An Excerpt from Less Stress Is More Happiness by Tiffany Tyndall — Half of 5. The Ability to Choose Our Attitude and Response

I would have been ready to write an hour ago (I’ve been up since five, as usual), but all of my kids are awake.  How can this be?  It happens periodically, and I’ve had to get to the point where I just don’t think about it and only focus on the main goal points: get them back to sleep if they will go back to sleep—If not, get them settled somehow else.  After that, return to the writing, reading/praying, revising.  Only 15 – 20 minutes of each.  That’s it.  Can’t do much more than that—especially on days like today.

It used to bother me so much (and “bother” is really an understatement) when I couldn’t get the “me” time that I was attempting to carve out for myself.  (Because, really, who’s going to wake up at five in the morning when they really don’t have to?)  But then I started understanding that one of the reasons why it bothered me so much is because I’m not “no one.”  Because the answer is no one is going to wake up at five in the morning when they really don’t have to.  No one is.  But I do.  I do do it.  Why?  Because I am not no one.  I am me.  And I am going to do whatever it takes to reach my goals (be they ever so simple as one hour of personal productivity), meet my needs (be they ever so basic as having quiet, alone time), and have things the way I’ve determined is most beneficial for me and for us all (be it ever so reasonable as encouraging sleep and comfort for my children and rest for me as well).

I need my me time, my alone time, my quiet time, my whatever time.  I need this time.  It’s the only thing that is “mine” – and I know that I still need to adjust my thinking on that (like, I just need to accept that there will be days like today when I feel helpless and when I feel that I can’t control my circumstances.  If I can acknowledge that this is closer to the root of why it’s frustrating to me, then I can continue in the day without feeling so robbed of something.  My ability to choose my attitude and response is the only thing that’s mine, per se).  Which is where I am right now in my life.  I think I’m sort of there.  I’m irked this morning, yes, but it hasn’t derailed me yet.  I’m feeling some mild irritation in my chest, but I am not nearly as shaken as I have been in the past when I have been disappointed by the circumstances.

I love my children at any time of the day or night.  I just also need time to myself, space to myself.  (As I think all mothers need, even the super-mommy ones.)  I’m not going to ask for this time or demand this time, though.  Some stay-at-home moms go to groups where they can drop their kids off at the function’s childcare so that the moms can get some personal and social time.  This sounds nice, but I’d really rather just have time to myself.  (Which is perhaps the request of introverts everywhere.)  I get a little bit of this time-to-myself time when I can do yardwork by myself or when I go to the store by myself or when my husband is available to watch our children so that I can get something specific done.  But part of the thrill for me is to get this time while everyone else is still sleeping.  I don’t know why that is.  I guess I just feel successful at problem-solving because I didn’t have to inconvenience anyone else.

Less Stress Is More Happiness by Tiffany Tyndall is available for purchase here.

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