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.
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.