Where do you get your parenting energy from?

I ponder these thoughts sometimes.  Usually when my own energy tank is starting to hit the red and I  need to fuel myself up.   For me it has a lot to do with time alone.   Sitting, thinking, pondering and pottering all by myself  –  that’s what re-energises me.    It gives me strength to go out and enjoy being with people and to fully love the life that I have.  Without it I feel myself retreating slowly more and more into my internal word and getting cranky and stale.   It can be really hard to explain this to others, especially those who get their energy from being surrounded by people,  like the majority of my family.    I’m pretty sure they think I’m broken –  but I’m not. I just love the space to let myself be and enjoy being the introvert I am.

Give me a portion of my day alone to myself and I’ll be fully ready to engage and love being around people – to really get stuff done.  But without it the inside of my head can be a slightly scary place to visit.  This was pretty evident yesterday as I tried desperately to steal some quiet time in the car as I drove little pink to her swimming lesson.  She was babbling away in her endlessly extroverted way as I got more and more annoyed. In the end I snapped.  I brought out the big guns with grumpy, bossy, ‘not so much fun’ mummy and told her she wasn’t to say another word until we got there – or else.  ‘Okay’, she sighed ‘let’s have some pieces of quiet’.

Getting time alone has not been easy for me over the years since I became a mum. We chose not to use childcare.  (No judgement intended to anyone who does – I fully understand we all do things in our own way and it’s totally okay of you do things differently to me).  In many ways I might have been a more energised parent if we hadn’t  made that decision.   As I look back over the years now I think one of my most blatant fails as a parent has been not meeting my own needs better.   I fell head long into the trap of giving it all to my children and often ended up much grumpier and worn out than I probably should have.   I think I secretly expected people in my family to notice how much I was giving and to care for me accordingly.  Well hello – that just don’t happen in real life.  You really need to be assertive on your own behalf and place yourself in control of meeting the needs you have.  But of course to do this you need to know what they are.   Which brings me full circle really.    My name is Caz and I get my  energy to be a good parent from spending time alone.  In the words of one of my little people when they were littler, “some days I need to be lonely”.

How about you?  Where do you get your energy to be a good parent from?

 Imagine Credit

Caz ~ Room For My Soul

23 comments

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Daily alone time is my # self care requirement – minimum 15 minutes but i have been known to ask hubby to take over and head off for hours after a hard week. My extrovert daughter drains me – never stops and her high energy saps mine…
Deb recently posted..Grateful for oppositesMy Profile

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I feel exactly the same way Caz. Quality time with myself is as important as sleep for me. “Pieces of quiet” = gorgeous! x
Lee recently posted..I’m giving it upMy Profile

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I like my alone time too… sometimes all I need is a half hour in the bath at night and I’m good to go 🙂
katepickle recently posted..Meanies and Niceys.My Profile

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Many people do not appreciate how taxing parenting a child with ADHD can be; but those who live in a household with a child with ADHD know the challenges all too well. Read on to learn how to survive parenting a child with ADHD..

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I need time alone to recharge. As an introvert, I thrive on it. If I don’t have that down time, or time alone – I am just not fun to be around. I often find myself longing for that peace and quiet – when I do get it, I am usually more motivated.
Debbie recently posted..Consistency, Emotions and Discipline.My Profile

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As a fellow introvert Debbie I totally get what you are saying 🙂

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“I think I secretly expected people in my family to notice how much I was giving and to care for me accordingly.” Your need for solitude and your words resonate with so many mums! The challenge is how to find those moments of peace when there is not the space to have time out which happens on most days. It is so easy to say we need to have time to ourselves, but with toddlers, very very hard to put into practice. However, even 5 minutes to be able to hang out the washing in peace can bring great balance and satisfaction. I reluctantly use the TV for these times so I can not only have some time out, but the satisfaction of having accomplished something during the day.

