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Alone Time


Living in a small house with four young children means that there is a bit of a balancing act between allowing some chaos, yet learning to stay sane—a challenge for someone like me who tends to prefer quietness. And then, when there is that craved silence in the house that comes when John takes the kids out, or when they are all bedded down for the night, all the tasks that need doing raise their voices, shouting at me to tend to them. So, if I want a bit of sanity when there is the noise of the children or chores, I take myself into the back garden.

When I was writing for Liberti magazine, I wrote an article on my alone time: that sacred time that I would hoist my pregnant self out of bed, throw on some clothes, grab my Bible and an apple, and take myself down to the riverside for some peace and reflection before I had to jump into my day, all systems go. Well, since having wee Nia, who is a joy and a delight, but doesn’t always give me all the precious sleep I need, I have found getting out of bed earlier than I absolutely need to is impracticable.  Rather than mourn my lost ‘alone time’ that I enjoyed every day, I had to come up with a new plan to make things work. That’s something I’ve found out about motherhood— children are constantly moving into different stages and I need to be willing to change the out-workings of our life rhythms without losing the essence of the rhythms themselves. So, realising that I would go mad without some quiet inserted into my day, I began to contemplate my options.

It took quite some time, actually, but I’ve finally found something that is working for me—at the moment at least! I make it a point to take a half hour or so out in the back garden to sit and breathe for a while. Then I gather up my tea or coffee (whatever I’m in the mood for) and my Bible or journal and enjoy my alone time—sweet time out:-). Sure, sometimes I’m disturbed by the kids, but I try to do it when they are occupied with something where I won’t be needed; and I try not to let myself be stressed over the little interruptions. As I breathe, I slow down, pulling myself out of the hectic pace of housework, feeding kids, and the school run and into a place of enjoyment and awareness. Sometimes it takes a while, but I let myself take pleasure in doing nothing—in being. Guilt doesn’t come into it, because I know I’ll emerge on the other side feeling refreshed and energized, ready to take on the next thing. It’s amazing how a bit of time out brings perspective!

7 Responses to “Alone Time”

  1. Jessica
    May 25th, 2011 14:09

    wow! i’m impressed at the time you’ve managed to carve out for yourself. i’m learning to do that with the 2 children, but really have to watch i don’t spend my alone time doing the housework. miss you!

  2. Rachel
    May 29th, 2011 04:41

    That’s why I go OUTSIDE! If I stay inside, all I see is the housework! Lol:-)

  3. Beth Goff
    May 31st, 2011 15:46

    I’m impressed….with 4 little ones you are doing great. I used to have to create times for myself, too, when you guys were little. One was when I allowed you 1 hour of ‘kids’ TV in the a.m.and another was when I had supper in the oven and Dave came home, I’d go for a walk by myself. Of course there was the ‘amazing quiet time’ I created for you guys….often was a reading time for me…..and for you….great for all of us. One thing I know, you have to create it…it won’t just happen.

  4. Bri
    June 13th, 2011 12:49

    “I need to be willing to change the out-workings of our life rhythms without losing the essence of the rhythms themselves.”

    YES. THIS.

    Beautiful post, friend.

  5. Rachel
    June 13th, 2011 14:41

    Thanks Bri xo

  6. Susana Clancy
    June 18th, 2011 21:32

    Rachel, It is so important as a young mother to do just that…I used to drop my kids off at the Goodnows every afternoon and ride my horse. Maybe John remembers them. Without that time alone I may have ended up in the Loonie Bin…hahah

  7. Rachel
    June 20th, 2011 15:59

    That’s funny, Susana… the loonie bin indeed! Hardly… but so nice to have such good friends to help out!

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