How a car podcast produced an aha moment about me time for moms
Like most moms, I have a hard time planning “me time” into my week. I know I’m supposed to get out of the house and away from the kids but it always seems more trouble than it’s worth. First I would have to decide what to do, where to go, and who to do it with. Then they would have to be available on that day and want to do the thing I want to do and go the place I want to go. It’s easier to just avoid the decision fatigue and stay home.
Or I feel guilty/odd about the fact that I just like running errands by myself. I can go quickly from place to place. Take my time or hurry out of one place into another. I don’t have to listen to fighting or whining, answer a million questions, and chase children around a store.
But is running errands really me time?
One day my wonderful husband shared a story with me he heard on The Smoking Tire podcast. Jonathan Ward, creator of ICON 4×4, was on the show to promote a fundraiser for a charity he supports called the GO campaign.
GO Campaign’s mission is to improve “the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world by partnering with local heroes to deliver local solutions.” By working and listening to the local community the GO campaign has built schools, created jobs for children rescued from sex trafficking, provided aid to disabled children throughout the world, and much more. A big component of their philanthropy is their work with the local community to find out what would help them the most.
Over the years, many large corporate charities have built water wells in African villages to prevent people from walking miles and miles to get water. Jonathan shared a story about how that might not always be the right course of action.
A large corporate charity that installed water wells in Africa found out the wells were getting sabotaged, and they could not figure out why. So they set up Go-Pro cameras and found out it was the women in the village doing it!
The charity then sat down with the leader of the village and the women to find out why. The women told them, “We never asked for these wells. WE LIKE the three-mile walk. We get away from the kids, the men, and can talk with our girlfriends. It’s our only time together to get away from everything.”
Talk about an aha-mind-blowing moment. These women used their “errand” as a source of me time!!
These women wanted a three-mile hike to get water because it’s the only time they get to themselves. Let me repeat that. Women did not want a water well because a three-mile hike to get life sustaining water is the only time they get to themselves. No children to nurse. No fields to tend to. No men around to bug them.
Moms need to “go to the well” to have time to themselves. It’s a breath of fresh air. A calm sea in the middle of a storm. A chance to bask in the glory that is SILENCE!
Going to the well is effortless and practical. Your family needs “water“ to survive and I can fetch the “water” and enjoy myself while doing it.
Going to the well clears your head. No children. No men. No work to finish. You can call or text the other women in your life and feel like an individual not just “mom.”
The next time you feel guilty about taking time to your self, remember if women in third world countries are taking time for themselves, then you can too!!
The next time you think it’s silly that a trip to Target can feel like a vacation, think of those women sabotaging the well. A water well is something that would make their lives insanely easier, and they didn’t want it because a three-mile hike allows them to have time to themselves. You deserve that me time too.
So every Saturday morning when it starts to get a little loud and crazy in my house, I turn to my husband and I say “I’m going to the well.”
They say you can’t give from an empty cup. But in order to fill your cup, you first have to go to the well.