October 23, 2014

Space - Taking Time for Myself

Space is such a tricky thing for me.  I crave it, yet I get very antsy if I get too much of it.  When I'm alone, I tend to fill my time with noise - which is actually the opposite of what I need.  I think quiet makes me nervous now that I'm used to the constant laughter, fighting, whining, playing, stomping, screaming life with four kids.

But, I know I need the space.

I need to think, breathe, pray and work on the things that I have to get done to keep my life in order.

It is so hard to take time for ourselves as moms.  With four littles, believe me, I know this to be true.  For me, I've found that the best way to find this time is to have my kids on a schedule.  Bedtimes are extremely important in our family, and always have been.  This gives us time to talk as a couple and indulge in some of our personal hobbies.

I also try to include the children in everything I do.  Of course, some take more interest in specific tasks than others.  Cooking and baking are two loves of mine.  Right now, Anna and Holden are right at my hip every time I am in the kitchen.  Cash and Stone don't have a lot of interest in cooking, but I try to meet them where they are... for Stone that's shooting hoops, for Cash it's reading.

For our family, it works best when our kids are involved in everything we do.  I don't crave time away from my kids, but I do crave time to sort things out on my own.  We developed a very limited TV policy when our kids were young, which has given our kids the opportunity to build strong interests and create spaces for imaginative exploration.  Especially now that they are a bit older (8, 6, 6 and 5 to be exact), I can easily carve out a bit of time for myself in a 30 minute block.

How does your family find their rhythm and balance?  How do you make time for yourself at your child's age and stage?

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