Remember the book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”? In it, Dr. John Gray popularized the notion that men need time in “caves” in order to relax and cope with stress. Gray’s description gave guys across the planet (Earth, not Mars) a term that legitimized their need for time alone at the end of a long day. Now, I don’t have a problem with “cave time.” What I take issue with is the assumption that women don’t also need it.
In fact, most women I know would love to retreat to a cave now and then for some solitude. I believe we are better partners, better moms, better at everything if we take time to recharge and nurture ourselves for a change.
So what do you do for “cave time”?
Here are some of my favorite taking-care-of-me activities:
– I put on my iPod, listen to great music, and tune out the rest of the world just for awhile.
– I go to the bookstore and browse new titles while sipping a latte.
– I rent a chick flick and watch it when the boys are both asleep.
– I go for a long walk.
Don’t forget to make some time for yourself, and don’t feel guilty. We all need “cave time.”
Erika Weisensee is a native Oregonian, a writer and a mom. She teaches journalism and communication classes at the University of Portland.