Have you ever wondered if you’re the only person that finds it nearly impossible to use the bathroom alone? I mean, I can lock the door and the kids will still find a way to get in there. It used to scare me when I was taking a nice steamy shower and lost in my own thoughts and then a voice would sound outside the door.
But now, after 18 years and 3 kids (plus hubby), I’m totally accustomed to being interrupted while using the bathroom, taking a bath, or lathering up in the shower. One time…and you won’t believe this…there were 5 additional people in the bathroom while I was in the shower! What? Yep. I was in the shower and my toddler came in to use the potty. I mean, who am I to stop a potty-training toddler from making it happen, right? Then, big sister come in “to sit with him and read him a story” at the same time. Okay.
I keep going with my shower business. Now, hubby walks in and begins to brush his teeth or something at the sink. This is getting slightly ridiculous at this point. But…wait…my teenager decides to pop her head in to ask me a very important question about something that definitely couldn’t wait until I’d had a chance to finish shaving my legs.
So, that’s only 4… oh yeah, did I forget to mention that my Mom stopped by for a visit and came upstairs to see where everyone was because nobody was downstairs? Wow!
It was after this that I realized that I needed to come up with some Mommy and Me time that included only Me…the Mommy!
If you’re struggling to find alone time, it is probably a sign that you need alone time. To gather your thoughts, to get lost in oblivion of a nice relaxing bath/shower, to have creative thoughts, to simply enjoy the silence. You remember that, don’t you? Silence.
Well, here are 5 steps to creating that quiet time again. Try these and see if they work for you. I’d love to hear how you’re doing.
Step #1 Distract Your Kids
So, these little people are easily distracted. After all, when you sit down to eat a meal, don’t they always want to jump up before they are finished? Or, if you start them on a cleaning project, don’t they get distracted before all the work is done? I know that my kids can be easily distracted at almost any given time. Well, the same thing works when you need alone time. Find something that they enjoy and distract them with it. I recommend an animated movie.
Step #2 Ask Hubby to Help
That’s what he’s here for! Ask him to step up and work on the distraction. He helped create these little ones, he can certainly take 15 or 20 minutes of duty per day to help you clear your mind and refresh your soul (or just to wash your hair—we’re not picky).
Step #3 Hire a Babysitter
If hubby is out of town or unavailable, or if you need help, hire a babysitter. It may sound silly, but you can get a neighborhood teen or a friend to help out for just a few dollars. In fact, if money is an object, ask another parent who has children the same or similar age to take them for an hour and then you offer to take their kids for an hour in repayment. Make it a babysitting exchange.
Step #4 Practice Mindfulness
When you do find the time to be alone (even if it is only 5 minutes) you should practice true silence and relaxation. I recommend easy meditations, hypnosis, or just sitting completely still and silent and listening to your own breathing. Slow breathing, open mind, drop your worries for just a few minutes. It will do wonders for your mood and stress level.
Step #5: Actively Seek Alone Time
Finding time to be alone (whether it is in the bathroom or otherwise) can be difficult. And, even though it may seem like a hassle to seek it out, it is well worth it. Being connected to your family is wonderful. But, we all need at least a few moments a day to ourselves. Don’t forget that your self-care must be a part of your day. Don’t neglect this time that is truly important to your well-being and your sanity!
I hope you’ll give these methods a try.
P.S. If you’re struggling with stress, check out my program “Laugh More. Yell Less.” Now available at my Mom Life Shop here.