Putting myself in time out

TIME OUT: Matt and Dan Lowe after completing the North Shore Coastal Challenge.
TIME OUT: Matt and Dan Lowe after completing the North Shore Coastal Challenge.

By putting myself in time out I mean setting aside some time just for me - not that I don't deserve to be put in time out for my behaviour sometimes. I love Kahutaiki to bits of course. She's one of my best mates and I LOVE hanging out with her.

But being at home full time means spending A LOT of time with Miss K - who is a particularly verbal and active three-year-old. She wasn't even two when she announced that she "didn't need to have a sleep in the day anymore", which made for some particularly long days. We have some great conversations and a lot of fun, but sometimes I just need to jump out of the 3-year-old world for a bit and have a breather.

About a year ago I was at the supermarket in the biscuit aisle. Usually Miss K would have been with me but this morning she was at home with my wife. I caught myself walking down the aisle past other shoppers talking up a storm before I realised Miss K wasn't with me.

I stopped and said out loud: "Awesome - now you're talking to yourself in public!"

It was at that point I thought it might be good to get a bit of time out for myself.

In my case running has become my time out (or my midlife crisis depending on who you talk to). When I'm out running alone, often on remote parts of Wellington's magnificent south coast, I savour the only time in my week when I'm totally alone ... and everything is quiet!

I guess I've become quite selfish about it, but I reckon the fitter, saner and happier I am the more good time I can give to Miss K (and my wife). If my parents come in to Wellington to spend a day with us then more often than not I'll duck out for a trot. Sometimes, after getting Miss K off to bed, I might nip out for half an hour if it's a nice evening. For my longer runs on the weekend I try to go early in the morning so family time doesn't suffer.

This weekend I flew to Auckland to do the Coastal Challenge run around the beaches of the North Shore with an Auckland-based friend of mine. It was rewarding to put all the training into action. It was a blast but three days away from Miss K is probably the longest I've been away from her in her life. I missed her like crazy.

Now I feel refreshed and looking forward to the week with my little girl.      

How important is time out to you? In what ways do you recharge the batteries - or is there just not enough time in the day?

Essential Mums