Me time, or as I call it, “Liz time.” Have I ever mentioned I’m a fan? Lately, I’ve been doing a better job making time for myself. Not everyone has been happy about that.
Case in point: I recently planned a last-minute night out with a friend. We had some good news to celebrate, so I quickly started calling around to find a sitter for my boys. Fortunately I was able to find someone on short notice, thanks to my growing list of sitters. (Can I just say, for those of you reading who have young children, that having people you trust to watch your kids occasionally is one of the keys to happy parenting?)
So when my boys came home from school that day, I told them that I would be going out for a few hours that night and a sitter was coming. My oldest son was not happy. Actually, he had a meltdown. He was mad that I was going out. He was mad that a sitter was coming. “I’m almost 9! I don’t need a babysitter,” he said. But if I was going out, he wanted to come too. He cried. He slammed his door. It was awful.
I tried to reason with him. I explained that grownups need to spend time with other grownups sometimes. I explained that he gets to see his friends during the day at school, but I don’t often see my friends during the day and that’s why I occasionally go out at night with them. I would have been better off talking to the wall because what I was selling, he wasn’t buying.
I began second-guessing my decision to go out and was *this* close to calling the whole night off. I asked myself, “What kind of mom leaves her kid at home beside himself because he wants her to stay home with him?”
I suppose it wouldn’t have been wrong if I had cancelled my plans, but I didn’t do it. Instead, I asked my son what we could do together to make up for the time I was going out without him. He said he wanted to go to his favorite pizza place. Twice. I’m not sure if that’s bribery or extortion, but I went along with it. And just like that, the meltdown was over.
That night, I went out with my friend and as usual, we had a great time. We celebrated, we talked, we laughed. We drank an amaretto something that came out of a glass skull decanter and used a smoking gun. It was great fun.
Now here’s the kicker. I got home that night to find three happy kids, who all got a great report from the sitter. After she left, my oldest son — the one who didn’t want the sitter, who had the meltdown, who I had almost cancelled my plans for — asked if the same sitter could come over the next time I went out. He had a great time while I was gone!
So here is the moral of this story: Make time for yourself and do what it is that helps you re-charge and feel alive. Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t, whether they’re big people or little ones. I’m not saying every day or night or even every week. You know when you need it. Trust yourself, and never feel guilty about living a RED HOT life.
What do you think? Have you ever felt guilty making time for yourself?