Let me tell you a story…
You are in the middle of running up your checkbook...taking a cat nap, resting after not sleeping the night before...folding laundry…
Your child comes in begging you to play a game with him...paint her nails…order that hoodie you’ve been talking about.
You say “I’m busy right now”...
They begin to tell you how mean you are and how you never do anything for them.
They cry or throw a tantrum and say you don’t love them.
You feel hurt and sad that they would say these things.
You immediately get upset.
You eventually give in.
You play a game with your child and then stress about how you were unable to finish working on the bills or maybe you feel resentful that you never get a minute to yourself and you are soooo tired.
Day after day you find yourself feeling unappreciated and that no one is considerate of what you need.
And All YOU need is…
5 minutes alone in the bathroom!
To be able to pee in peace!
To eat a brownie all by yourself so you can oh and ah over it with no judgement!
To sing as loud as you want
To dance 90’s style without someone telling you to stop
To talk to adults about adult things without filtering it or using code words
To hear total silence for 60 solid seconds...
What Your Child/Teen Needs…
To learn how to be considerate of others
To learn to entertain themselves
To learn the world does not revolve around them
To learn that they won’t die if they don’t have someone entertaining them at all times.
Mama! It is not your job to make sure your child or teen is happy 100%!!!!!!!
In fact, you are doing them a disservice if you create an atmosphere where they expect to be happy 100%!
Your child/teen needs to learn how to manage boredom or loneliness and find ways to soothe and entertain themselves.
One day they will be all grown up, and they will find a time where they are all alone and they won’t be able to deal. They won’t understand that no one has time to entertain them. They won’t know what to do with downtime because they are so used to being entertained and provided for during the day as they grow up and they expect that life is that way. They won’t be able to cope with times that are not as fun and happy. And let’s face it, life is not unicorns and rainbows! It gets real and it gets hard ALOT.
They will be very disappointed…
And they won’t have the tools to deal with this.
They will be anxious or depressed because they don’t realize that lonely isn’t always a bad thing and quiet is nurturing too.
Train your children to handle moments when you are tired…
Need alone time…
Need adult conversation…
Teach them to find activities they like to do on their own.
Teach them how to enjoy downtime too.
With younger children, you can model this by setting a timer and giving them an activity to do while you are doing an activity on your own. You can even have “quiet time” where mom reads her book and your child reads or looks at pictures in their book quietly.
For older kids, help them to choose from a couple of activities they enjoy doing. And if they choose instead to throw a fit or pout, simply direct them to choose that option where you don’t have to look at it. Because, it’s their choice to pout if they want, but you don’t have to choose to watch it.
By making time for yourself, you are teaching them:
How to be considerate of others’ time
That the world does not revolve around them 100%
How to self-regulate when they are feeling disappointed, bored, or lonely
I encourage you a lot to spend time with your children doing activities together and having family time, but you also have to make time to take care of you. Even if it’s just 5 minutes alone in the bathroom! If you are spending adequate time with your children and nurturing them through family activities and supportive conversations, then you are doing your job to provide love. But you do not have to sacrifice every moment of your day to do this. Part of your job is to train them to be productive, caring, kind, and efficient human beings. Giving them all of your attention at all times is not a realistic lesson for them to learn about life.
Tell me if you struggle in this area and 1 thing you WILL do to start taking a little time for you.