him to take one, join a team or something. He'll say he needs it but doesn't actually do anything about it.


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#4 of 28 Old 09-09-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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It's definitely easier now that our kids are older. My parents actually took the kids for a whole weekend and my husband and I went out of town. Our oldest is 12(the other two are 9 and 6)...so we had to wait that many years before we got time away as a couple.
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#5 of 28 Old 09-09-2009, 11:14 PM
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nak in the dark

Your dh sounds like me. I resent it ;ike crazy when dh takes time alone. What we finally did was a schedule - he gets tue, I get thu, can be changed for a particular event. I do a lot of the things limabean does for my time off. DH likes to go out with friends. We also agreed that tit for tat was a horrible way to think about it and that both of us DESERVE time off. That helped me a lot.
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#6 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 08:38 AM
 
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I work.

I get to work in the mornings and collapse into my chair. I relish being able to go to the bathroom alone and not worry about leaving the kids by themselves for five minutes. And having a nice hot cup of coffee. And I tell myself that my kids are growing so fast they will be off and playing with their friends before I know it, and I will wonder where the heck my babies went!
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#7 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 08:49 AM
 
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My kids are older (well for a little bit longer anyway ) and so I have plenty of time to go out and do what I want alone each day or get computer time in. I also get in hot baths almost every evening, something I have to do for my sanity. And I get in time alone after everyone else has gone to bed each evening.

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#8 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds great Mamas.

And I hear you about working, Barbie64g.

SactoMommy - it's good to know you can see eye to eye on this now. Unfortunately we keep going in circles about this issue, he knows and understands that we all need a break to be better parents, etc. but still keeps me on a short leash. Of course when I call him on it he denies it. Whatever! I guess I'll just have to take the time on occassion and then, if he's feeling tired, insist that he take time for himself too.


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#9 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 09:35 AM
 
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I often stay up late, get up for a few hours in the middle of the night, or get up before the kids and DH are up. That way, I get a few hours with the whole house to myself.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#10 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Julie don't you get tired during the day if you're up for a few hours in the middle of the night?


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#11 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 09:55 AM
 
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Julie don't you get tired during the day if you're up for a few hours in the middle of the night?
No, not if I'm careful about how I do it.

For example, for awhile DH was working away from us and the time change was four hours. I would put the kids to bed and fall asleep with them, basically nap from 8pm until midnight, get up fresh and have a few hours to myself and some time to talk to DH on the phone, and then I'd go back to bed and sleep from 3am to 8am.

Like I said though, I don't always do this. If I fall asleep with the kids at 8pm and sleep for a solid 8 or 9 hours I'll wake up several hours before the kids have some time to myself in the morning.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#12 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 10:22 AM
 
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I take a couple nights a month to do things I enjoy doing. I love seeing live music so if there is a good band in town my mom will watch DS for a few hours while I'm out. Or I'll go out with some girlfriends after DS goes to bed and dp stays home. Dp sounds much like your DH. I offer time and time again to watch Ds while he goes out or for the two of us to get some alone time but he never takes me up on it. I, however, need to hit recharge every once in a while and don't feel guilty doing so. I also WOH but it's a very busy, physically taxing job and it's not very relaxing (though I love it so).

Explain to your family why you need some time to yourself. See if you can also get some time for you and your DH to have a couples night (or day). Maybe he would be up for that and be less resentful when you need some "you" time?

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#13 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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When I had young children, there were several ways for me to renew myself.

During the day I'd often take time to read a book, surf the internet, or work on a craft project while I was in the same room as my kids.

I'd stay up late at night.

I found that spending time with friends helped me to feel happier, so I'd plan playdates or go to playgroups a few days/week.

I'd go out in the evening. For awhile I went to the gym most days after dinner. When I fell out of the gym habit, I still went out AT LEAST one evening each week. I'd go grocery shopping, to Target, to the library, to a LLL meeting, meet up with friends, etc. It was never really an issue with my DH. I told him why I thought it was important for me to have time to myself, and also that he got a chance to parent the kids solo sometimes. DH and I have always had a respectful relationship, so it wasn't a problem.

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#14 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 11:17 AM
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Sounds great Mamas.

And I hear you about working, Barbie64g.

SactoMommy - it's good to know you can see eye to eye on this now. Unfortunately we keep going in circles about this issue, he knows and understands that we all need a break to be better parents, etc. but still keeps me on a short leash. Of course when I call him on it he denies it. Whatever! I guess I'll just have to take the time on occassion and then, if he's feeling tired, insist that he take time for himself too.
For a while (and I don't know what it was that made me feel this way), when DH would ask for time off, I would feel like he wanted to get away from me. This was in the first part of our marriage. Maybe your DH feels like he's not getting enough time with you and that's why he doesn't like it when you go out.

Just a thought.
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#15 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 11:33 AM
 
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I'm a single mom, so I've always had to find ways to create my space and refill my cup with the kids around.

