Whatever your style of parenting, all of us need a recharge now and again. Popularly known nowadays as ME time :). Here's how I go about it:
Set expectations early: From the time they were very young, my kids know that Amma sometimes needs her own time either with a book, or her laptop :P, and it's better to not disturb her at those times as you won't get a straight answer anyway. I think it helps to establish boundaries and not be at the beck and call of your darlings or they might grow to expect that behaviour as they grow up too ;).
Leave the familiar areas: Sometimes the only way to be alone with myself is to actually leave home and find something else to do - whether reading a book or going for a walk in the park, or visiting the neighbourhood beauty salon - a couple of hours of doing what you want or just pampering yourself does wonders! My Yoga class counts as ME time too ;).
Meet friends: I went through the usual route in FB - you come across someone you used to know well, you say hiiii we musssst meet, and then of course it never happens. With new friends and old, I think I've met a lot more in 2012 than in the previous few years. The best way is to have no expectations, just try to spontaneously set something up :). It helps that I have willing babysitters in my parents, so my coffees and lunches can be my own space.
Give time to what you love: For me it's usually gardening, for you it might be something else - makes me feel so at peace to be among my plants, it's like a complete recharge even if I've had a physically or mentally trying day. And especially with my plants, I don't even have to be alone - my kids come along sometimes to help water - it still qualifies as ME time just for the joy it gives me.
Some other attempts such as leaving the kids with their grandparents in Chennai for a couple of weeks don't seem to meet my purpose completely as I spend too much time thinking/wondering about them for it to qualify completely as ME time :O!
So what do you do for that much needed ME time? Do share your thoughts and tips too!
Posted for Week 4 theme post of the Marathon Bloggers 52 week challenge in 2013.