Me time: Why parents need to have time to thy self

IMG_3071Me time. Something we crave but don’t always get? Or should it be something we actively seek to ensure we remain the best parents we can be?

Of course some of us are much better at finding the snippets of time for the self than others, and certainly circumstances can dictate how readily available that time is. Whatever your situation however, I think we all should strive for this time out for the self…and most importantly be sure that it is guilt free.

My previous post asked you to tell me what you would do if you had a day with no housework or domestic chores. I thought I’d share some of your suggestions in the hope that we might all try to do at least one of these things this week and really enjoy devoting some time to ourselves.

  • have a bubble bath
  • read a book
  • take a nap on the beach
  • catch up with girlfriends
  • pick some flowers
  • have a disco in the kitchen
  • drink cups of tea
  • potter in the garden
  • create a patchwork quilt
  • crochet
  • browse through the shops
  • go for a run
  • relax in a big comfy armchair
  • hit the park
  • call mum/sister/friend and have a big long chat
  • spend more time writing and blogging
  • go to the movies
  • time at a day spa
  • a trip to the aquarium
  • paint nails
  • go for high tea
  • shop for clothes online
  • go to the hairdresser…this is what I did this week and I just loved the two hours of trashy magazines, cups of coffee and an awesome head massage!

There are 168 hours a week, so I am sure you can find a couple to spare! And remember happy mum or dad equals happy kids!

Is ‘me time’ something you regularly get? Do you have to consciously seek it out? Or do you struggle with time management and feel guilty about all the other ‘stuff’ that you could be doing?

For more amazing posts on anything to do with self care, visit the beautiful blog of Kirri White.

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This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Leanne Winter

    Martine, I think you are spot on. In the research project I’m working on we encourage parents to think of themselves as their child’s biggest asset. A parent who is rejuvenated, relaxed & happy will be more responsive to their child’s needs and generally be a more sensitive parent. It is important to be realistic when planning time for yourself but even having half an hour to read your favourite magazine or just going for a walk can work wonders 🙂

    1. Martine

      Thanks Leanne, so true. It is not always going to be the same every day or every week,but certainly we need to seek it out when we can.

  2. kirri

    No surprise that I was drawn to reading this blog post Marty – but a lovely surprise of being mentioned.
    Thank you x

  3. My post today is on the value of down time so I am with you 100%. I want people to practice more self care and not just me the, but be okay with times the want to truly have down time that is not “productive” ie where you have nothing to show at the end of the time xx

    1. Martine

      Absolutely Deb. We get so caught up in having to ‘fill’ every moment with stuff that we (and our kids) forget how to just ‘be’.

  4. Lydia C. Lee

    I’m good at this – everyone needs a recharge, only women feel bad about doing this….I go to movies or read in the bath. Perfect, everytime.

    1. Martine

      Sounds perfect Lydia!

  5. I guess it depends what you classify as “me” time. I seem to get a lot of time where I’m not with my husband or son. But some of that time is spent working. Other time is spent playing tennis, going to pilates, going to personal training, Tuesdays are my days “off” which is ALL to me (though sometimes involves chores/errands). I love my time to myself, I’d be a complete wreck without it. I think getting over the guilt is the hardest part, and taking “me” time when you have a new baby makes you feel the most guilty, but we aren’t superheroes. We’re human. If we don’t look after ourselves, we can’t look after others! Great post. x Aroha (#teamIBOT)

    1. Martine

      Thanks Aroha. I think even just having that time to your self no matter what you are doing is important.

  6. That’s a pretty comprehensive list! I also think it’s important to acknowledge when you are having “me time” so it is mindful and meaningful, as sometimes sitting down to a cup of tea or flick through a magazine can be lost in the overall flow of the day and you lose a bit of the effect.

    1. Martine

      Yes Rachel but I have to say flicking through a magazine is such a rarity for me that it is almost reserved for holidays! But certainly I could always find the time, I just choose to do other things. It is possibly important to keep it from getting lost in the overflow as I am sure if I sat down to a magazine the kids would soon be at me to do something else!

    1. Martine

      Thanks Judy, I think it should be important to us all and I do wonder how some people cope without it.

  7. Tegan

    I love my me time. Mr 3 goes to daycare twice a week and I do absolutely nothing that I don’t want to on this days. I just take it as it comes ans relax. Makes for a much calmer mummy for the day.

    1. Martine

      I think that is the best outcome Tegan. A calmer mummy is much more able to tackle the challenges that inevitably come our way!

  8. Pip

    Thanks for listing all of these ideas. I needed some inspiration so so so much. Love it when it’s practical tips rather than just advice giving. Cheers, Pip

  9. I do battle to get me time, amongst 3 kids, work, and life in general, but even when I spent an hour doing something, or nothing, I’m so much happier after it! GREAT list, must print this out and make sure it’s in plain sight for my hubby! Thanks – Em x

    1. Martine

      Oh good idea Emily!

  10. JACANA

    Wish I had more me time. Last week scored a few days to myself. I am now at 8 days and night that I have had totally to myself in the last 14 years. I just loved it. I didn’t realise how nice it was to shower and use the bathroom without being interrupted. BLISS

    1. Martine

      sometimes its the little things too!

  11. Grace

    I agree wholeheartedly! And I love your list! I don’t remember the last time I took a nap on the beach. I’m pretty sure it was waaaay before having the twinlets!
    Trashy mags and cups of coffee at the hairdressers is like being in heaven! 🙂 x

  12. Hello there, a list to cut out and keep, that one. I often think of my writing/blogging time as ‘me time’, a reward for getting the chores done… and then think… hmmm… what about doing nothing instead. But actually I know how much I love the ‘flow’ that happens when I work and I do find it so fulfilling.

    But movies during the day is far too rare a treat, also hairdresser time… and what about a pedicure too? Quick, must do some of this good stuff before husband disappears at very moment school holidays commence.

  13. Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    Me time is definitely something I have to force myself to do. I know it’s not healthy to keep going at the pace I’m going at though. I try to give myself some me time everyday, but am not always successful. Even if it’s having a quiet cuppa when the kids are asleep, I find helps.

  14. I must admit I always try to have at least an hour or two out of the house by myself otherwise I start to go stir-crazy and lose my patience much more quickly. Even if its just to go do some grocery shopping, I try to incorporate some extra time to grab a cup of coffee and just sit and go on facebook and read blogs while I drink. Last week I went to Ikea and this week I got my hair done, first time in over 7 months and it was so nice to be able to sit there and chat with the hairdresser, flick through magazines and not worry about having to be anywhere, do anything or look after anyone!

  15. My me time is my weekly Friday night spa bath (don’t fret, I do shower in between), with champagne, trashy mag, good book, junk mail, some leg shaving and a candle. It lasts a full hour! And Husband comes in to top up my glass (and probably have a perve).
    My other me time is taking my lunch break in front of Ellen with a cup of Chai. Although I usually only get that once a week too.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  16. Kathy

    Hi Martine – I’m sure something is in the air this week with a focus on going slow, taking time out. I still think of my blog as my ‘treat’ in some way in terms of time on my own. Having said that I indulged in my annual yoga retreat a couple of weeks ago and aim to fit in yoga at least 3 times a week. And I read WHOLE book in one day on the public holiday as I was coming down with the flu!

  17. Robomum

    Me time is so important these days. I crave time to myself to just do nothing. As a mum, there’s always something to do and generally, I’m not the type of person to sit still – it’s a family trait.
    Sometimes just sitting still for a while is enough.

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