Wednesday, 28 August 2013

And then there's me

It's so easy to get lost when you're a wife and mother.  Priorities just happen and they regularly change and, more often than not, it's me that ensures they are met.

With the new changes in our life I have a chance to re-assess and structure our time differently. I'm loving the choices we're making and I really want it to work.  Part of ensuring it's long term success is to remember me.  If I am also fulfilled then we can happily wander through life as a family.
I love to get up early even if I'm exhausted.  It pays off later in the day.  I have time before the children rise to knead bread, blog, study or just sit.  It's a time to plan my day and makes all the difference when the witching hour comes.

That busy evening time, when dinner is demanded, the children are tired and so am I.  If I have planned my day and dinner was dreamed up in the morning then it usually flows.
Buddy Boy has been taking to getting up earlier these days.  He's just been following the sun and as it rises earlier, so does he.  It was changing my mornings and eating into my time.  At first I just inwardly groaned and made the best of trying to study or map out my day with a little person chatting in my ear.  But then I remembered me.  I need to be living life too.
So I've been guiding him back to bed and telling him I will come and tell him when he can get up.  He's been accepting this and I'm hoping he may start to sleep later when he gets used to this routine.  Let's face it, the sun comes up at five in summer so I would never be able to get up before him.
I am now protecting me, finding myself again.  I can still give them time and focus but now I think they are ready for me not to be on call twenty four hours a day.  I have started a short online course about Climate Change.  It's strange to use my mind again but feels so very good.  I've started thinking differently.

I've had the urge to write for me, creatively, so in the late afternoon I'll occasionally sit in the orchard away from the noise of the house.  I dream and write for a little while and it makes me feel like me.  I had forgotten I was separate and I'm loving discovering I am a person raising my children, not just a mum getting through.
And the final activity I do for me ties in so well with our permaculture lifestyle.  Within permaculture you look for systems.  Things that flow and work.  One of the ways to achieve this is to try to make goals achieve more than one purpose.  eg. If I plant a tree for fruit, I position it to also provide shade.  Better again if it also acts as a windbreak.  Do you see how much sense this makes?  One action provides so much.
Well it's like this with my garden.  My guilt free me time.  I go out in the garden.  Time away from the house.  Time to think and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine (or rain as it may be).  Growing food for my family, harvesting and feeding them as I feed my soul.

I am protecting me while loving them and it feels so good.


Meg said...

It's so vital to keep refreshing yourself to maintain the full-time with your kids lifestyle of home schooling. I find I do it well sometimes and not well at other times (I'm feeling worn out, so I'm not doing this very well atm!). Like you, I find energy and refreshment in my garden.

purplepear said...

Such a lovely thoughtful post. I'm so far removed from that time in my life with little children demanding so much of my time, but I am reminded of it when I see my daughter with her beautiful boy. So nourishing for yourself and your children when you can get a little time to yourself to feed your soul, and no better place than in the garden in my opinion!

Lynn said...

Glad to see that you are taking time out for yourself. Getting up early to have the house to yourself is the best piece of advice I can give any busy mum. The garden is a great place to 'find' yourself and I find knitting and spinning works for me also. Love the photos!

Farmer Liz said...

I need to remember when considering functions in permaculture to include me-time in the garden as a function :) Also watching the chickens is very relaxing (but less productive than garden time). Great to know that things are working out with the homeschooling, I think you have a lot to teach them.

Amber said...

Oh I hear you! It took me years of feeling exhausted and overwhelmed (and finally being told I was suffering from anxiety) to finally realise I needed to prioritise some daily 'me' time. It's essential to stay healthy!
Good on you! :)

Evi said...

Oh yes Linda, so true! Now that you have the children home full time, it is doubly important and so good that you have discovered it before you are worn out! Home educating is a wonderful thing for both children and their parents but if we as parents are not filling our own cups its certainly a hard task to fill that of our kids.
It's also a good example that they see you taking care of yourself and spending time nurturing your own needs - it shows them that you value yourself which in turn teaches them to value you and your time too (although sometimes I wonder!!) Not only that but the saying that "more is caught than taught" is so true and they will take that 'caught' example of self care with them into their adulthood.
I'm rambling...hope it made sense!!! xx

Bridget Coyne said...

What a great post Linda and a perfect reminder about taking time out as a Mum to refresh and reflect. You're an inspiration my friend :)

Linda said...

Meg, Your comment scares me! I can see I'll be see-sawing btwn giving them and me enough time.

Kate, Sort of funny that you are so far removed given that we are probably quite similar ages. Yes the garden is a godsend!

Lynn, I don't understand HOW you find time for knitting and spinning but I love that you do! You are a super woman!

Yes Liz, Chook watching is one of the best ways to relax! I love being in the orchard.

Amber, you make a good point. It's amazing how far we can push ourselves without stopping to think about our limitations. And sometimes we just feel that we really don't have any choice!

You're right Evi! I want my children to care about themselves in the long run. Therefore I need to practice what I preach. Thanks for a good point.

Hi Bridget, Thank you. Must have a good chat with you sometime soon. I know that you have knowledge I could use.