Three months ago, my husband and I had a fight and as a result, I became a better mother, a better wife and a better me. Here is how it all went down.
Every night at 9:30, my husband would stop whatever he was doing to go down to his man cave and play PlayStation 4 with his buddies. He never had a problem checking out of “chores mode” and going straight into “PS4-with-my-buddies-mode.” I was peeved because more often than not, I’d be stuck finishing up all the housework.
One day, I asked him “How can you play PS4 when there are still a million chores left to do?!” He told me, “It’s good for my brain.” When I argued that while he got to do something “good for his brain,” I was still washing the dishes, sweeping the floor and so on and so forth.
He replied with two words that blew my mind
That got me thinking…what if every night, I did the same as my husband? drop my chores and other household responsibilities to do something “good for my brain?” Would I have failed as a mom, as a wife? Would everything in the household fall apart? Would our schedules the next day fall into chaos?
Those two words made me think about all of the things that I was sacrificing in order to get everything on my to-do list ‘done’. I thought – maybe he was right. Now that we have a kid, the house will never be immaculate. There will always be crumbs somewhere. The dining table will always have random things piling high. And there will always be socks and toys in the hallway.
And maybe… it’s okay. If the house isn’t as squeaky clean as it used to be; if tomorrow’s lunch and supper aren’t exactly haute cuisine…IT’S OKAY. The world will keep spinning. My family will still love me.
After that conversation with my husband, I decided to follow his lead and carve out my own “PS4 time.” I decided to shut off the responsible me that constantly recites my never ending to-do list and get into my husband’s video game mentality and do something that was good for me every day.
But when and what?
My next challenge was figuring out when this video game/good for my brain time would happen. I had no problem finding the perfect time. That hour that I used to spend cleaning, stressing and planning while grumbling about my husband playing his video games could now be much better utilized! With my baby asleep and my husband in the basement, I had a whole, quiet, uninterrupted hour to myself and space to do whatever I wanted.
Next came the question – what to do? I realized that while it was okay to not have the cleanest house, what wasn’t okay was my constant feeling of exhaustion, my achy neck and back, the restlessness in my legs and the annoying tendonitis in my wrist – all a result of sitting at a desk at work with my face glued to a computer for 8 hour stretches . I felt like a woman way past her physical prime but really, I’d just cracked 30 years old! There was no question about it – the best way to spend this hour was on my physical health which I’d neglected due to all of my other responsibilities.
Now, every night, there is a shut off time
Just like how we leave work at work (if you don’t, you should!), I implement a strict cut-off time for work at home. Instead, I spend that time countering my desk job with exercise. I’ve found great workouts that are effective at addressing my bodily woes, that fit those exact time slots and that keep me interested and challenged. (Stay tuned for my article on the workouts that have worked for me)
The results of taking time for myself have been wonderful:
- I feel recharged every morning.
- I no longer feel mentally exhausted every night.
- I take interest in my work again.
- I have more energy and patience for my family.
- I am no longer just on auto-pilot.
After all is said and done, as much as I hate to say it and he loves to hear it, my husband was right. Taking time for yourself is “good for your brain.”
So when is the last time you took some video game time? Is your pre-mom hobby gathering dust in the corner? When’s the last time you were at the top of your to-do list? If the answer is “too long”, it’s time to reprioritize. Comment below and tell me, what are you going to start doing for YOU? And yes, you can say video games.