Me Time | Breathing Space

me time

Before I became a mother, I was pretty selfish.

And I had years of being selfish.

Doing whatever I wanted — whenever I wanted — getting up late, going to bed late. I went to the gym when I felt like it (admittedly not very often), went shopping when I fancied. OK — granted — these things were slotted in around work but, basically, I pleased myself. Pretty much all of the time.

Roll on a few years and my how things have changed.

Making time for yourself when you’re a mother is hard work!! You know that looking after a child will be challenging but, actually, remembering to look after yourself and making time for yourself when you’re a mum is *almost* as challenging.

Initially, when the twins were born, I’d make myself feel a million times better just by grabbing 5 minutes each morning to put my makeup on. Half the time I didn’t go anywhere — and no-one saw me — but it made me feel good. A bit of war paint and I felt like I could face anything.

These days ‘me time’ is still fairly difficult to come by for any decent length of time but as the boys are growing — and becoming more independent — it’s starting  to happen a little bit more frequently.

I wrote about my recent trip to Portugal with some girlfriends, albeit, that’s a pretty rare and special occasion.

A — it was 4 nights away and

B — it’s too expensive to do that too frequently!

But day to day, how often do we spend time on ourselves? I read an article on Netmums last year that said most modern mothers get just 17 minutes of ‘me time’ to themselves each day.

17 minutes?

And what do we do in that time? The top 5 favourite ways to spend those precious minutes were:

1. Read a book
2. Cup of tea
3. Watch soaps
4. Have a doze
5. Browse Facebook/Twitter

Not much time for pampering then? You could *just* about paint your nails in 17 minutes (whether they’d be dry, by the time your time was up, is debatable).

That said, I do make time for myself on a weekly basis and have done since the boys were about 6 months old. I go to a Pilates class in a local village hall.

It’s only for an hour each week but it’s my hour. I don’t have to share it — speak to anyone — think about anyone else except for myself. And as well as being good for my body, it’s good for my mind. Good to switch off and concentrate on nothing but stretching and breathing for an hour.

Plus it gives me a sense of self.

In that hour I am nobody’s wife or mother. I have no label or a title.

I am just me.

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About The Twinkle Diaries

Big eyes & a happy heart. Festival goer, gin lover. Lives in a haphazard state of chaotic bliss with a lovely husband, twin toddler boys, three cats & four chickens.

76 thoughts on “Me Time | Breathing Space

  1. Aaahhh yes; ‘me’ time…slowly getting a little back here and there. On the plus side, at least I truly make the most of it now when I have it. And health/fitness is totally where I tend to cut corners…bad mummy. Thanks Caro. #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Good for you — managing to claw a little bit back for yourself!! And I guess, if health and fitness isn’t high on your agenda, I can see why you wouldn’t want to waste the little time you do have, doing an exercise class! :)

  2. I always found taking “me time” was very difficult when my boys were young. But an older and wiser mum once told me you have to put yourself first occasionally because if you dont show yourself a little kindness and respect, how will your children learn to be kind and respect you. X
    #TwinklyTuesday

  3. My husband thinks that going to work full time is all the leisure I could possibly require!! Whilst admittedly I do get to pee alone whenever I want it’s not really my idea of relaxation! #twinklytuesday

  4. What a brilliant idea! I’m going to look into joining something. I suppose I class my blog as my me time too. It is a time when I get to do something I enjoy and share my thoughts. I certainly said this to hubby when he complained about the amount of time I spend on it 😉 #twinklytuesday

  5. It’s nice to have an hour or two every week to do something you want to do. I take my dog on a walk every night while my husband reads stories with the kids. Not too exciting but I get my daily dose of exercise. I voted for you!

