Time Time Time

As we spring forward, I am reminded of how precious time is. I’m reminded of how quickly time has passed since my children were born. I’m reminded of how much I used to dislike longer days when my children were younger, because the longer light keep my children up later or woke them earlier. Now they are older, and the sunlight doesn’t affect their sleep like it used to, and I’m starting to look forward to the longer days once again.

I’m reminded that how I spend my time each day is up to me. That I need to be selfish with my time (and ladies, we know that isn’t easy, right? Because we’re raised to not be selfish.), but I believe we owe it to ourselves and our families to be selfish with our time. Who knew being selfish could be a good thing?

To explain further, when my children were younger I spent my time where I thought I was supposed to, not necessarily where I wanted to. I said “yes” way too often. “Will you volunteer to serve on this committee?” Yes. “Will you host a play date?” Yes. “Will you _fill in the blank_?” Yes. See, it’s scary, I would say “yes” to just about everything.

What I learned was that I was not only doing myself a disservice, but also my family. I was spreading myself too thin and wasn’t experiencing a level of happiness, satisfaction or justification that offset how and where my time was being spent. In fact, I was exhausted and miserable. That spilled over to my family. My children may have been too young to notice this, but my husband wasn’t.

I started to get more selfish with my time. Where, how and who I spend it with. While I gladly give time to my family, friends and work, I seek opportunities that help me recharge my batteries. When I’m recharged, I’m better at being present, and noticeably happier. That spills over to my family. My kids are older now and they notice it, my husband to.

What do you give your time to today? How are you recharging your batteries? Do you struggle with being selfish with your time?

Spring Forward! Time to adjust the clocks…and yourself

When I woke up on March 11th, I was reminded that all of the clocks in the house needed to be moved forward one hour. Ugh! I lost an hour. Time is the most important thing I have and losing an hour due to something completely outside of my control is maddening.  My husband tried to remind me of the upside, “At least the kids slept until 7 today!”

There are things I love about daylight savings time: longer days, blooming flowers, and the knowledge that summer isn’t that far away.  But I’m not so fond of the sun–though I desperately miss it in the winter months–keeping my children up late. Before kids I loved the longer days, with kids? Not so much.

I read up on some ways to help children adjust to the change like keeping them up a little later or darkening their rooms by putting curtains over the blinds, but none of them worked.  However, our children seem to have figured out how to adjust on their own. They go to bed at their normal bedtime but instead of falling asleep right away, they stay up playing in their beds or talking to each other. Despite falling asleep a little later, they seem to be well rested when they wake in the morning so I’m not too worried about it.

I wish I could adapt to change so easily.

The biggest change I’ve had to adjust to in my life was becoming a parent.  I thought I knew what I was getting into—less sleep and more responsibility—but there was so much more to it than that. The obscene amount of caffeine I would ingest, the frantic feeling of all the things I needed to learn and do, the overwhelming sense of frailty that comes with taking care of this little life, the “no touch zone” I instituted from my armpits to my knees with my husband for a period following our son’s arrival and an identity crisis I never saw coming. I did adjust to each of these things over time. On our son’s first birthday my husband and I raised a glass of sparkling cider to celebrate. We felt like we were finally starting to adjust.

I’m better equipped for change now and I’m always working to learn and prepare for the next chapter in our child-rearing journey. Part of this adjustment has been the acceptance that not everything is under my control and things won’t always go as planned. There will always be some adjustment needed no matter how much I plan. Just like trying to prepare yourself for when the sun will come out during daylight savings. You know it’s coming and you can prepare all you want but ultimately you just figure out how to adjust to it once its here.