One of the most overlooked and underrated aspect of a work at home mom's life is alone time. You budget time for your career, time for your marriage, and time for your children, but at the end of the day, where is your quiet time? Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, mother of six children, and a writer in her own right, bemoaned her lack of solitude: "By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class," she wrote, and WAHMs everywhere agree with her sentiment.
We all need time to ourselves--even if for just a few minutes--daily. Having quiet time allows you the freedom to rest, and to not be productive every second of every day. You can take this time to develop your own spirituality, seek inner peace, or explore your creativity. Following are some suggestions for making alone time one of your priorities:
Wake Up 15 Minutes Early
Set your alarm for 15 minutes before the rest of the family gets up. This gives you a moment to wake up, stretch, and even enjoy a cup of coffee alone before the morning rush begins.
Establish a Night-Time Ritual
An hour or so before bed, give yourself some peace and quiet. You can practice yoga, meditate, write in a journal, or read a favorite book. This is your time for being quiet, for not doing anything other than enjoying yourself. This also puts you in a peaceful frame of mind, which helps you go to sleep easier.
Spend Time on a Hobby
If you have a hobby you really enjoy, spend a few moments on it every day. You can forego television and spend some time scrapbooking, knitting or gardening. This develops your creativity and gives you some "selfish" time.
Go for a walk or a jog, and let your mind wander. Your body needs physical exercise just as your mind needs quiet time--this is a great way to manage both at the same time.
Spend Sundays on Spirituality
You can make Sunday a day of rest. In some religions, Sunday is a day in which nothing practical gets done; instead, Sundays are spent in rest and reflection. Take this suggestion and make it as inflexible as you dare. Don't cook--make food in advance or order take-out. Don't clean--save that for Mondays. Use Sundays to become better acquainted with your inner self so you can face the next week with some serenity in your soul.
Although spending some time alone may feel like the ultimate in selfishness, it's something you need. Once you have a little "me" time, you can go back to your world of being a wife, being a mother, and having a career with your batteries recharged. Having a little relaxation is good for your spirit and your psyche and allows you to take up your burdens again--be it on Monday, or simply 15 minutes from now--with a smile.______________________________
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.