TOP TIPS TO MAKE ‘ME TIME’ A REALITY

Me Time! Is there such a thing?

[By Claire Chadwick]

“Me time.” Two words that are thrown around a lot in today’s society of busy people – especially by women and mothers. It’s something we strive for, fight for, yearn for and work for…..but does it really need to be that hard to find? Well…yes….in most cases, I think it is harder to have a slice of regular ‘me time’ than originally perceived. Having time to ourselves, doing something we love; falls under the "finding balance" title – which is another whole battle, isn’t it?

Since becoming a wife and a mother, "me time" is something I rarely get. My days {and nights} are filled with motherly roles, house keeping, errand running, work, cooking, grocery shopping and getting everyone from place to place. Parents to young ones, will know that having a baby in tow, makes it challenging to find solo time or partner time. Babies and children are needy and dependent and very time-consuming. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s one of the good things about bringing a new life into the world – but it does require sacrifice and endless energy, and sometimes that can lead to exhaustion and even resentment.

I’ve been thinking a lot about "me time" lately and how much we strive for it; in hope to recharge, recover or relax. I know as a fulltime mother, I sometimes yearn for a break. A break from the kids, the house, the repetition, the ground hog feeling and the demanding responsibilities of adulthood.

For some they are able to include "me time" into their lives easily. They have the resources {a supportive partner, a babysitter, family living close by, a flexible schedule, a nanny etc} or the money to be able to do something on their own without a child on hip. They may use this time to go to the gym, for a run, shopping, sleeping etc. Some mums even admit that going to work is their "me time" as it’s a break from and a change of scenery from the family life. But for others, they don’t have the means to indulge in regular solo time. And over a long period, this becomes the norm and we slowly start to loose ourselves, our hobbies, our passions and maybe even our drive.

So….how can we get ME TIME, even in today’s busy society?

  1. Little snippets of time are better than none! Look closely at everything you did today. No maybe you didn’t get to enjoy a coffee on your own or read a book in peace or get to that yoga class. But….that 20 minutes you spent on Facebook {or other fun social medias} could technically be classified as ‘me time’. So be mindful of where your time is going and notice those little windows of time – that are in fact your ‘me time’ – you’re doing something for you, that you enjoy! Although they seem insignificant at the time, appreciate them for what they are. For example, that cuppa you sipped at whilst playing Candy Crush on your phone this evening whilst the kids played – tick it off as ‘me time’ and appreciate that tiny slice of enjoyment as a zone out / ‘me time’ slot.
  2. Plan ahead. If you want to join a gym or attend night classes or enjoy a regular break, you need to plan ahead. If you have a partner, communicate with them and find a suitable day or time where they can take the ‘parenting’ reigns and you can head out solo.
  3. Do a hobby from home. Children are little for only so long. Eventually they grow up & become independent; therefore heading out solo {or having ‘me time’} won’t be such a mammoth, planned ahead, rare experience. But whilst they’re young and reliant on you, find ways to have ‘me time’ around them. Discover a new hobby or pastime that you can do while they nap or at nighttimes. Beading, scrapbooking, reading, home-based exercises, writing, sewing, online work, studying etc. It gives your brain & body a rest from being ‘Mum’ and allows you to be creative, expressive and individual.
  4. Drop the guilty punishment! This is something I need to work on still. I feel guilty for my kids whenever I am out without them and doing something fun or relaxing. Or I feel guilty for my husband who has to shuffle his schedule to cater for me to have a break. Silly really! We all deserve a break and a chance to do something just for us. Why feel guilty for that? As long as there is balance, moderation and good intentions, I think ‘me time’ is vital.

Having a moment every now and then to focus on ourselves is important. Just because we are now parents or fulltime workers or partners or stay-at-home mothers, doesn’t mean we have to put ourselves last. Cherish yourself and the job your doing for your family and know that it’s ok to still have hobbies, passions, a career or a even a break on a regular basis.

What do you do for "me time"? A coffee in a cafe? A night out with friends? A session at the gym or a walk around the block to clear your head? And do you have anymore tips to help other busy people fit in time for themselves?

Claire Chadwick is a mother of two, a wife, a children’s Author and a life lover. She was a Primary School Teacher for ten years before she embarked on Motherhood, and freelance writing. She is a lover of summer, coffee, the colour pink and hearing her children laugh. Claire blogs daily about parenting and life from her Brisbane home at www.claireeverafter.com and has recently launched a successful and fun children’s book called So Many Sounds. You can find out more about Claire and her book at: http://www.clairechadwick.com.au. Claire believes in living a wholesome life full of rich memories and cherished moments. Her weaknesses: designer handbags, good champagne and a jar of Nutella.