This Is Us Season 2 starts next week. Yay! But do you remember in the Season 1 finale? There was a moment when Rebecca screamed at Jack, “I am forty years old and I have no life!”
Have you ever had one of those moments? I’m guessing probably yes. I think we all have. You know the one. The moment when you wake up one morning and realize that you can’t even answer basic questions about yourself. What do I like? What do I want to do?
Early stages of motherhood are pretty much all consuming. Finding me time can be a challenge. But parenting has different stages. Like now, when the kids are older, they can look after themselves, for the most part. I cannot think of a single, texting, game-playing teen who is incapable of operating a microwave oven. Or setting an alarm. Or washing their own soccer uniform.
I know this is hard to imagine, but you do not have to do everything. Nope. No. You don’t. Nuh-uh.
Try it out. Take it in small steps. Leave dinner in microwavable containers. Tape instructions to the washer, just in case they forgot. Close the door on their bedroom if the mess bothers you. One less thing to fuss about equals more time for you.
Get up and out early for a walk. Car pool for soccer practice.
I’m not suggesting that you give up every minute with your kids, if you love watching soccer practice, go and enjoy it. Take that time to chat with your friends on the sidelines. Or listen to a book or music. Bring a thermos of tea and enjoy the time. That counts. We are multitaskers at heart, after all, right?
It takes time to regain yourself. And “yourself” may be someone different. Maybe spending six months in an ashram is no longer as important to you, as it was B.C. (Before Children). Find your new self.
Spend time with yourself. Find out what YOU like. Spend a few afternoons in the library. Check out the different sections. Hangout and read for a couple of hours.
Try creating a vision board.
Find a hobby or a class you want to take. What about all those snaps on your phone? Maybe the photographer in you would emerge with a little attention?
Brush up on your Italian and plan a trip to Tuscany next summer.
Sit on a park bench and just stare out into the distance. Daydream. Let your thoughts go where they will. If they float off to your to do list, rein them in gently. Maybe try a guided meditation tape next time.
Get to know yourself and learn to enjoy your own company. Time with friends is important, but you are who you will spend most of your time with. Be nice to you. Take yourself out for a scenic drive. Grab a coffee and your favourite magazine and go sit in the garden.
It’s easy to lose yourself and finding yourself again can be hard. It will take time and you will meet with resistance. Perhaps from your own family, but more likely from yourself. Guilt is a might resistor. Find ways to overcome guilt when it rears itself. Know that being good to yourself will make you a better person. This is important. You may stumble or fall back a bit, but just pick up and move on.
Schedule me time and stick to it like glue. Protect that time. It’s precocious. It is precious, but it’s essential, too.
What about you? What are you doing to find yourself? What’s your favourite me time thing? Tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear your story.