Updated: Sep 8, 2022
Hey there coffee lovers!
It has been quite some time since you all have heard from me. Well, to put it simply: Life. Happens.
But now we are entering the school year. The time when everyone wants to make sure every I is dotted and every T is crossed. School supplies have been purchased. Tags removed from school clothes. And waking up at noon is now a thing of the past for the kids, as classes are in session and the bell rings promptly by 9 am.
Fall is the time of year that we are all met with responsibility, parent or not.
It seems as if September comes in and everyone gets to business.
One thing that has really begun to become more and more important to me as the time for routine, rigidness, and plan execution is the importance of mama's quiet time.
This post is NOT a self-care post. But, hear me out. How often are we as parents (especially mothers), consumed by school activities for the kids, getting them ready and to school before the activities begin, making balanced meals for the family, and maintaining some kind of order in the house that we fall out in exhaustion by the end of the night?
We have such a long list of things to do, there's no time to be still. To be quiet. To focus and regroup. And Let me tell ya, I'm probably the most guilty of this. From the time I wake up until I get to bed every moment of every day is planned.
Then, I get into bed and my mind is racing with everything that I need to get done. Everything I didn't do. Oh, did I mention mom guilt? Was I too harsh? Was I not strict enough? Why didn't I just buy the strawberry jelly? Damn it! Did I fill out that permission slip? And the thoughts go on until finally, I sleep. And do it all over again.
I made a plan. Had a schedule for the day. Executed that schedule and plan. Even got dinner made before I went to work. And I still feel like I failed.
One very important thing that I have left out. My quiet time. That time of silence. And meditation. For me, I meditate on God's Word. And this is even separate from my prayer time. Where everything is still.
In that moment, I'm not a mama. I'm not a wife. I'm not anything to anyone. I am simply Nia. Nia Grace: Child of God. And Nia needs this time to rest and be restored. Those 10-20 minutes have made all the difference for me lately.
Tips for getting that time to be in a quiet space:
1. Wake Up 30 Minutes Early
Seems simple. But seriously, it makes a difference. I work outside of my home, second shift in fact (not by choice). Some nights I get home at 3 am, and no, I am not exaggerating. But having that time to myself in silence before the rest of the house wakes up has been a blessing.
2. Turn Off the Car Radio
I love my music. All day and night. If I'm not listening to the radio in the car, I'm on the phone with my mom from the time I leave until I reach my destination. But sometimes, I take advantage of my alone time in the car to blank on everything. By "blank," I mean to have a moment. I'll talk to God, listen to traffic, or even think of nothing. Shutting off the car radio is a great way to get that time in without dragging yourself out of bed before the sun rises.
3. Say Up Later
Oh No!!! She said it!!! Stay up late?! That's INSANE!!! Everything tells you to get to bed EARLY!!!
Nah. Not all of us are built with an internal clock that will wake up at 6 am when the children don't need to be awake until 7 am with a smile on our faces and singing cheerful songs while admiring the dew drops on the flowers. I myself fall into the category as I am a nocturnal person.
I'm not suggesting staying up for several hours. Just 10 extra minutes. Those 10 minutes do NOT include any housework at all. No scrolling on your phone. Just sitting in silence. If it will help you, grab a pen and paper and write out all of your racing thoughts or things that will distract you prior. Trust me, you'll thank me later.
4. Take Your Lunch Break In Your Car
This one would on an average day, kill me. Ya girl is so social! I LOVE being around people and talking and socializing. This may be hard for some of us, but that time to gather yourself and just be still is essential. Try taking the last 10 minutes of your break time to yourself.
Try using brown noise in the background. Yes, brown noise, not white noise. Personally, I do not care for white noise. It is a bit high-pitched and often startles me at times. Brown noise is a lower pitch. You can find studies as well as brown noise background sounds on Youtube. As someone with ADHD, the discovery of brown noise versus white noise has been a GAME CHANGER!
It may seem like the tiniest task, but a lot of times, it is the smallest tasks that make the biggest difference. Try it out for a week, then let me know how it goes.
I look forward to everyone's responses.