Saturday, 4 July 2015

The 'Me time' myth : Creating that baby-life balance

So me-time? Pretty sure that doesn't exist once you become a mother. Its one of those myths, like sleep or washed hair....

I have to say, since having my baby 9 months ago, 'me time' has evaded me. I am struggling with that baby-life balance.

Being a mum is not just a full time job but a second job, a third job... basically you do not much else. My husband is a teacher, and contrary to popular belief, teachers never stop working! He is at school from 7.30am until at least 5.30pm every day and then comes home and keeps working. Then there's his gym time, his soccer team. training. This leaves me, for most of the day home, alone looking after my baby. With my koala baby, who has decided that sleep is just not for her and that play time should involve mummy too, this leaves me with almost no time for myself. I love my baby like nothing else, I love spending time with her, but I do miss that time doing something for myself.

Since my little koala was born, she has been attached to my hip. She's a very clingy baby and always wants my attention. She doesn't sleep for long during the day and needs to be bounced to sleep. I am with her all day, entertaining her, feeding her, changing her nappy, preparing her food and so on. Until not long ago, I hadn't spent any time away from my baby. At all. I had not left the house without her. But for the first time, I went out alone. I hadn't had my hair cut in over a year and it was well overdue some attention. So I left the koala home with dad and ventured down to the local hairdresser. It was only 40 minutes, but I have to say it actually feel great. It made me feel like I was almost a human again, not just a mum. At the same time though, I felt incredibly guilty, like there was something else I should really be doing. The funny thing is though, I didn't go to the hairdresser for a wonderful relaxing pampering, I went because my hair was falling out in clumps, my baby was using it as a pull-toy and I hadn't had a cut in about 9 months. Can I really even call that 'me-time'?

To make things harder to find that balance, as women we're now expected to head back into the workforce sooner while maintaining our home, friendships and be a full time mother. Sigh.... I'm at a crossroads where I need to start looking for work again, but already feel overloaded with the job hunting, writing selection criteria and maintaining the house while watching bub and researching childcare. So where does the 'me time' fit in?

Does your husband ever say, take some 'me-time' and have a shower... really? When did having a shower become 'me-time'?! Before I had a baby I'm pretty certain this was called 'being clean'. Apparently its now what I call 'time to myself'. Five blissful minutes where I don't have make someones breakfast, pick someone up, clean something, fix something or explain how to heat bubs food in the microwave. If its the once a week I get to wash my hair, I might even stretch it to 10 minutes! Luxury, right?

Luckily, I found blogging. Blogging is my outlet. Something for me. Something I enjoy. Yet I only get a chance to blog at night... after the koala is put to bed, the washing is done, dinner is cooked and cleaned up, laundry is folded and toys cleaned and packed away so we don't accidentally tread on them during midnight awakenings.

Somehow though, I still feel guilty while I blog. Is there something else I should be doing? Should I be making another batch of puree? do any of my husbands shirts need an iron?

Why, as mothers, do we feel guilty every time we do anything for ourselves. Sometimes I get those comments from strangers or even friends about stay at home mums and particularly stay at home mum bloggers saying we spend all our time watching TV or on the computer. Clearly, whoever says that isn't a parent or has a really easy baby!

Is it wrong as a mother to wish you had some time to yourself?

Have you found that illusive balance? What do you do to find yourself?

xo

Linking with:
Ultimate Rabbit Hole
My Home Truths
Essentially Jess
Honest Mum

31 comments:

  1. I used to take a few hours on Saturday morning as me time when my bub was around seven months old. I'd go to a Saturday morning session and it was bliss. The cinemas are usually empty at that time and I'd get a large, hot coffee to take in. It was great to check out and I would really enjoy planning which movie I was going to see during the week. My hubby loved it too as he got some quality time with our daughter as well. And the rest of the weekend we spent all together so it was win/win!

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    1. Oh gosh, that sounds wonderfulllllll!! That does sound like an all-round win! If only I wasnt breastfeeding and my hubby wasnt a teacher (his time is always taken up with teacher-stuff). I'll have to think of a way to do something like that, sounds like life-saver!

