What does me time mean?? According to the online Oxford Dictionary (where would we be without Google eh? – probably reading more books and owning an actual dictionary), the definition of me time is this;
Time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.
As a parent, I’m not sure how much me time you get. Probably none to an insignificant amount. As some of you may know, I struggled very badly with post natal depression when my second child was born, and I have learnt so much about myself in the last year. I mean, seriously. I didn’t know myself AT ALL.
Turns out, to stay sane, to be a good mum and wife, I NEED some me time. And I’m not just saying that to get some time off just because I’m tired (although I am) and lazy (no one’s perfect). If I don’t get time to myself I want to explode. I feel claustrophobic by my life and responsibilities, and want to run away from it all so much that I stop enjoying anything and start being a right little…grump. Not nice for anyone to be around.
I’d read an article somewhere about the latest trend in holidays being a ‘solo holiday’ and realised that was what I needed. Think of it. I whole holiday to yourself. No one to fight with on the way there, no one to wrestle into car seats, or plan meals for, or clean up after. Just you, a good book, good music, a bed, and breakfast. Even travelling somewhere on my own was exciting. So, I talked to Daddy Bear about it and we agreed I could do a couple of weekends away to get some alone time, down time, me time, whatever you want to call it. I would have Teddy Bear with me (he was still heavily dependent on breastfeeding at that point, otherwise I would’ve left him behind too!!), and Archie Bear would stay at home with him.
Here‘s the hotel I stayed at in the Cotswolds, it’s called Stratton House Hotel. It was perfect. Lovely, and I mean lovely staff made me feel like nothing was too big an ask, and I merrily ate as much food at breakfast as I physically could. At that point poached eggs on toast were the biggest treat EVER – just imagine, yolks that are actually still runny and hot when you get to eat them! Early bedtimes, late lie-ins (when Teddy let me), no cooking or cleaning, and I spent a blissful afternoon in the sun with Teddy Bear in the walled garden. It made me feel like I was in a fairytale, floating along without a care in the world, without the need to utter a single word to another adult if I didn’t want to. No one knew me, I didn’t know them, it was perfect.
A lot of people were shocked I was going away by myself, and wondered if there was something wrong with my marriage. There isn’t. He understands that this is part of me staying sane and being a better mum. Everyone needs me time of some kind, at some time. Please, please, take it, and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT feel guilty about it. Get a pen and write a list, now, of the things you’d like to do by yourself this week/month to give yourself some me time. Here’s mine. Now, where’s my diary?
- nice coffee in a café by myself (preferably the least child friendly café possible)
- weekend away
- time to wander round the supermarket by myself with no time limit
- time to nap/just lie in bed with a book/a film/audio book
- doing a short course in something creative
- going for dinner/cocktails with my best girlfriends
- time to watch whatever TV series I’m watching in my PJs, with a hot drink, preferably in a den/nest of cushions made by my husband