Image by Julie Kertesz, used with Creative Commons License, edited by Mydnyht Rantings
Sometimes, as a homemaker, I prioritize everything else but myself. “I have to have the house perfect for my fiancée! I have to make sure [x, y, z] is taken care of!” With a mental health concern, the most I’ll allow myself is easing myself into my day because I wake up tired and perhaps taking a nap later. I don’t always have time to read or to practice bike riding or any of the other things I’d like to do. And while it is important to keep up with the housework and make sure the pets are taken care of, sometimes I need to remember to take care of myself.
Today, I am writing this blog post in a local café. I got up, took care of the pets, did some of the basic chores so the house would look presentable if someone happened to stop in, and walked down to get lunch and a coffee. I was able to listen to music on the walk, something I don’t do often because I’m trying to be more in tune with my body when I take the dogs on a walk (plus, it’s easier to tend to training them when I’m not distracted by Pandora). I wrote in my prayer journal, read a few chapters of the Bible and ten pages of the Quran, and right now I am focusing on living intentionally and taking some time for myself.
I’m not saying I need long breaks like this every day. And honestly, I sometimes worry that I am a bit lazy or unmotivated and I should focus more on housework and not give myself so much grace during the day (Facebook and e-mail checking are huge time sucks, folx). But when I was debating coming down here today, I will admit that it felt odd that I was considering taking time for myself to do something that wasn’t housework or taking care of the pets. And I do have a lot of cooking to do when I get home (we have a family potluck coming up this weekend), not to mention that we’re having a guest over tonight so I have to make sure the house is spotless. I’m not even sure if I’ll have time to take the dogs on a walk, something I generally prioritize pretty highly. But all that aside, it feels nice to do something for myself during the week and to get out of the house. Sometimes a little “me” time is important. Obviously there are certain things that need to get done during the day, but recognizing that giving myself grace outside of sleep and a little bit of internet tomfoolery on occasion is a good habit to get into. I’m not just a homemaker and a pet mommy – I’m a human being who needs time to relax. Work/life balance isn’t just for those who work outside the home – those whose work is focused inside the home need a little bit of a break, too.