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Shelly, I use the TV for exactly the same thing. My little bit of me time to recharge. For me, this is really the last year of having a little one home full-time. Next year my youngest starts 4 yo kinder and I’ll have 2-3 days a weeks home alone. As you can imagine I have very mixed emotions. Part of me can’t wait – but I’m still a little sad to know the home years are almost over too.

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Your post really resonated with me. I have the same need for some solitude to recharge my batteries. Lately, I have been claiming these times. Either to go to the gym, out to dinner, a walk or watching ABCiView on the iPad! We do need to tell those we love that we need help or time out 🙂

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So totally agree Rosie!! I’m still fine tuning what really works for me. If you need time alone to feel energised you really have to stake your claim and make it happen. Kids will take every moment you allow them too – as they should I guess 🙂

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I think I’m an ambivert! I am definitely energized by other people but really need alone time to recharge. My braun never slows down, so when the kids are going nuts constantly there tends to be a bit of overloading and short circuiting!
Laney recently posted..Crash Test Mummy of the Week #6 – Jane @ Java JaneMy Profile

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You Ms Laney are amazing!! Your energy and drive are HUGE. I am inspired by rubbing shoulders with others but totally get my energy from being alone. Short circuiting – I totally get that. That’s just how my brain feels some days 🙂

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I agree, time alone is essential, but oh so hard to achieve! I also find day naps are wonderful. Not always easy, but if you can possibly steal away for even 20 minutes, it really invigorates the body and mind. Maybe if I went to bed earlier at night, instead of blogging, I wouldn’t need the day naps! xo

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HAHAHAH. Me too. Sadly I have to say thank goodness for ABC kids. I let my little one watch for a hour or so during the day and that allows me to have some time to myself. If I can drag myself away from the computer – it works well. Enjoy that new car. Looks fabulous 🙂

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Oh, Caz. It’s like you stole the words right out of my brain. I’m an only child and maybe that has nothing to do with it, but I feel like it contributes greatly to my need for alone time in order to be a sane, fun-to-be-around mommy. I’m a stay-at-home mom as well and it can be so very hard to find even 10 minutes to just sit alone with my thoughts. Then there is the guilt of wanting 10 minutes to myself….I’m a mom, I chose this role and this path, why on earth should I not want to spend every waking moment with my children, right? After all they are going to grow up and move away before I know it and I should be making the most of every second I get with them! Oy.

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Oh I hear you Erica!! I have this same thought too – but have learned to balance it with my needs a bit more recently. It’s okay be have some time to yourself and guilt really doesn’t benefit anyone – it just makes you feel bad. Better to have some time alone that be yelling at the kids all the time because I’m so frustrated at not getting to be alone 🙂

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I like being alone too. Sadly, when I get that these days, I tend to end up working. I need to learn to learn to stop and take time for myself more often.
Great post, as always, Caz. x
Kellie recently posted..Taking one for the teamMy Profile

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So true Kel, you have to prioritise yourself a bit. I think that’s the hard bit of working from home (especially on your own business). The computer starts to claim every spare second of your day and other things just get left. Now – we best of get of the computer!!!

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Heya Caz 🙂 As one of your friends who gets their drive from being busy and having noise and people around me…..I don’t ever think you are broken, or that there is something wrong with you! There are times I wish I worked on that level too, as I’m sure we all sometimes drift to the other side lol. Loved the “pieces of quiet” lol…must get me some of those…I tend to like them of an evening haha

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Your energy levels have always amazed me Bec. I wish I was more like that most days. I could get so much more done in my day!!!!

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Sleep normally does it for me… but then I feel lucky that my kids are not chatterboxes. I remember travelling in a car sitting next to my niece one day and she didn’t shut up for one second! Whenever I stopped listening and drifted off, she’d be really cross with me, ‘Tat, you are not listening to me!’ I felt like jumping out of the car half an hour into it.
Tat recently posted..Grateful for morning sicknessMy Profile

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Oh yes – non chatterbox kids would nice somedays 🙂 Huge congratulations on your news Tat. Wonderful and exciting – but hope the MS passes soon for you.

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Finding this post has aneserwd my prayers

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