We have written about me-time on a number of occasions on the blog: how little we Mums get; the challenge of finding me-time; things we do for me-time. When we ran our courses over the last few months, we ensured that there were always pamper treats on offer so that the Mums who attended could have some valuable relaxation time.
When you become a parent your priorities change. You can no longer put your own needs before those of your children. You have to structure your life differently and often as a Mum that means putting your own need for time and space last. And yet, here at more than a mum we often say that a happy and fulfilled Mum (and Dad) make for happy and fulfilled children – but how can you find the time to do things for yourself and what would you do with that small amount of time, that is meant just for you?
So the first part of the blog is about finding me-time; the second is over to you – what would you do with the time created?
Here are some ideas for making just a little bit more time for you:
Go to bed half an hour earlier at least once a week – either to spend time with your partner, or to read, or just to ensure you are less sleep deprived tomorrow!
Learn to say ‘s*d-it’ every now and again – does it really matter if the washing up is done tomorrow, the hovering isn’t done, or the ironing pile is a bit bigger than you’d like?
Ask for and accept help – reflect on the role of your partner; does he help out and if not, are you sure you give him opportunity? Do you give your children the opportunity and encouragement to help out? Do you ask people to help when you’re feeling snowed under? Do friends and/or family make offers to do things which you politely decline?
Book time off in advance – sharing weekend morning duties with your partner to ensure one of you has a lie-in; scheduling a girls’ night out every month or two; booking a babysitter for a date night; organising reciprocal babysitting with friends or family; ask your partner or a close friend or family member to have the children for an hour or so in the day and do not do any chores in that time.
Ensure you can say ‘no’ – make sure that you can say ‘no’ to doing things when they get too much. If you are a giving person this can be one of the hardest things to do, but if you spread yourself too thinly by helping others out you will burn out.
Bring things to you – babysitters are expensive andasking someone to look after the children, even just a partner, can sometimes be a challenge and cause more stress than it is worth, so don’t forget that you enjoy a lot of experiences at home: rent a film; get a take away; invite the girls over.
Take your children to do things that you enjoy - we spend a lot of our time doing things that our children will enjoy, taking them to places that they want to go; it will do them no harm once in a while to go to places you want to go to and to do things you want to do. Obviously a 3 hour Shakespeare play with a manic 3 year old is unlikely, but take them to an art gallery you love; share your hobby with them; get them invloved in places and activities you enjoy. Finding ways to involve children in your own interests shows them that you are a person too as well as helping you to find time to do some of the things you love.
Now the second part of the blog; I asked a similar question on twitter the other day and got some fascinating answers, but imagine that money was no object, what would you do with:
- Half an hour child-free during the day?
- An hour of me-time once a week?
- A night in?
- A night out?
Here are my answers:
- Half an hour child-free during the day? Read my book
- An hour of me-time once a week? Go for a lovely long walk or swim
- A night in? Have the girls over for wine, and an ‘experience’ – perhaps a cake decorating course, or a thai cooking course
- A night out? A seriously good dinner at a seriously good resaurant, with seriously good wine!
Leave us your ideas below.