(But it’s still spring enough for the kids to be in school!)
I left the house this morning with a plan. I was going to drop off the kiddos, do some grocery shopping, laundry, empty the dishwasher… Basically, the “I’m the grownup at home today” responsibility list.
But after dropping off the kids I just couldn’t sequester myself indoors. Call it procrastinating, call it irresponsible, call it a “mental health morning”. I headed out to the harbor for a long walk and some picture taking. It was peaceful and very refreshing, but I’ll admit that I felt a little guilty about it.
But seriously, why should I have felt guilty about it at all? It was a beautiful day and I had the chance for exercise, a beautiful view, and some blessed solitude. Why couldn’t I turn my mind away from my chore list?
I asked a few of my mom friends about this and found it to be a common theme. I also found a major lack of parental respite time. This is a problem.
It may be a case of like-finding-like, but most of the parents in my circle don’t have much in the way of help. Many of us live far from our families and far from the communities in which we grew up. Date nights and time away from hearth, home, and children rarely happen. Instead of a refuge our homes feel like islands of never ending responsibilities.
This results in a loss of perspective. As my mom put it, the days are long but the years are short. I think it’s important to remember that someday our kids will be grown and we’ll miss this phase of life. But we need to take the time to recharge if we’re going to going to be present within our own lives.
Bottom line, it’s ok to take a break. It’s good for our kids, it’s good for our significant others, and it’s good for ourselves.
So if life gives you the chance to take a break, please take advantage of it. There will ALWAYS be dishes to do, laundry to fold, and groceries to buy. But there won’t always be time for that solitary walk along the lakeshore. Life is short so remember to enjoy it! IT’S OK TO TAKE A BREAK.