On Saturday, I took a couple of hours out of my day just to be. It’s something I try to do a few times a week but hadn’t been able to, due to my three boys being at home for their spring school holidays. I love all three of them to bits and they are super kids. They are also early risers, full of energy and loud. And, for my sense of wellbeing, I need peace and quiet, at least from time to time.
When they were babies and much younger (my youngest is now five years-old) I didn’t mind so much. Maybe I was just too exhausted and focused on getting through those lovely but long days? Maybe I was satisfied ‘just’ being a Mum and being the centre of their lives? Now they are past those intense years, I have more energy and know they, too, are better off having long breaks from me, with their father, or their grandparents, or their friends. So, I hopped in the car and headed for the beach.
It’s early spring here, in New Zealand. It was a warm day here, in Hawkes Bay. Here, in Napier, there were a lot of people out enjoying the playgrounds, parks and boardwalk. I bought myself a hot-chocolate and sat looking out over yachts and fishing-boats, mountains almost devoid of snow were in the distance. I found a sofa near a window and just….sat.
No-one called my name. No-one climbed on me. No-one wanted food, or clothes, or stories. It was wonderful. Incredibly, to me, though, I struggled to sit for longer than 10 minutes or so. Being on the go, and eating and drinking on the run, has become a habit over the past almost 13 years. I felt compelled to get up and get moving.
I strolled, yes, strolled along the boardwalk for about half an hour until I reached sand and the ocean. There were a lot of people biking and a few jogging. People were walking their dogs and dogs were walking their people. The sailing club had something on; there were a lot of small yachts out on the water. The playground was full. The beach was about as crowded as it gets here.
I took off my shoes, sunk my toes in the cold sand for a few minutes, then wandered down to the water and stood where the waves were washing and receding. I wasn’t there for long but it was enough. Sand, sea, sun, spring-breeze all combined to clear my cobwebs and restore my sense of inner-peace. I eventually wandered back to the car and headed home with a wonderful sense of calm and me-ness.
How do you take time-out from parenting? Do you get to do it often?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand. Photo credit to the author.