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  2. I am not a mother yet, but I love to read this type of blog posts, they are so funny!
    Oh and reg. that we have to go back to work so early it's so unfair!

    Betty | Inspiremeand

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    1. Haha it was funny to me too before I had a child, now its just sad lol but yes, so unfair how soon we have to go back to work, and with the cost of childcare we're basically working for free!

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  3. I think me time is VERY important. Looking after yourself, so you can look after your family is vital. Even if it's a half a hour alone in the bathroom, or time to exercise, or go shopping alone, we need that space. My husband has realised we need to make that time for me, which is a huge help!

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    1. It is very important! Im glad you have a supportive husband, as do I but circumstances always prevent my 'me-time'.

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  4. I'm always glad to read I'm not alone in my mom-anxieties. When my girls were babies (my first was the clingy non-sleeper) I felt like I was just an extension of her and I had NO life of my own. It does get easier. My girls are now 4 and 6 (both going on 16, I feel!) and it is so much easier to "escape" and find that elusive "me-time." I think I started letting go of a bit of that mom guilt (it never disappears) once the kids get talking, and walking, and playing with toys on their own. Then you can fold the laundry and watch them without having to be physically touching them all the time! Hang in there - and enjoy those (overdue) trips to the salon. It's the start of returning your life to balance!

    You can read up on my mom struggles at my blog: modern-moms-life.blogspot.ca

    Jessica
    aka Modern Mom

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    1. Yes, I feel exactly the same! I hope in a few years time when my girl is over I will feel the same and be able to get a bit more time. The guilt is bad isnt it! I think my mother still gets it even though her children are all adults now. Thanks for reading, I'll pop over and check yours out too!

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  5. Getting me time is freakin hard when your a mum and 9/10 you miss your little munchkins as soon as you're away from them. I agree, blogging is a great form of "me" time. It's created a bunch of new friendships I'd be lost without! Some great laughs and I've learnt so much tech savy wise. With ProBlogger coming up soon it will be my first alone holiday since I traveled solo pre husband and kids. Tiny bit excited!!!! Keep on blogging for that "me" time. I truly believe it brings back your sparkle. And hair salon trips are THE BEST!!!! Find one that serves wine ;) now ya talkin x

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    1. I wish I could go to Problogger, but sadly I have neither the funds nor the babysitter! Maybe next year when I can leave bub home with hubby (maybe). Blogging does provide that great network doesn't it, I love chatting to other bloggers now! I love the idea of a hair salon with wine, not a bad idea :)

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  6. Bahaha I do the same as you and blog at night. That's the only time I get by myself. But then I end up staying up ridiculously late to get everything done {e.g. commenting on blog posts at 10pm at night like I am now}.

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    1. Yep! and I'm replying to comments at 10pm! Why oh why do we stay up so late... oh thats right, because its the only time we have a chance of being alone lol

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  7. We've all been there, including feeling guilty the minute we don't have them with us!
    It does get better and easier, trust me. One thing I did was get a play-pen, and started teaching my little ones to play on their own. We started at five minutes and they would cry at first, but soon they got the hang of it. Then I gradually increased the time so that I had a full half an hour to do jobs, or just have a cup of tea. That helped me keep my sanity a little :)

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    1. My bub is slowly growing to stand the play pen too, but only in small bursts and if she's in the right mood. I'm just hoping she doesnt realise anytime soon that she can actually lift it up!

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  8. Yep, when babies are small and so demanding, me-time usually becomes totally lame like a trip to Coles by yourself. It gets easier though, trust me!

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    1. Gosh, a supermarket trip without a crying baby sounds lovely lol I'm so lame! I'm sure oyu're right and it'll get easier in time!

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  9. WHERE DID MY COMMENT GOOOOOOOOO?

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    1. it appeared eventually! My comment system has been stuffed for days (hence why I'm only replying now!) I think I need to find something that works better!

