Robin Farr: Meant to Be


How Well Do You Make Use of Alone Time?

68% of Moms Suffer From Maternal Paralysis Syndrome

Picture this: It's lunchtime and someone (your husband, your mother, a babysitter) has tagged you out and will be taking care of your kids for the afternoon. You have until dinner time to do whatever you want. What do you do?

If you're like me you waffle around for a while trying to decide how best to make use of the break until you've wasted some of that precious free time. I call it "Maternal Paralysis Syndrome" and I think it's pretty common — something like 68% of moms suffer from it. (Okay, no. I totally made that up.)

You know what I'm talking about, right? At first you're all excited. You can read! You can go shopping! You can sit in Starbucks and drink your favourite drink without having to keep a small person from dropping cake pop crumbs on the guy sitting next to you! 

Or you could go to the gym... 

No wait, that would be silly. You want to really enjoy the time. 

You could have a nap! Or watch a Downton Abbey marathon! 

The possibilities are endless, and that's part of the problem. 

I'm lucky to get some regular time to myself. Two afternoons a week, in fact, and my husband gets the same. I spend my time writing and he does illustration work, and this is how we balance our work time and our family time.

Of course, it's easier now that Ethan is a few months older and isn't nursing as often (and can have some solid food as well). Knowing I have to pump in payment for that free time put somewhat of a damper on it, though I still figured it was worth it. 

I know that for two afternoons a week I'm going to focus on writing, either here at my Yummy Mummy Club blog, on my own blog, or for something else I'd like to submit to. Other moms I know use their free time in different ways — while their child is in preschool they run errands in peace, or they put the baby in childcare at the gym and sweat for an hour. Making it a regular routine tends to remove some of the paralysis over how to spend kid-free time. 

But every once in a while I get some unexpected free time—just a bit, mind you—and I end up paralyzed. I surf Facebook for a while and before I know it some of that valuable "me" time has drained away.

Maternal Paralysis Syndrome. It's a sneaky one, to be sure. There's no cure that I know of, other than to take a deep breath and embrace the opportunity. 

How do you make use of time to yourself?