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
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
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.