I chose to become a mother … TRUE.
I love my children … TRUE.
My life has changed significantly since becoming a mother … TRUE.
I must be a bad mother because sometimes I desperately crave time alone, just for me … FALSE.
Before becoming a mother ‘Me Time’ had always been an important part of nourishing my soul. In fact, I met my husband when I had a weekend away, alone, at the Pittwater YHA. I was craving a weekend of quiet and solitude in the bush but my husband was there with about 15 friends for their annual “catch-up” which quickly destroyed any sense of solitude I had been seeking. I can’t complain though having been married to him for 10 years now!
From the moment I held my first baby in my arms I surrendered my heart and soul to her. I gave her every piece of me, willingly, until a time came where I realised there was nothing left for me. I started taking steps to claim a little ‘Me Time’ here and there but found I struggled with a sense of guilt and expectation. Was I a bad mother because I wanted time alone? Craved time alone!
My eldest daughter is almost seven now and I am also mother to four and two-year-old daughters. ‘Me Time’ is increasingly challenging to find but I no longer feel guilty for wanting it. ‘Me Time’ is not a dirty word in our house and I am committed to supporting other mums to better care for their needs, guilt free.
Here are three things I have learned about “Me Time”:
- You need to ask for it
The yearning for your own time and space is something you don’t comprehend until you are a mother. Don’t wait for your husband to offer to give you time out because no matter how amazing he is and how much he loves you he doesn’t really understand what a difference some ‘me time’ would make for you. You need to be willing to ask for what you need. Ask for some support to have some time for your own needs.
- Five minutes is all it takes
I used to get caught up in wanting the perfect version of ‘me time’. A weekly yoga class for example. When that felt too hard to achieve I thought that I couldn’t have ‘me time’. In reality, I had to adjust how I perceived ‘me time’ and appreciate that five minutes to myself often was in fact more beneficial than an hour to myself once a month.
With five minutes totally for myself I can meditate, take a short walk, drink a cup of tea that is still hot when I finish it or read a chapter of my book in the garden. All of those things nourish my energy levels.
- I am a better mum when I have ‘Me Time’
‘Me Time’ replenishes my physical and emotional energy, which in turn allows me to give more to my children and husband. When I feel depleted I become short tempered at home. When I feel depleted I am unable to cope with the unpredictability young children bring to life. It is only when my own emotional reserves are healthy, they don’t have to actually be full, that I can be the mum I want to be.
YOU chose to become a mother.
YOU love your children.
YOUR life has changed significantly since becoming a mother.
YOU are NOT a bad mother if you sometimes crave time alone.
ME TIME is not a dirty word.
Wouldn’t you agree?