  6. Time for ourselves is super important and not always easy to come by, especially uninterrupted . . . I mean I get time now that they are older to read a good book (I just get interrupted constantly) and I get time to shower these days without a crying baby in a swing next to me (but I usually get 3 or 4 if you count hubby coming by to tell me something, actually make that 5 the dog likes to visit me too). #Twinklyteuesday

  7. I read this post last night and it really resonated with me. I have always been really rubbish at making time for myself but it is so important to do that. I genuinely believe it helps you to be a better Mum too. I know I have more patience with everything when I’ve had a chance to step away and just be me for a little while. For the past few years I have been singing with a choir on a Wednesday evening and that little break really makes me feel better about everything – and I get to mix with other Mum’s who feel the same. Whoever said singing is good for the soul wasn’t wrong! I would love a weekend away sometime soon as well. I’m so glad you had a great time in Portugal, I’ll bet you came back feeling like a new woman (and hopefully not tired and hungover ;-) ?!) Thanks for sharing xx #TwinklyTuesday

  8. So important getting some time to yourself! I recently started yoga which was something I used to do pretty regularly. I love every minute of it starting from the minute I leave the house! I love the drive there, the class & the shower on my own afterwards!! #TwinklyTuesday

  9. Enjoy that time! The Wolf gets up with the cubs every Saturday so I can have a lie-in and then the rest of the morning is for me to write my blog and generally relax in the bedroom without constant noise and demands. It’s complete and utter bliss.

    #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Aaah that does sound lovely! Blogging at the minute is definitely more work than ‘me time’ — although that’s cos I don’t have dedicated time to do it! Just grabbing minutes here and there. A whole Saturday morning sounds delicious!!! :)

  10. 17minutes of me time sounds about right to me. I get some time to myself when Leo has his nap but lots of that time is taken up doing housework I don’t get chance to do when he is awake. I do try and make sure he is in bed by 7ish most nights so I get a few hours in the evening to relax with my husband. Escaping from the house for a whole hour once a week sounds dreamy, you have made me want to join a pilates group :) xx #TwinklyTuesday

  11. Really pertinent post. I think its really easy to lose your sense of self when you become a Mum, I certainly felt that I did. 17 mins really isn’t long! My kids have got the age now where I (mostly) get to do the basics by myself. I still actually lock myself in the bathroom though, to avoid numerous visits from complaining siblings who cant wait for me to reappear to inform me of the other’s wrong-doing! #TwinklyTuesday

  12. Good for you having that time – you’re right, we NEED it. I used to feel guilty for wanting time on my own but actually it makes me a better Mummy for it. Hubby sent me off shopping for a few hours on sunday and I felt so much better for it. I love my twinnies but need a little break here and there. Even if it is just having a bath or popping out to Tesco!! Gteat post lovely lady :) Jess xx

    #twinklytuesday

  13. Great post, sounds like you’re doing a good job of finding a balance! I find it’s not so much the lack of ‘me time’, it’s that there’s too many things I want to do in that little window. Mostly I really want to have a nap, but that means I have to forego novel reading & tea drinking – tough decision ;) #TwinklyTuesday

  14. Loved reading this post. I think it is so important for every single parent to have ‘me time’. I go to slimming world class every Wednesday evening and I kinda feel that is ‘my time’ and in the afternoons 3 times a week when both girls are in school but I do blog work for the most of that time.

    #TwinklyTuesday

  15. time out is so important isn’t it? Sounds really pathetic but I do my food shopping usually late of an evening when the husband is back and I find it quite enjoyable as I can take my time browsing and check labels etc. Loser, much? haha #twinklytuesday

  16. It’s really important to have time to yourself and remember you were a person before a mummy. It does get much easier as the kids grow up mine are 6 & 8 and I can read a book whilst they’re playing or do the odd thing for me. Not entirely sure what I’ll do in Jan when the new baby comes …… #twinklytuesday

    1. Do you know — that’s our mantra!! Since the boys were born, my boy and I have said that SO often. Generally to do with anything sleep related — if the twins are sleeping, it equals happy parents. And happy parents equal happy kids :) I can totally apply it to ‘me time’ though too. xx

  17. Oh I so get this post – I have twins and an older daughter and me time is so precious and hard to come by. When they were tiny I was known to drink a cup of tea sat on the loo with the door locked to keep everyone gate crashing. Now they are older and I have some time when my kids are at school/preschool. Even so I have a bottle of nail varnish I bought weeks ago that is still unopened! My favourite thing to do now is book an occasional day of annual leave and have a me day – shopping, pottering around, sitting in a café reading, going for a swim. It recharges me and makes me a more chilled out mum.

