‘Me Time’ is something that everyone needs. To be able to connect with yourself, decompress and do something for yourself is essential for a happy life. This is double true for us parents who spend 90% of our day in service to someone or something else. It’s important to spend some time taking care of yourself, but when do you do that?
Before I became a dad I remember John telling me that if I ever wanted to play games, watch movies or just enjoy any quiet down time at all I had better prepare to stay up late each night. He wasn’t kidding. As Elliott gets older he has started pushing his bedtime back even further. Where he once used to be ready to turn in for the night at 7:15, it’s now not uncommon to have an 8:30 lights out. This wouldn’t be much of a problem if I could manage to stay awake past 9:30.
It seems like the older I get the more tired I become, and it’s happening fast. Over the course of this past winter when it would be pitch black by 6, it wasn’t rare for me to completely crash on the couch mere minutes after laying Elliott down for bed. My sheer exhaustion would overcome any desire to watch a movie with my wife, play PlayStation or even go into my office to draw.
While I was catching up on my zzzs I wasn’t feeding my soul. I would become agitated during the day when I would think of how little time I had for myself, and even when I’d come home determined to devote time to the things I wanted to do as soon as the clock struck 9 I was ready to just tune out and turn in.
I started to really worry about this as I don’t remember ever being this tired for such a period of time in all my life. Parenting is hard, having a career is hard, all these thing deplete my energy meter like a cranky Sims character and it seems like the only fix is drooling on the couch to an episode of Fixer Upper.
I know that my days of staying up past midnight with a bag of Doritos and a controller in hand are long over, but am I settling in to a new normal? Are my long hours, bad eating habits and stressful days the cause for my short nights? I have decided this summer to work on regulating my body clock to work more in my favor. I want to enjoy more time doing things for myself and also alone with my wife too. Me time is too important to just sleep through. We all want more time, and it IS there. I just have to stay awake for it.
How and when do you find time for yourself? Share your tips in the comments section below!