Being a parent is alot like being an attention buffet. The kids can just walk into the room, grab a plate and get some attention anytime day or night. It's really cheap for them, always available and someone else cleans up thier mess.
While they are munching on your attention, things are happening in the background. You're thinking about what your going to make for dinner, that the baby needs diapers, the grass needs mowing, and whatever happened to that project you were working on making kitchen curtains...
From the time you get up until you go to bed (and if you're like me, while you're asleep too!) you have your attention divided. Proverbs 31 says a ton of good stuff about how to be a wife of noble character. One thing I noticed was in verse 15 is that it talks about her getting up before everyone to plan her day.
While I don't think that I will start getting up any earlier to plan my day, I do see that this points to the importance of time alone. The demands on my attention are great and constant. Even when there aren't children around, I'm thinking about them and how to care for them. There's always an inner dialogue figuring things out.
This is why I run. I get to run away. I get to do nothing but put one foot in front of the other. I don't have to be graceful or cordinated, patient or nurturing. No one can walk up and serve themselves to my attention. No one can ask me what's for dinner or whether I fixed thier favorite pants yet. All I have to do is run and breathe.
I love it. It's an instant stress reliever. I come back feeling like a better Mommy, a better Wife and all over better person. I care about my family, thier health, wellness and peace of mind. And to keep all that intact, I need to be sane.
So I run, I run away.