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