I used to make a little space in the day, when they were happy playing, to do something fun for myself (read, talk to a friend, do a craft).

I put them to bed early so I'd have a couple hours to myself to read, work on things or just watch a movie.

I'd get together with friends with kids so we could visit while the kids played.

I'd incorporate a way for the kids to participate in things that I love and things that nurture me.
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#16 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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Until DS was 4 and DD was 2, my "off" time was when I was at work! OK, exaggerating a bit. If I was overwhelmed, I would tell DH I was overwhelmed, and then tell him concretely exactly what I was going to do, and then I did it. That's it. Like "DH, I am burnt out and need space. I am going to dinner and a movie tonight with Joan. I'm leaving at 5:30." And then I did. I tried to give him some advanced notice, but it wasn't an option. It just was, kwim? He gave the kids dinner, bath, put them to bed. He was free to do the same. I'd say now that the kids are nearly 3 and nearly 5, I am less overwhelmed, but I also have more time. I go out 2 or 3 times a month. DH only goes out about 1 night.
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#17 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Sounds great Limabean.

I think our problem is that dh resents when I take time even though we have discussions about why it's important, etc. and he agrees. But then the time comes and all I hear for days after is about how tired he is, how hard it is, etc. When he needs a break I urge him to take one, join a team or something. He'll say he needs it but doesn't actually do anything about it.
That's hard. It sounds like he's able to understand the validity of your need when you guys talk about it out of the heat of the moment. Maybe during one of those calm talks, you can agree to set aside a specific time each week for each of you to be able to count on as your own, where you can do whatever you want without being questioned/hassled by the other. So like Saturday mornings you'd get a few hours, and Tuesday evenings he'd get a few hours, or whatever.

Then when Saturday morning rolls around and you say, "Okay, I'm taking off -- I'll be back around 11" and he starts to huff and puff about it, you can just calmly say, "I know it's hard. Tuesday will be here before you know it!" and cheerfully leave.

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#18 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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For the most part I grocery shop by myself for at least an hour once a week on the weekend and leave the kids with DH. I deal with any resentment I get from DH and gently remind him that it is the only "me" time I get if you can call grocery shopping me time lol

A few times a year I do special things like go out with my Mom for dinner or a movie with my sister. The last time I went I talked with DH beforehand and told him that if he was feeling any of those things to keep them to himself because it interferes with my enjoyment of the very little time I do get to myself.
I also encourage DH to take time for himself as well.

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#19 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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If you have very young children at home and perhaps even WOH, how do you find/make time to fill your cup?

How do you persuade your dh or family to give you the time and space you need to do so?
Hey Limabean,

Do both of your kids nap still? I'm sure the 1.5 year old does, but does the 4 year old?

If not, here's what I do: I babysit a 3.5 year old, have a 4 year old that is not in jk and have clients children over for coaching and plain old fun regularly.

Everyone in our house has quiet time in the afternoon. Everyone in their own room being quiet for an hour. I work or meditate during this time. Often, everyone falls asleep and I get two hours out of it.

At four, your little one is able to understand that you need some quiet time even if he/she (?) doesn't and that staying in their room for an hour is part of the routine.

Guarantee yourself at least an hour everyday and meditate or something. It's priceless! (Okay, there are the days when DS is coming out to ask me 700 questions but those days are rare.)

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#20 of 28 Old 09-11-2009, 03:27 AM
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I'll take ds to the gym and put him in their daycare for 45 min. He does ok, I know its not his favorite place, but he usually does alright. That way I can get in a workout.

I also go to the park and run with him in the stroller (I consider this 'me' time in a way because he's usually content during the run and I don't have to stop).

Otherwise I'll ask dh to be home during naptime on the weekends so I can lay out by the pool and get some sun by myself. (this way its not technically work for DH).

Or, in a rare instance I'll just call our babysitter/nanny. Its worth it for me to pay for an hour of sanity, even if I just stay home and read or pay bills or whatever!
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#21 of 28 Old 09-11-2009, 07:11 AM
 
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Surfacing, if your husband gets all grumpy when you do something, what would happen if you got a babysitter(even though he's home)? Maybe a couple of times of that and he'd feel silly to complain about how tired he is? Probably not the nicest, most straight-forward thing to do, but just a thought...
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#22 of 28 Old 09-11-2009, 03:41 PM
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I get up early and have time with DH before he goes to work. I have alone time between then and when the kids get up (usually around an hour/hour and a half).
If things don't go wrong the children nap together and I have some free time then too.
But sometimes I nap as well lately since I haven't been sleeping well at night and need the extra sleep in to get through the day.
If I need to 'get out of the house alone' I go for a walk in the park after DH is home and the kids are in bed but normally that's our (DH and I) time together so usually we do something together rather than me go out on my own. SOMETIMES it's nice though, because I love to walk at night.
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#23 of 28 Old 09-11-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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I agree about work...sometimes it's nice to know you're guaranteed an uninterrupted lunch! ;-)

I try to squeeze in short bits of time for myself here and there...like I'll stay up for a little while after DS goes to bed, get up a little earlier than he and DH, read/sleep/goof off during his naps on the weekends. DH always takes DS for a few hours on Sunday mornings, so I know I'll have that time to myself. I consider it essential to my well-being.

