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  • Clare Bowers

Does any of this time belong to me?



When I’m asked about the differences between ‘Mummy

Time’ and ‘Me Time’, the truth is that what these two very

different times mean to me, doesn’t always resemble what

they mean to other mothers. Again, it is all about individual

identity. Mummy Time for me is not just when I’m with the

children, but when I’m still doing mum related tasks and

thinking in ‘mum mode’. I find myself having quiet time and

suddenly all of next week’s school activities will jump into my

mind, or when I am out having a cup of tea with friends and

we end up talking about our children the whole time. Me

Time can be when you are alone, or with your partner or

friends, and can focus on you and what you enjoy. I like

cinema dates with my husband a lot now and I don't feel

guilty asking for a babysitter because I know we both deserve

that time.


Being on your own can look lonely to a stranger, when it is a

sanctuary for you. A perfect experience of this was when I was

in a coffee shop and my toddler had fallen asleep. Even

though the sensible mum thing to do would have been to use

that opportunity to zoom around the shops and pick up the

things I need, I rebelled. I sat with a hot chocolate and my

own thoughts for what seemed like hours. I took one nice

picture to prove to my friends that it is possible to get some

peace and quiet even when you’re a mum of three, then I put

my phone away. I had to smile to myself when the lady

beside us asked me if I wanted a magazine to read. I

wondered if she had mistaken my peace for boredom.


An hour to yourself, with your own thoughts, can make such

a massive difference to your wellbeing. Sitting on the couch at

home while your baby sleeps or when the children are all in

school, doesn’t mean you’re selfish or that your house is going

to derail. It means you care enough about your own health, to

stop and charge back up! Don’t ever give up on your own

needs, because they’ll prepare you for when you hit the tough

times.


As your children grow older you will find their needs in some

areas grow, like in education, and in the other areas they

become more independent, wanting to go out with friends

and make their own breakfast. Use that independence to have

the ‘Me Time’ that you deserve. If your little one is playing

happily on the floor with her toys, open the book you've been

wanting to read. Children need their own ‘Me Time’ too.




Trying to get the time out to spend working on building your

identity back up when your children are young can be

challenging. You know that you shouldn’t be thinking about

uniform and baby ballet when you’re out enjoying yourself,

but you will. The guilt that comes with ‘Me Time’ doesn’t give

up easily. Remind yourself that all mothers are allowed to feel

happy when they’re not with their children. It’s healthy!


When I didn’t have the Me Time I needed, I was overwhelmed

with negative emotions that would make me question

everything. This was because I couldn’t fully be me during as

I was still responding to everyone else’s needs.


I have come so far after being in such a confusing place. This

allows me to encourage other mothers. If I could have guiltfree

Me Time, even when I was a single mum of two who

suffered with anxiety, depression and loneliness, then it could

happen for anyone.


Continued in my next blog.


Always here.


Clare.



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