Let’s be honest, in my life, “Me Time” roughly translates to “doing something for the kids, house or hubby whilst kid-free”. Sometimes “Me Time” turns into taking Master J on a solo outing. This means that I don’t have to return home for a scheduled feed and the flip side of that coin, is that my husband can focus on the older two without having to worry about a naps, feeding schedules or changing a poo nappies.
When I first became a mum, I wasn’t about “Me Time”. I had twins, time was already short in supply as it was and as a breastfeeding mum of twins, it just made the most sense to take the girls wherever I had to. This “Me Time” phenomenon wasn’t something I either desired nor did I feel like I was missing out.
But times and circumstances changed and now as a mum of three under three, working part-time, trying to look after a household, two dogs and also be a loving wife and supportive friend all at the same time – I understand! Despite everything else on my plate, I have now decided to start The Humble Mum project, a little creative outlet to help me gather and purge my thoughts in a healthy way whilst also using my creative side for a stress release and keeping my marketing skills current for my resume.
To me, “Me Time” should be a time in your day/week/month/year when you can just be you. I’m talking about the genuine impossible task of not worrying about anyone or anything. I’m talking about kid-free time to go see a movie, read a book or eat chocolate without having to share (who am I kidding, I do not share chocolate!). I’m talking about getting a massage, a pedicure or a manicure for no other reason than you want one. I’m talking about going to the gym without needing to make a booking for the crèche or going for a brisk walk without pushing a pram or carrying a kid. I’m talking about time where you can just relish being you in that moment in time and (it’s hard, but you can try) not have that mental to do list running through your mind constantly while you’re doing one or all of these things.
When I do get the valuable and much appreciated gift of “Me Time”, I forego haircuts, movies and gym visits in favour of catching up with my girlfriends for uninterrupted gossip and chat time. I will volunteer at fundraising events or go to committee meetings or social nights out for my local multiples club with the ladies who have supported me since I was pregnant with the girls rather than trying to sneak away to get a mani-pedi. I am ultimately a social creature and the friendships that have gotten me this far in my journey as a mother are so valued to me.
Despite knowing that I need this time. I find it almost impossible to make this time. I am an over thinker and I am constantly running through everything in my head to make the days run smoothly, making sure that the groceries are done, that the children and pets are looked after, dressed and fed and that the house is clean, tidied and organised in a way that makes my life efficient and less stressful.
It’s not like I’m going around declaring that “I never get any Me Time”. I certainly have ample opportunity to use my free time in a way that could be classified as “Me Time”. BUT and here is the hard part – I always find my mind wandering back to shopping for the house or the kids or birthday parties we have coming up. I look at things and wonder if it would make a good gift for my husband or whether this or that would improve our household efficiency.
I sometimes find a few minutes of “Me Time” in the car on my way to and from running those kid-free errands. It might be this moment of peace typing up this post while all three children take a much-needed nap. It could be those blissful hours after the bedtime routine is all done, the house is tidied and ready for a new day and you just sit and Candy Crush it out on the couch with all of the other Candy Crush addicts around the globe. My favourite though, is when I get to have a shower while my husband is home and I can truly relax under the hot water knowing that someone’s got the kids if they wake up.
The bottom line in all of this is that although you can dedicate time to be selfless and call it “Me Time”, there’s no such thing as taking a day of being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and so on. You’re still all of these things 24/7 and you still have responsibilities in this world. But every now and then, feel free to focus on just you.