My husband likes to frequently point out that I live, in his opinion, a privileged life.
Like yesterday when he asked what we did. My reply was, "Well we went to the trampoline park, the plastic surgeon, and ate at Big Orange where we were spoiled by our server." His reply, "That's pretty much what you do everyday."
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Yes. I am pretty lucky. I have more freedom than most. But in my mind, I have created that freedom. I only work at our business on the weekends and only for a few hours at a time so that we are able to homeschool. Our small home based soap store doesn't require more than a few more hours a week out of me. I drive an older vehicle with no car payments so I have extra spending money. It was all part of my plan, I tell him, to be able to do what I want when I want. Which sounds selfish and spoiled and maybe it is, but 98% of my time is spent with my kids. Going and doing and learning and creating.
I didn't know how to take care of myself when I was younger. The realization that one must put on their own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs didn't hit me until recently. You have to take care of yourself. But in such a child driven world, taking care of oneself can appear selfish. What? You take time to go to the gym/go running/hiking/yoga class? Shame on you. You drove 3 hours to go to a children's program at the museum and maybe do a little shopping for yourself because you live in the middle of nowhere but still want to enrich your children and indulge in retail therapy? That is a waste of time and gas and aren't you lucky you can just take off and do those things in the middle of the day.
My children are with me constantly. And they don't realize this isn't truly normal. Not being tied down to a job or a school schedule. A supportive father and husband who doesn't mind funding our adventures with only minimal amount of ribbing. But I still need to take care of myself.
So I do small things. Go for an early morning solo run. Sneak off to an essential oils demo at a friends house. Put the kids to bed early and hide in my room with laptop, beverage, and copious amounts of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Always pick the restaurant when we are traveling so I can pretend to be a foodie and make sure my children experience real food at every meal. That last one is important because I have realized that even when I can't get a physical break I must take charge of the things that make me happy. And food makes me happy so I always pick in order to get that mental enjoyment of an amazing plate.
And when I don't take the time to do these things I realize that I'm not being very nice. I'm on the edge of freaking out and needing a mental health day. Which is kind of hard to take when everyone is home all the time. Every single day.
It's all about perspective I suppose. What ones life looks like to outsiders is usually entirely different than the reality. My blessings might be your problems. The things that make you happy could drive me crazy. Not everyone could deal with the absolute un-scheduledness of our days. Or the constant togetherness. Or the fact that my only traveling companions are both under 4 foot.
But they are pretty cool companions. They even get their own hashtags at restaurants. I don't have much to complain about. I lead a pretty privileged life.