Recently after a family dinner at my sisters we were sitting around the table talking. My mother began to ask us (my sisters and I) how we managed our lives; full time work, kids, kid activities, housekeeping. You have to understand that my mother is 73 years old. She is from that generation of women who were raised to be homemakers. They would get married and their “job” would be to raise the children and run the house – cooking, cleaning, and carpool. You know the drill from reruns of Leave It To Beaver. June Cleaver made running the vacuum in pearls look appealing.
Anyway, mom continued to ask questions to try and understand how we managed our time, children and home. After reviewing a weekly schedule with her, she asked when we had time to clean. My answer was that I find a chunk of time – a couple of hours that I can blow through my thousand square feet with a vacuum. No, my house may not be ready for “the boss to come to dinner” every night, but we manage to keep from being on the haz-mat top ten list. We keep it within an hour of being “company ready”.
It was clear in our conversation that each of us manages our time differently, but we all agree that we would rather spend our time with our kids and family than worry about buffing the kitchen floor. Kids go to sleep, then we can clean out the closet or finish the dinner dishes.
The last question mom asked was “what do you do for your self?” In unison my older sister and I said, “We soak”. Most of the reading for fun I do in a day is done in the 20-30 minute soak in the tub. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had, that soak can melt away most stressors. I come out of the bathroom a new woman. Even my son and husband know to not bother me while I soak.
My soak may or may not include bubbles and almost always includes a good book. When bubbles are in order, usually it’s a soft citrus or peppermint scent. If I really need my brain to disengage, I will put a little candle on the side of the tub and just be – low light, bubbles and a warm bath.
Mom’s today do have a full load. Our day is as full and our priority is still the family. The way we serve our families is just different then our mothers or grandmothers.
Tell me, what do you do for yourself? At the end of a long day or week what is your “special thing”? If you don’t have something that is all yours that helps you relax and re-center be encouraged to find it or rediscover it.
Keep me posted…