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  10. So true! The first time I had some time away from my baby I felt immense guilt. Now I treasure even the smallest things - like being able to go to tesco on my own. It does get easier having me time as the babies get older but the guilt never quite goes away :) #brilliantblogposts

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    1. Yes, all those things that used to seem like mundane tasks when you were childless seem a lot more relaxing when you get to do them alone now!

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  11. Me-time. My kids are 2 and 4 and my me-time is still limited. Next year Miss 4 goes to school and I'm thinking the two days i will have when Master 2 is in preschool will be blissful. The truth, I will probably just do the washing, cleaning and cooking without interruption. And that will be close enough to bliss!

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    1. Oh, I hope you do get more time soon! but yes, I bet you do end up just cooking and cleaning! At least you'll be able to feel like you actually got that load of washing hung out for once!

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  12. Yup, I do resent that "me time" for myself includes showering alone (ya know, because that's a treat, compared to 90% of the time I share a shower with small people) OR where I trade off sleep for time alone to watch tv. I've been moderately-to-severely sleep deprived for the last 6.5 years, so honestly I do kind of go "eh, what's another episode? I'm tired anyway."

    I'm ABOUT to book myself a holiday for October and I can't wait to have it booked in, like, then I'll have something to look forward to. I love that it's so far in advance, because I'll get full value from the whole looking forward to having real, actual, genuine, me time. I can't wait to not be in the same state as my kids for 2 glorious nights.

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    1. hehe luckily I still get to shower alone while my bub can't walk (I dont think that'll last long). It's pretty much the only time I get to myself, isnt a shower wonderful! Have a great time on your holiday! I bet you are just counting down those days :)

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  13. I totally get that lack of me-time feeling! With 5 kids and 3 step kids, life is very hectic here, add on that uni, full time work, my blog, there is very little time left over. Over the years I've lost contact with most of my friends, just because of being too busy and not having time to catch up with them. Especially when I was a single mum!
    Though I must be very lucky with my partner, each week he takes the kids out for an hour or so, just so I can shower, shave etc. each Sunday I take the kids to church while he has his time, then Sunday after lunch I drop them to him and go for my time. He'll even do dinner, any un-done house chores and anything else he thinks I might want him to do. Every Friday I work till 5 instead of 3, so he picks up the kids that afternoon, and I usually arrive home to a bunch of flowers with a card that says something silly like "thanks for finding my odd sock" or "if you catch that magic elf that cleaned our room, please give these to her".

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    1. Oh thats a lot of children how on earth do you get anything done! Im a little in awe! It sounds like you have a wonderful partner, its so great you accommodate each other so you can both regain that little bit of sanity :)

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  14. Yay for new hair! I'm not a mum but I know your koala isn't going to be tiny forever, but I'm sure it will get easier and you will look back on the special times you shared together. Thanks for linking up to the Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

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  15. Just a little hands free time is nice lol my 6 week old likes to be held most of the time so even blogging has been tricky but otherwise it's nice too. Don't worry, it won't be too much longer before your bub will be on the move and you will be a little less attached at the hip. And good for you for getting out & getting your hair done. Next me time trip... A massage maybe :)

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  16. Me time is hard to find but it is so important for your own sanity. I have three cherubs and I find I have to sneak in little moments in between their demands for food, attention and entertainment to blog or just have a moment to myself. Me time is important but also don't forget to have time with your partner too. Date nights out are good if you can find care but even consider having a date night at home if you cannot find someone to look after your little koala. It sounds cliched but it will get better :)

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  17. That illusive me time is few and far between once you become a mum. Unfortunately it becomes part and parcel. What I can say is that the older they get it is easier it is to find some time to yourself. As cliche as it sounds they are only tiny for such a small amount of time in hindsight.

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  18. Lol - my husband always says to go have a shower for some 'me time'. I decided to give myself an hour's 'me time' by placing the boys {2 years and 9 months} in creche whilst I do yoga once a week. The gym's creche is practically empty and the ladies are lovely. And I feel recharged after the class.

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