When we have to go to the doctor, we make the time. If the check engine light comes on in our car, we get it to the shop. When we have some lucrative business opportunity, we find time to make it happen. Kids take up so much of our time, but there’s room–we always manage to make room.
Except, it seems, when it comes to making space for quiet time with ourselves.
“How inexplicable it seems,” Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes in her book Gift from the Sea (a must read!), “If one sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude, egotistical or strange.”
As parents our mental health–or as we’ve called it before, our mental *wealth–*must be protected. We must carve out time for solitude and personal time. Stillness is the Key, (another recommended book, obviously!) not just to performance on the basketball court or in the boardroom, but also at home.
We don’t want to be fried or frustrated with our children. Which means we must find ways to cultivate and practice stillness. For one person that could be a long run in the mornings. For another it could be a yoga class. Maybe it’s a few minutes in a cold plunge for you (also recommend). For another it could be journaling or a guided meditation session (here’s one on Stoicism). It could be many things…but it has to be something.
Make time for it. You not only deserve it, but you need it. Your family needs it too.