A few days ago, I had to lie down on the couch in the afternoon. I wasn’t feeling too well. It had been a hectic weekend, and the Monday was a PED DAY from school so Michael was home with me. This made it an especially busy day as Michael liked to be out and about on PED DAYS and enjoy his “day off.” I booked a haircut for him in the morning then we went with friends to a play center. We got back home for a late lunch, and I don’t know if it had been the stress of my fights with Michael not listening over the course of most of the weekend, going to bed late the night before, or just feeling tired from the morning, but after lunch I crashed. I ate something small then when Michael was watching some tv I went to lie down on the couch. I didn’t have any problems until about twenty minutes into it when Michael demanded I get up.
“Michael, I need to rest a little more. I’m feeling tired. I’ll take you out to the park later after your homework like I promised.”
“No, the last time you lay down you became sick and we couldn’t go anywhere.”
This was true. But then I had been coming down with a flu. This was only exhaustion. How to explain that and deal with a meltdown all while feeling under the weather? Sigh.
“Michael, Mommy needs some time to herself. When I’m all rested we’ll go, ok? You need to give me time, like I give you.”
He paused and seemed to think about it. Then suddenly something occurred to me.
“You’re not worried about me, are you? I’ll be fine honey. I just need to rest a little bit longer.”
Without missing a beat he answered.
“No, I just don’t want to stay home.”
I started to laugh. So, he was not like his uncle who never liked if my mother ever said she needed a break or lay down. He was afraid she was sick. No, Michael was thinking of his entertainment. Still, he finally began to understand that he had to give me my space in order for me to have energy to go somewhere with him later and backed off. I was braced for a meltdown, but so happy Michael reasoned it out. He was starting to see that I needed my alone time as he did and that, whether he liked it or not, he had to give it to me.
Exceptional Moms, do you take your personal space seriously? Do you make sure your children understand you need this space, and, as I saw by my example the other day, do it more often when you are not sick or tired? I haven’t been, but am starting to, so I can teach Michael to respect his own and other people’s space better too. It’s important as our children’s role models, and to remain strong ourselves, we do this. Only by taking that time alone can we be strong for everyone in our lives. Until next time.