Before I had Lily I always said that when I had a baby I would make sure to get some “me time” in. Well let’s all have one big laugh at that shall we?! Along with “I’ll make sure I exercise and lose the baby weight.” Not forgetting “We’ll have monthly date nights to spend quality time together.” Or my personal favourite “I won’t let the baby control my life, it will fit around me!” Pre-baby me was an idiot.
Once that bundle of joy comes along life turns upside down, in the best way, but also in an all consuming way. “Me time” goes from one of the top priorities to the rock bottom one. I didn’t actually really miss it that much to start with, I think I was mainly in a newborn zombie mum state for the first few months, and then I was just cherishing every second of maternity leave after that. But lately I’m craving it a bit more.
I’ve tried to adapt my life so that I still get some me time, but in a different way. Using my gel nail kit, where I used to go to a beauticians. I have my friend do my hair at home, where I used to go to a salon. But still, it’s not quite the same. I know it’s something a lot of parents struggle with. It’s not just the mum’s either. Joe works five days a week, and has Lily whilst I’m at work on another. The pair of us only have one day a week together, which we like to spend as a family.
In the evenings we’re too tired to go out often, and don’t have a great number of people available to babysit. Not to mention the fact that pretty much all of our money goes on food and bills and general living. It doesn’t leave much left for going out socialising. Then if we do go out there’s the dreaded mum guilt that comes along with it!
Neither of us ask for much, I would love to go and get my nails done or have a massage occasionally. Joe simply likes to have some time to wash the car or play his Xbox. But still we don’t seem to have that time to do it. Another thing we very rarely do is go out on date nights. Instead opting for a takeaway occasionally, perhaps laziness also has a part to play here.
Some people seem to have it sussed. I see these parents who go out all the time, they are immaculately presented, and constantly seem to be on Facebook doing fun things with the kids as well. I thought I’d be one of those, but no. In fact I think these parents should do lessons on how to manage time, because I certainly don’t seem to be able to juggle it that well! Mind you I wouldn’t have the time to attend the lessons anyway! Perhaps some sort of online lecture…
I had a customer at work recently, an elderly lady. She was telling me about her family, her various grandchildren, I asked her if she sees them very often, her reply was:
“Not really, but I understand, they’re young and have young families, it’s a very busy time in your life at that stage, we see each other when we can.”
That simple and complete understanding of the situation warmed my heart. It also made me see things more clearly for what they are. We don’t get much me time, I don’t do things for myself enough, nor does Joe. But it is simply a busy time. This manic stress filled time will go so quickly. And as well as stress it is full of family days and laughter.
I really must try and find some more time for myself though, just occasionally, somehow. But I must also cherish this busy time as much as I can as I know it will fly by. I already find it crazy to think that Lily is 3 now, and about to start nursery. Soon she will be at school and we won’t have as much time to spend together.
How do you find the juggle of me time and family time? Any tips for a me time craving mum?