I’ve always been a person who enjoys spending time with just myself! I’ve never had a problem going to a restaurant alone, shopping alone, or being home alone. I actually really NEED time alone! As moms, your brain is constantly racing from one thought to the next. From meal prep, to laundry, to work issues, to kids’ education, to health and safety, to house chores, and on and on. And usually, making lists and marking things off is enough to calm the chaos. But sometimes my brain just needs quiet! Quiet to process the more complex thoughts and emotions. The things that can’t be solved by checking them off a list.
But in recent months, when there has been no quiet, I’ve found my anxiety continuing to rise, and my patience continuing to decline. As if the state of the world isn’t enough to cause extreme anxiety for everyone, the inability to find quiet just further complicates things. I often find myself snapping at my children. Not because they’re doing anything wrong, but simply because they’re talking! When my brain is racing 100 miles per hour, thinking of the next house chore that needs to get done or the work email that needs to be responded to, and my thoughts are suddenly interrupted with “hey mom”…I snap. Not something I’m proud of. But that initial reaction when your deep train of thought is abruptly interrupted … it’s not always pleasant.
I just need quiet!
So after weeks of expressing my increasing anxiety to my husband, he surprised me with a weekend away … alone! And y’all! It was the best gift he’s ever given me. This was something new that I’ve never done before. And truthfully, I felt a little guilty even expressing how much I enjoyed it. Why would any loving mom and wife want to “vacation” alone? Well, let me just say, “don’t knock it til you try it.” It was glorious! No cleaning. No preparing meals. No diaper changes. Watching what I wanted to watch on TV. Returning emails uninterrupted. Having thoughtful phone calls with my girlfriends … uninterrupted. Showering and drying my hair … uninterrupted. All the things … in uninterrupted QUIET!
When I returned home, I realized just how clear my head was. My patience had returned, and my anxiety lessened. The biggest benefit of my weekend away was being able to process my own thoughts. I could filter thoroughly through the angst of the world, our family plan moving forward, the health and safety of my people, my upcoming work schedule, emails, and even a few pages of a book.
I know the world looks so bizarre right now. And it’s definitely not the time of lavish vacations or elective travel. But more than ever, it’s a necessary time for uninterrupted quiet. We’re all craving space and time to process. And as a mom, we have a LOT to process on a daily basis. So I strongly encourage you to find a way to get a little quiet time! You may have to get creative, and it may be for a few hours instead of a few days. But mommas remember…your tribe is only as strong as its weakest link!
5 Ways to Find Quiet In The Chaos
- Book a Staycation – leave your family behind and check into a local Airbnb ALONE! The best part is checking out with no clean up!
- Send Your Family Away – Being home alone is sometimes the best gift of them all. Not having to pack your belongings and being able to relax in your OWN SPACE quietly is a true gift. Send your family to grandma’s house for a night or two.
- Listen To An Audiobook In Your Car – As crazy as this sounds, I’ve done it! I’ve been known to grab a coffee and sit in a parking lot with the windows rolled down, either reading or listening to an audiobook.
- Go On a Long Walk – After we put the kids to bed, I’ll sometimes grab my AirPods and go for a long walk. This is not a walk for exercise. It’s a therapeutic walk. Just listening to a podcast and breathing fresh air.
- Have a Picnic for One – Find a park or large open space, pack your lunch and your laptop or a book. Enjoy the fresh air and the quiet of nature.