I remember the day…so long ago now. It was the middle of my husband’s 1st deployment to Iraq. I was in Germany with my baby and two-year-old.
I can’t tell you why this one day was so hard. I just remember it being so. I remember being way too stressed out about everything I had to do.
Take care of the baby, take the preschooler to school, go to the Commissary, clean the house, worry about my husband, put the baby down for a nap, wake the baby up to get the preschooler, take him to the park to get his energy out, and figure out how to get through the day.
It was probably late afternoon and I was struggling. But I just had to push through. I just had to get to bedtime.
Back then I would start dinner at 4:30. I know that seems early but I had to get these kids going on a bedtime routine. As soon as I made it to 4:30, I felt like I had accomplished something, another deployment day was ending.
On this particular day, getting to that 4:30 time seemed extra difficult, but I had a plan. Dinner, get the boys ready for bed, get them to bed, and then…me time!
I needed this me time so bad. Especially on this day.
Me time is so important to me, and I need it. Over the years, how I found that me time has changed.
These days, with two teenagers and a 9-year-old, I can do a lot more. I can leave my oldest in charge and go anywhere I want to go. Target, the movies, out to eat, or to see a friend. I have a lot more freedom, even when my husband is gone.
Back then, in that little apartment in Schweinfurt Germany, things were quite different. I had to find small windows to find that me time, all within the walls of my home.
A bubble bath with a good book became my saving grace. There was just something about running the water, adding the soap, and climbing in after a long day with the boys that gave me hope. There is something about water that just relaxes me and helps me stay focused.
Finding that time to myself, even with sleeping children in the next room, was a must. During so much of that deployment, I found myself in survival mode, just trying to get through. But that me time allowed me to start to thrive a bit, if only for an hour or two.
Years later, I still use a bubble bath to help me relax. Even if my husband is home, and I am not dealing with toddlers anymore. I find the water to be healing and a great way to let out the stress of the day.
If you feel like you are in a place where going out of your house for me time is close to impossible, see what you can do at home. There must be something or some way for you to find that time for yourself, even if it is just for an hour, even for just 10 minutes.
And if it is hard to find that time, know it won’t always be that way. If your spouse is deployed, it can seem like you have neverending days of being the only parent in the house, the only one who can help the kids, the only one who can be in charge. But deployments eventually end, time moves on, and you will be in a different season of your life.
How do you like to find me time? What works when your spouse is deployed and it is harder to find?