Finding ‘me time’ as a mum

I love March. I love March because of daffodils, daylight at tea time, the whiff of spring on the air – and because it’s my birthday month.

I am like a child when it comes to my birthday, getting a little bit wiggly with excitement as the big day approaches. Even though this year I shall be thirty six – and debating with myself whether this still counts as mid-thirties or if it tips me over into the late-thirties category – I still can’t help smiling at the thought of it all.

Finding me time as a mum

This has nothing to do with presents, by the way. While it is, of course, always lovely to receive gifts, I have found myself struggling since I’ve become a mum to come up with anything that I really want.

Actually, let me rephrase that. I’ve been unable to come up with any realistic, tangible gift ideas. There are lots of things I would love to have on my birthday but unfortunately many of them are tricky, if not downright impossible, for my family to provide.

This is what my dream gift list would look like:

  1. Sleep. Oh, definitely sleep. An entire, blissful eight or nine hours’ uninterrupted sleep. The type of sleep where you wake up deeply refreshed and ready to face the day ahead with renewed vigour. The type of sleep I haven’t had since my pre-pregnancy days, in fact.
  2. A long, relaxing soak in the bath. With candles. And soothing music. And time to exfoliate and apply a face mask, a hair mask and any other type of mask I can think of. Time to get all wrinkly and prune-like. Failing that, a good long shower would do, one where I am not trying to brush my teeth, shave my legs and wash myself all at the same time, while straining to hear what my toddler may or may not be up to in her bedroom.
  3. A trip to the toilet without an inquisitive toddler watching – or trying to help.
  4. A day to potter around the house, when all the chores have been magically taken care of by some little house cleaning elves, leaving me free to do whatever I like with absolutely no guilt.
  5. Actually, just some TIME would be pretty great.

Ah, the gift of time. Wouldn’t that be the most amazing present of all? I always seem to be running behind myself these days, with not nearly enough hours in the day to do it all. Somewhere in amongst the family time and the seemingly never-ending practical household tasks time, it isn’t easy to squeeze in any ‘me time’ as a mum.

I have got better at it over the last year or so, carving out little portions of a weekend or evening to do something just for me. I’m very lucky to have a husband who does his utmost to help me do that. But with another baby on the way in the autumn, I’m very much aware that time to myself will be at a premium come the end of this year.

With that in mind, maybe I should revaluate my birthday list and make the most of my relative freedom right now. I should be thinking big: a spa day, perhaps, or a weekend visiting a friend, or a night away with the husband. All the things that will be on hold for at least a little while when we are welcoming our second child into the world.

As fantastic as those would be – and I’m definitely going to try to do at least one of them! – my ToddlerGirl has just wandered into view, reminding me how fleeting this period of my life is. In just a couple of years, she has grown from a teeny newborn, completely dependent on me, to a walking, talking, hilarious and wonderful little person. In another short while, she will be at school. My ‘me time’ may be limited at the moment but it is worth it. When I once again have hours of time to waste, I’m sure I will be looking back at these busy baby and toddler years with a pang that they are over.

In the meantime, I will be appreciating every little drop of time I get to myself, whether it buys me a long, hot bath or a day out for a facial.


4 Comments on “Finding ‘me time’ as a mum”

  1. Totally agree, essential to carve out some “me time” and to apprciate time with little ones, a cliche but they really do grow so quickly!

    • It’s a fine line, isn’t it! If I’m feeling a bit frazzled with lack of ‘me time’ I find it does help to remind myself how short a period of time this is really – when ToddlerGirl is a teenager, I suspect I will feel we don’t spend nearly enough time together and miss the days when I had her all to myself :)

  2. The Monko says:

    i totally agree with your list, but do you know what on those rare occasions I get some time to myself I often spend it planning stuff to do when my son gets back. A spa day would be great though. Thanks for sharing, I’m featuring your post on the Sunday Parenting Party this weekend.

    • Isn’t that the funny thing about being a mum – I crave alone time and then when I have it, I really miss her little face! But I definitely appreciate some ‘time off’ when I can get it :) Thanks for the feature on the Sunday Parenting Party!

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