Ah ‘me time’. How often do you hear that phrase? I must say it on average 30 times a day and what it really means is ‘please just leave me the hell alone for five minutes!’. It is something that is personal to everyone and it becomes even more important once you have kids, because kids are notoriously needy (as they should be of course) and it is hard to carve out five minutes of your day where someone isn’t touching you. But the fact for me is that once my daughter has gone to bed, I get a hell of a lot of me time. I get to watch what I want on TV as I have exclusive control of the remote and do whatever I want until I decide to go to bed myself. As long as whatever I want takes place within my house of course, because my husband works nights. So whilst my ‘me time‘ is my evenings, it also isn’t because I’m kinda trapped.
The first step to maximising your me time is to figure out exactly what you want. If you had a day all to yourself, what would you do. Actually write it down too, that really helps you see that the things you crave aren’t unreasonable or selfish, which in turn will make you more likely to do them. Then you have to rank those things in order of what is actually achievable. So for example my perfect day would include:
So there isn’t anything there that is too mental, except maybe the spa trip, so now I need to figure out how I can fit as much of those things in to my life as possible.
A Lie In
Is it terrible parenting for me to hand over my phone, pre loaded with YouTube Kids when Isabelle wakes up at 6am? I sometimes get an extra hour out of somewhat questionable parenting technique… Some days I need that hour more than others. I’m voting this as acceptable to do at least 3 times per week. That feeling of laying in fresh, clean bedding with the sun streaming in and the window slightly open so you’re getting fresh air is just priceless.
Ten Minutes to Meditate
In my previous post about mediation and I explained that I get this one by doing it when Isabelle is eating her breakfast. So I load her up with a drink, her breakfast and some fruit which I know will keep her going and I run away and hide in the kitchen to meditate. Sure, it isn’t necessarily in silence as I can hear Doc McStuffins in the background and Isabelle is usually talking to herself but nevertheless, it is better than not doing it at all. I vote this as something I need to find time for daily, because it is something I am doing to improve not only myself, but my state of mind and therefore my abilities to parent. Basically, it helps me keep my shit together.
A Coffee in Silence
If I really wanted to, I could achieve this by just getting up a little bit earlier and sitting downstairs in peace drinking my coffee before everyone else wakes up. I know a lot of people swear by this as well, being the first one to get up in the morning. But for me, I love sleep. I just love it. I would rather sit snuggled up in the blanket on the sofa drinking my coffee and answering multiple questions on ‘why has my nose got holes in it’ from my kid, than getting up at 5am. Because I would need to get up at 5am to beat my daughter out of bed in the morning. Not worth it. I think this one might be staying in the ‘perfect day’ scenario and I will take a noisy coffee compromise.
A Nice, Healthy Breakfast
I think this is one I could make time for once a week, when Isabelle is at nursery. I’m not sure if I would actually want to go alone or go with my husband. I think I need to try it alone first and see, I could take a book and sit by the river. It might be quite liberating. On days where I can’t escape, I could just cook a healthy breakfast and sit in the kitchen with the patio doors open to get a bit of fresh air. How’s that for a compromise?
Reading A Book (or magazine)
I could actually find time to do this one daily if I wanted to. Once Belle is in bed I could sit down with a nice book and a glass of wine and just live my best life. I don’t though…because Love Island. I think if I aim to read a book at least once a week I will feel like I’m getting my literary fix.
A Trip to the Spa
This one is a bit of a pipe dream I think. I love the spa, but it isn’t reasonable to go too often. Maybe every few months I could find a Sunday free to spend half a day at the spa either by myself or with a friend. Every few months my husband gets a night out with his work friends so it isn’t an unreasonable request of me to have a spa day I don’t think. I’m not up to nights out anymore, give me a hot tub instead any day. I think the key here is to actually book it in advance though, get it written on the calendar and make sure it is set in stone. Otherwise it will never happen. *googles local spa’s*
Catching up on my Favourite TV Shows
I do this most days to be fair once Isabelle is in bed. This is an easy one to find time for. For most people though I imagine it to be more difficult if you are fighting for control of the TV remote with your other half… Perhaps come to an arrangement of you have an hour and then I will have an hour. Then, during their hour if they are watching something crap, you could fit in one of your other things like reading a book or having a bath!
A Nice Long Bath
I think I do this maybe once a week? Usually on a Sunday so if Isabelle wakes up Joe is there to see to her instead of me having to haul my slippery self out of the tub. Though saying that, my last bath wasn’t overly relaxing as my kid decided she was going to pretend to need a wee to get out of having to go to bed. So she sat on the potty next to me for 45 minutes. I future, I will lock the door and leave Joe to deal with it. It is nice to use fancy products in the bath too I think, the ones you usually get for Christmas or birthdays that get forgotten about, or saved for best. Chuck them all in, throw in some essential oils like lavender oil (don’t forget your carrier so it doesn’t just sit on top of the bath water) and have a great time. It is actually Aromatherapy Awareness Week this week, so the perfect time to do some research on the scents you like and finding out their benefits. Oh and don’t forget your candles too. We have this amazing one by Woodwick at the moment which crackles as it burns. So relaxing.
An Early Night
I definitely need to do this more. Every day I say to myself that I will be in bed by ten and every night it is 11:45 and I’m still mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or washing the pots I couldn’t be bothered to do earlier. I need to make myself do this at least twice a week, I really think it would help me feel less tired all the time! Maybe I would get up earlier too and manage to enjoy that 5am silent coffee…
What would be your perfect day? Can you find the time to incorporate some elements of it into your life now, so that you are getting a bit of ‘me time’?