Before kids you can’t possibly imagine how little time you’ll have to yourself. Babies sleep a lot, surely mums can still have long bubble baths, read books or see friends?
I don’t have a baby any more though, I have a 5-year-old. I also have a lot more time to myself, and it’s lovely.
I thought our first school holidays would be stressful, but it’s been lovely and relaxing – and not at all expected! I work every day and so have had to organise a lot of childcare for Little H this summer – she’s spent her time between my parents, my inlaws and holiday club.
The thing is I finish work at 2:15 pm. If she’s at holiday club I’ve paid a fortune for her to be there for a full day so I’m mean and don’t pick her up until 5 pm. When she’s with her grandparents they’re all having so much fun they don’t want to bring her back until dinner time. So I’ve been getting home to an empty house at 2:30 pm most days.
I know that I really should use this time to clean the house or do errands but instead I’ve been coming home, sitting on the sofa and binge-watching House or The Gilmore Girls while eating Oreos and occasionally writing blog posts. And do you know what I don’t feel at all guilty about it!
Little H doesn’t mind she’s having great fun, and the husband doesn’t mind he’s at work anyway and couldn’t care less whether the house was tidy or not. So no reason to feel guilty.
It got me thinking about why I haven’t focused on myself sooner. In the past, if I had 5 minutes to myself I’d spend it cleaning, going to the supermarket, or running other boring errands. Instead of doing these things today I’ve just painted my nails and watched another 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls. I’ve also eaten a bag of Maltesers.
So if you’re stuck in a rut and not looking after yourself, here are my suggestions on making time for you…
Have a think about what’s important
Is it really essential that your house is spotless? I know we’d all love a completely pristine home but let’s be honest it lasts all of 5 minutes and no one even notices all your hard work so why bother? You may as well just have a nap or read a book rather than hoover. I guarantee you’ll feel happier afterwards.
Share the load
Why should you do all the housework and chores anyway? Make your other half help with the cleaning at the weekend and with bedtime during the week. Give the kids chores to do or at least make them tidy their toys away. The more help you can get with the boring stuff, the more time you’ll have to yourself for the fun stuff. Imagine having time to read a book because someone else has cooked dinner!
Finding the time is the hardest bit. Why not agree with your other half to take turns having a lie in? In our house, we take it in turns to get up at stupid o’clock with Little H over the weekend. The one not having a lie in has to keep her from going upstairs to disturb the snoozing! Sometimes on a quiet Sunday afternoon, my husband will take Little H to the park for an hour while I have some peace and quiet, or I’ll take her out if he wants to watch the football. It’s the best way to keep everyone happy and not bickering because we’re all tired.
There’s nothing better than using your “me time” to get pampered. Book an appointment and escape the house to get your nails or hair done. Even getting your bikini line waxed is more favourable than looking after the kids sometimes!
Book a babysitter
Me time doesn’t have to be by yourself, time with your other half is really important. Rope family or friends into babysitting and go out for dinner or a movie. Even better if you do the pampering thing first.
If all of the above is too much just start small. Why not try to do one thing per day for you. Instead of dusting paint your nails. Instead of going to the supermarket do the food shop online and watch Netflix at the same time.
Whatever it is just do something for you regularly – because you are very important. Let’s face it if Mum’s not happy neither is anyone else! 😉