    1. Aaah that sounds like my perfect day! A bit of shopping — even just sitting and watching some trashy TV every once in a while is lovely!! I totally agree — it definitely recharges the batteries and gives a girl a boost, doesn’t it? x

  18. Sounds like heaven! I did Yoga years ago and it was really relaxing…good for the mind as much as the body! I really really must stop talking about what I should do, and actually do it ;-) x #twinklytuesday

  19. Such a good idea to get out of the house and go to a gym class to get time to yourself, that way there are no kids around nagging for things! It’s a shame that parents don’t get more me time, it helps to keep us sane and remember who we are :)

    #twinklytuesday

    Gemma xx

  20. It’s so good to read a post like this to remind me that I’m sometimes too comfortable in my routine as wife and mum. Amen to doing things for ourselves and nurturing our souls.
    xx
    #TwinklyTuesday

  21. I do love a bit of me time. I go to my Slimming World class on a Tuesday evening for a couple of hours. I volunteer and help out in class and it’s been a great way to make new friends in the area and for people to just get to know me. Not Olly’s Mama or MrsShilts off social media. For the second time since Olly was born, I’ve booked to visit my friend in Manchester in November for a well over due girls weekend, I cannot wait! #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Aaah THREE HOURS! Such a lovely break isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong — I love my husband and children more than life itself but it’s SO important to have a bit of space isn’t it? Just a little peace every now and then :) x

  22. It’s now that I understand why parent always used to say “make the most of your time” when I was pregnant with my first child, they knew how little time you get as a parent. Although, I have to admit I get at least an hour or 2 hour now when my daughter is at nursery and my little boy is having his nap and its lovely to be able to do whatever! #TwinklyTuesday

  23. 17 minutes?! Eek! I am one of those people that has to have had a bit of time to myself during the week otherwise I don’t function very well at all. I need that thinking space and time to get my head together if needed. My hubby is away with work every mon, tues and wed eve’s every week so I use that time as much as I can #twinklytuesday x

  24. My mummy was very selfish too before she was a mum. She was living her life for herself, doing what she wanted when she wanted. Oh. How the world has changed now……. It’s nice to do things for others. She actually appreciates the free time she has now! #TwinklyTuesday x

  25. It’s so hard finding time in the day to have a bit of time to yourself, even if my son naps I’ll end up doing the washing or tidying up and thats not very relaxing! Once he’s gone to bed I enjoy sitting down at my laptop and blogging, I find that relaxing but my husband moans because I’m not paying him any attention! I also go to my local choir once a week which a great stress-buster and nice to be Elaine, and not Mummy! #twinklytuesday

  26. Quite often on a weekend, if we’re not doing much, and the kids and husband are happy mooching at home, I go off to a cafe, with my book for an hour. I cannot tell you how much I love this space. Knowing I am not restrained by school pick ups, or after school activity it’s pure bliss. Good for you for getting to pilates xx #twinklytuesday

  27. I have lost count of the times me and Mrs B have looked at each other and said: “What did we used to DO with our time?” Because as you say since becoming parents we barely have time to grunt at each other in the mornings as we get ready for work and by the evening we are exhausted. I am typing this while she has a bath now tinker is in bed. Somehow we have to summon up the energy to cook something vaguely edible and then we fall into bed and do it all again tomorrow. I know we both long for time to ourselves but that’s the deal I guess when you have a baby! Anyway, this is my me time, so I’d better go read more blogs! #twinklytuesday

    1. Ohmygoodness— we’ve said EXACTLY the same thing!! WHAT did we do with all our time?! It seems totally ridiculous now, when I think back!! Blogging definitely does not help my cause either :) Spending ‘me time’ commenting on blogs and writing posts doesn’t count!! :)

  28. Yes I definitely benefit from a bit of me time but to be honest very rarely get any at the moment! I am very envious of your pilates class, I’d love to do something like that that was for well being as well. It is so important xx #twinklytuesday

  29. Oh this is just the kind of post I love!! I am forever banging my drum about the importance of me-time – if you don’t I am convinced you get rattier and more frustrated, and don’t have the time to nourish yourself enough to be able to give back to others! I similarly don’t count blogging or social media as me-time, but those moments on my yoga mat when the world outside ceases to exist, that’s definitely time for me, and I love that you took time to do makeup just for you, all so important! Thanks so much for linking to #AllAboutYou xx

    1. Me either — I definitely don’t count blogging as me time!! That’s in the ‘work’ category!! Keeping a little back for yourself so important isn’t it? Happy parents make happy kids too, if I was miserable and burned out, no-one would benefit from that! Thanks for hosting x

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