DH has been great about the Sunday morning time with DS, but I've always had a problem getting him to understand that I have almost a physical need for my alone time. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't have that need, but my view is that your spouse doesn't always have to understand or agree with something...they just have to love you enough to do it because it's important to you.

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#24 of 28 Old 09-14-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
If you have very young children at home and perhaps even WOH, how do you find/make time to fill your cup?

How do you persuade your dh or family to give you the time and space you need to do so?
Apparently, my time to "fill my cup" takes place between 6:15-7:45 am (while I'm at PT), then again at 9:00-11:30 am (while I'm at work) then more at 1:00-5:00 pm (again at work after lunch). As soon as I hit the back door (which we use instead of the front), I'm on mommy-mode. Cause we all know that I've got oodles of time for myself at work : and my 5-minute commute is my destressor time.

Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I've had me-time, as defined as having the house to myself. I was so excited to come home the other day to have the house to myself. DH and the kids beat me home .
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#25 of 28 Old 09-14-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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I don't. We're in a place where we don't know anyone, and DH works a crazy shift, and he also has some major health problems that are complicating things. It's been all about me doing for everyone else, and it'll be this way for a while.
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#26 of 28 Old 09-14-2009, 07:57 AM
 
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Working helps keep me sane. I teach part time and by the end of the summer I'm going nuts because I miss it so much. DD still naps 2-3 hours a day, so I have some quiet time then, and I usually stay up 1-2 hours after she goes to bed.

We have a great network of friends and when we all get together the kids can mostly go play on their own and we can hang out and talk. There are 4 of us families that try to get together every few weeks, and then other social gatherings too. DH is able to get time completely to himself more easily than I am somehow. The men-folk of close friends get together sometimes after the moms are putting the kids to bed, and then the moms are at home with sleeping kids while they are hanging out somewhere. They also manage to get out to concerts and stuff WAY more often than the moms. DD has observed that only dads go to concerts, not mamas. I've been trying, really! But something always comes up!

I actually set my alarm for 6:00 today so I could get showered and some things done before dd wakes up because we have a busy day today. I usually wake up when she does. I am really enjoying this quiet early morning time, though--maybe I'll do this more often!
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#27 of 28 Old 09-14-2009, 10:14 AM
 
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I think our problem is that dh resents when I take time even though we have discussions about why it's important, etc. and he agrees. But then the time comes and all I hear for days after is about how tired he is, how hard it is, etc. When he needs a break I urge him to take one, join a team or something. He'll say he needs it but doesn't actually do anything about it.
I used to feel guilty about taking time for myself when it caused more work for DH. I refuse to anymore. I'm a much better wife and mother when I'm not a mental wreck. The two things that have worked the best so far is to go for a morning walk each morning and to have some work-out time after the kids are in bed.

Until recently, our DD2 was staying up way too late and it was really cutting into my down time. It just got to be too much so we started to be much more consistent about having her in bed with the other kids at 8:30. Things are so much better now, I can really relax in the evenings.

I also go to a ladies sewing circle with my 10 year old DD each Saturday evening. I find that this does a lot to recharge my batteries.

Gillian - Wife to an amazing DH, Mother to 5 wonderful kiddos.
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#28 of 28 Old 09-14-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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My children are still little (1 and 3). They both nap in the afternoon, and I use at least one hour of that time for just *quiet*, whatever I want time. Sometimes that's vegging in front of Top Chef.

They go to bed fairly early (7:30ish), so the evenings are couple time for us.

I get up with dh at 5:00. As my one year old transitions to one nap, he is sleeping later, so I have that quiet time in the mornings to myself (dh leaves at 6; sometimes the boys sleep until 7).

Rarely (once or twice a year), I go out shopping all day with my mom. Occasionally, I'll go out with friends at night. But, that's a lot of effort, I find. My friends all want to meet at 7, which is right at bedtime (but long before for most of my friends' children go to sleep). If I'm home then, the boys want me to put them to bed, so that delays me getting out of the house, and I'm always late to meet up. Plus, really, during the week, 10:00 is VERY late for me to stay up just to chit chat.
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afinemess , agentofchaos , cadence.clair , Deborah , Dovenoir , Fluffer , healthy momma , hillymum , Holisticitems , Janeen0225 , JElaineB , katelove , Kelleybug , lhargrave89 , lisak1234 , moominmamma , mumto1 , redsally , RollerCoasterMama , samaxtics , shantimama , Skippy918 , sren , zebra15 , zoeyzoo
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.