Time Out for Self: Things One Can Still Enjoy Even Now that Children Are Here

Sometimes we think about the past and emotion comes over us.  We think about the good times and bad before the little ones arrived.  We remember falling in love, letting our guard down, and before long there is a baby, then another, a third, a fourth or for you, more!  Then when those free moments to catch our breath show up, sometimes we find ourselves doing for partners and children.  Yet, what might you have done differently before the little people showed up and what could you do now that they are here to make life better for you?

Prior to children, these were things that I should have taken advantage of, but didn't.

1.  Enjoy time alone.  It isn't necessary to fill one's free time with chatter.  Listen to the birds, enjoy a fresh breeze, look around you, and sit back and welcome quiet.  The temptation to want company can be so overwhelming that you prematurely let people in your life that were not meant to be.

2. Visit the places that interest you.  Making promises to self like, "One day I will visit..." but never do.  Now you wish to do those things.  Take the time to do what you really want to do.  The more you put off your needs, the more likely you will grow to resent everyone and anything that you feel keeps getting in the way of what you really want to do.

3.  Read a book, an article or blog (not related to self-help or family issues) daily.  Some people wish to start reading again, yet hated it after college because they read so much back then.  Find something that really interests you--search for something you always wanted to know but never bothered to because of all your studying in the past.  Too much self-help and family periodicals can make one feel burdened.

4.  Cherish time with family and friends.  Too often we say we are busy, but could we cut back on all the activity and just make a phone call we kept putting off, write a letter, send an email, or do something that just tells others, "I still care, you are in my thoughts and prayers."

5.  Treat your body to a fresh hairstyle, a nice addition to your wardrobe, exercise, proper eating while seeking out other ways to keep it running smoothly!  You may have ran around alot in the past without a care and now with children you are doing the same.

6.  Take up a hobby related to your dream.  Maybe you didn't become what you really wanted in life, but you don't have to give your dream up entirely.  Search for opportunities, lessons, and other things in your local area related to your dream and go visit!

These were the things that sometimes I think back and say to self, "When the urge was there to go and do, you should have!  When friends called to go out, you should have!  When people wanted to do nice things for you, you should have!  When you passed those cool stores, you should have went in!  When you were told to "Take it slow..." you should have!"  However, when these thoughts come to mind, I shut them down nowadays with, "I will..." then I make an effort to do.

Nicholl McGuire

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