How to find that elusive ‘me time’
Last week, Erin gave bunch of tips for sensory play with the kids, but what about us? As a parent running around after little ones, entertaining them, comforting them, teaching them, telling them to …for the love of God “get off him!”, cooking & cleaning, washing & ironing, tidying and tidying again – can be all consuming. In my previous articles I have highlighted the importance of ‘me time’ before and why we all truly need it. Yet, as a working mum, it’s safe to safe that finding this amazing me time certainly isn’t easy. Days fly by, the chores get done, the household bills get paid, the work life continues and we live our lives in a hurry the majority of the time.
After a tough year juggling my job and motherhood it’s safe to say that I failed dismally in the ‘me time’ department. And I truly suffered for it. To be honest I’m not even quite sure what it is anymore. The year was long, work was overwhelming, I was exhausted trying to ‘do it all’ and I truly felt like a failure on many levels, on many occasions.
So new year, new me right?! Well… no. I’d like to think that all the internal promises I have made to myself already this year will come to fruition but already I see myself falling into old habits. Work starts back this week after what has been a great holiday break with my family, and my stress levels are high, my fitness regime is bumpy and still I choose to clean the house before giving myself some time off.
So why do we find it so hard to just stop for a second and breathe? For me it’s clearly my own fault as the ever nagging need for perfection in all that I do is consistently eating away at me. My house needs to be perfect, my career needs to be perfect and my parenting skills need to be perfect. We all know they are not though – because I am human and if they were then I’d be a fictional character in a really shitty, unrealistic movie.
I am forever fighting to get things right, yet look at me today. As I was cleaning the toilets and the bathrooms my two babies decided that the kinetic sand they were playing with wasn’t that fun in the tray on the table outside, so my son ate it and my daughter walked it (and squashed it) into the carpet. Seriously – I just vacuumed there!! *Eye roll* and far out, do I need to call the poisons hotline??
So, as I sit here and reflect on how much of a failure I have been already on the ‘stop, breathe and relax’ campaign of 2018 (even if it’s finishing a full cup of coffee while I sit on the couch… of which sounds like heaven to me. Wait, who actually has time to do this?), I am putting a plan together to schedule these simple moments back into my life. Back into our lives – for me and my family.
Let’s do this one together. First step. Think about what makes you feel reenergised and rejuvenated. What makes you happy? Got it? Ok – now put it on the calendar. The following are my top 5 activities to feel better and happier in myself. Give it a go. What are you waiting for? I hear you – you have washing to do. Me too… maybe I should do that… WAIT! NO! Put the washing down and schedule it in. Now. (I’m talking to you and me here…)
Do it. Book in 3 classes a week, organise for your partner to be home or for a sitter and get moving (and do the same for them because they need me time too). Put the headphones in and tune out for an hour before you return to the busy every day movements. I am so busy some weeks, so its 6am gym classes for me. It’s hard to start – I know, but trust me it gets easier and its so worth it. No gym membership? That’s ok! Workout for 30 minutes at home or get outside for a walk.
Once a month if you can, organise a sitter for those kiddies and get out of the house with your partner. I actually don’t remember the last time my husband and I did this – it’s going on the calendar now. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Go to the park and pack a picnic dinner, watch a movie at home while the kids are at their grandparents or have fish and chips on the beach. Just book it in.
I mean away from the usual wax and hair appointment. I very rarely get to a beauty salon for a relaxing treatment because it’s always in the ‘too hard basket’ (or the ‘too expensive one’) and I see it as though it’s not a necessity. But let’s face it – it’s good for the soul. Get a tan, book a massage or request some new eyelash extensions and be on your way to feeling better about yourself. Even if it’s only a one off.
As a Senior English teacher I love reading, but I truly cannot remember the last time I read a book for myself. It’s usually the text I am teaching or essay after essay. Even if it’s five minutes to read the paper, I consider this as me time (I never have time to read the paper). I always have good intentions of reading at night before I go to sleep but half the time I’m so exhausted I just can’t be bothered and the other half is social media piquing my interest… Enough with the excuses! Sunday night is reading night – for me. NOT for work.
Coffee catch ups
Coffee? Yes please!! Need I say more?? Even if it is with the kids by your side – set them up with some activities and sip that amazing cup of heaven away. You won’t regret it.
So there it is. Wish me luck!
What are your top tips for finding me time?
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