Intro: This post has sat in draft for over 6 months. I have struggled to post it, in part I think, due to some kind of internal guilt that I am still trying to overcome. So at the end of this post you will find a bit of an update on how I feel now after implementing some of my me time plans. I hope it helps some of you see why it is so essential to have some Me time.
As a busy working mum, I can’t afford to waste any time I get for myself, its precious, It’s time stolen during naps or Daddy time and most importantly its time I am stealing from myself!
Trying to multi task at every opportunity is preventing me from focussing on what’s important at that point in time. ME! It doesn’t matter what I want to do with my Me time, what is important is that I am dedicated to it, focused on it and present. If I decide I want to run a bath with a Lush bath bomb and watch the great British bake off then so be it. If I want to spend that time window shopping with a friend or researching a blog post so be it.
I’ve really felt a loss of identity since becoming a mum and all of the activities above are part of the journey I need to take to find Me, and I am not finding myself while sitting on the sofa watching re-runs on comedy central feeling exhausted and wishing I could be doing something more worthwhile or feeling guilty for not being more productive. I get 30 minutes when Husband bathes Little Boy and as soon as I sit down I get back up and start tidying!
I’ve been listen to Jess Lively from life with intention podcasts lately. A huge amount of the content is resonating with me particular intentional living based on core values! And I am seriously considering signing up for her class.
I have just finished listening to her podcasts with Alisa Vitti on how to make embodying pleasures a habit. I’ve always felt selfish for taking time for myself and have to almost force myself to enjoy any form of self care. Alisa said something during the podcast that finally hit home with me. “It’s only selfish if you have to deny someone something they need for you to have it”. Why do I feel guilty for enjoying a little time to myself? My Little Boy is in bed my Husband is enjoying some Him time, probably gaming. Who is being hurt while I am tucked in bed reading a book? No-one!
I have to make time for me now. To be a better Mum, Wife, Employee and person in general. Taking time for me isn’t selfish if it benefits the people around me!
So at least for a little while, until the little pleasures become a habit, I need to make myself a priority, to carve out some time to pamper myself or to indulge a hobby. I need to look after myself properly, not only the “should’s” but the “would like to’s”. I also need to make time for a self-care routine.
So I am planning to indulge myself a little and pick an activity from the list below, at least once a week, and dedicate myself to it and to me.
- Food – eating, cooking, reading recipes, I have a real passion for patisserie
- Reading – on my list is the fringe hours, the war of art and better than before and the Harry Potter saga, I read the first book in Paris.
- Pampering myself – a new body mist or lotion, a Lush bubble bath, an at home facial.
- Being Creative – cake decorating, home décor.
- Physical activity – Horse riding, climbing, skating, joining a meditation class.
- Researching – I love a good Google. Pouring myself into research really makes me happy.
- Adventure -close to home or abroad; visit somewhere new and try some new things.
6 months on: when I read this back I can feel the anxiety pouring out of it and I feel for the Me that wrote it. What I can tell you 6 months on however is that I no longer have that constant feeling of anxiety. Did I do everything listed above, hell no, I probably never will but I have implemented a few changes that I really think have helped a lot.
Food – my diet has improved immensely, I no longer have a nightly pattern of comfort eating once my son is in bed. On the whole I snack far less.
Reading – I did read the Harry Potter saga, then the cursed child, then the his dark materials trilogy and now I am re-reading a Christmas carol. More importantly I spend less time glued to my phone.
Pampering myself – I am still failing on this point
Being creative – I have been making more things for Little Boy, slime, pipe cleaner animals, more adventurous meals and I even attended a bread making class.
Physical activity – I haven’t joined any of the classes above, I probably won’t its just not been feasible to fit them in and I value my time with my Son more right now. We do make sure to get out at a family for an outdoor activity onece a week which is really lovely. Little boy gets to discover and Husband and I get a chance to talk.
Adventure – since starting this blog, defining my values and deciding to pursue a more intentional life, I have been to Paris, Berlin and Turkey with a trip to London on the horizon.
As an bonus I am also free of debt! What a lovely side effect of minimalism that is as it affords me the privilege of choosing how I live my life. My family as a whole are happier, I AM happier, I am healthier too. Take care of yourselves, mums or not, please.