The next instalment of my Becoming a SAHM Survival Kit is all about me-time, or you-time 🙂 I’ve mentioned it in some of the other posts in the series already but it is so important that I think it deserves a post of it’s own.
Life as a SAHM is busy! I’m not saying working mums are less busy (surely you must be more busy?) or need downtime any less then SAHM’s though I guess it does depend what your job is and how much you enjoy it. But what I am saying is that when every day of your life involves wiping bums, cooking, cleaning, playing, walking, trying to teach your little ones all while being clambered over, clung too, pulled around, screamed at, and cried on, etc. it can feel like a lot of hard work. You don’t really have any personal space, be it physically or emotionally.
Even when the grandparents look after Monkey for the odd hour during the week I spend the whole time cleaning, then Monkey’s nap times are spent cooking, doing a bit more cleaning and I squeeze in blogging and tweeting where I can. I do sometimes just sit in front of the TV during nap times too, I’m not ashamed to admit it, some days I am too knackered by the afternoon nap to do anything other than rest before the onslaught of the rest of the afternoon!
After a while of no time to just be me, to do what I want, I get steadily grumpier, bicker more with my husband, and sex, well, it doesn’t happen because I just want some personal space. That’s not to say I don’t love being a SAHM, of course I do otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. It is just wearing to put your needs last all the time.
I am very lucky with my hubby, he’s happy to look after Monkey on his own sometimes, he is very understanding of how hard it can be as a SAHM and is very supportive of me needing a break occasionally. Even then though I often find weeks go by without me feeling like I have had any kind of break because I feel guilty. Weekends are family time so I feel we should make the most of Daddy being home so we can do things together. Likewise evenings are our grown up time so we spend it together rather than me going off to read a book or have a bath. I feel guilty for wasting time that could be spent together. I forget that spending time on myself isn’t a waste – it’s a necessity!
Last weekend hubby gave me some time off (haha that sounds like he’s my boss, but he offered to look after Monkey on his own for the day so I could have a break), I had crazy bad PMT because I have come off the pill and I NEEDED some time alone. I didn’t do much, just had a long hot bath, wandered round some shops (which let’s face it you can’t really do with a toddler in tow), made a vegetable soup for the first time ever, and sat and read my book. It was lovely. Monkey and daddy had a lovely day together so we were smiles all round. That week, even though the PMT was still there a bit and I was on a short fuse, I was generally much happier than previously, and feeling much more romantic with my hubby.
This weekend was one of my best friends’ birthdays and she was planning some drinks in London. Hubby and Monkey were invited too and we did plan to all go, then I asked hubby if he minded me going alone. We could have managed to keep Monkey entertained for the afternoon but it would have taken a lot of effort and honestly, all I wanted was to sit and relax for the afternoon and drink and chat with my friends. Hubby had no problem with this and so off I went. It was such a lovely relaxed afternoon and I enjoyed myself so much more with not being climbed over, drooled on etc. No distractions and I felt like I could just be me for a few hours.
The result is that I come home happy and rejuvenated and ready to face another week of being the primary caregiver and living a life centred around Monkey’s needs rather than my own.
So, if you are like me and put your own needs last all the time – Stop. Just for an hour or so. Talk to your partner or a helpful relative and take some time for yourself. Read a book or a Magazine if you prefer. Don’t think about what jobs need doing or what your child is up to. Think about yourself for once, paint your nails, do your hair, go for a walk, take a bath. Just do something that you used to take for granted before you became a mum. You’ll be amazed how refreshed you can feel after just a short break.
If your partner needs some convincing about you taking some time off, remind that it helps them in the long run too 😉 !
If you enjoyed this post, why not have a look at the other posts in the Survival Kit, Perspective, Resilience, Creativity and Confidence.
You are so absolutely right – me-time is a necessity, recharges our batteries and fills our needs as human beings to fill others’! So pleased you’ve dedicated a whole post to this and linked to #AllAboutYou x
Such an important post, we must put ourselves first-ensuring we are healthy and happy makes for content kids. Brilliant post #allaboutyou
Thank you and it’s so true. Its easy to feel that wanting time for yourself is selfish or taking time away from being with your kids, but it is so important and makes you enjoy the time with your kids so much more. Much better for your kids in the long run! 🙂 Xx
One thing I have learnt being a Mum (I’m sure there’s more but nothing else comes to mind at the moment!) time to myself doing something for me makes me a better Mum. Great post! 🙂
Ha ha I’m sure there’s more! That has got to be one of the most important lessons though, it is so much better for everyone if you have a little bit of me time now and then!
Great post. Me -time is so essential, though often hard to come by, whether it be my circumstance or my own priorities – there’s always something to do so why stop?! But it makes a difference. If I take out half an hour of my day to read or write a letter etc., I feel so much better 🙂
Thank you, and you’re right there’s always something to do, and that’s why you have to stop. Even just a short break can make the world of difference. Xx
Great post and so true. Glad you had a lovely day and everyone is all smiles. I always find that having a break makes me a happier person – there’s only so much you can do before breaking point. 🙂 #AllAboutYou
Thank you and you are absolutely right, and noone wants mummy to be at breaking point! 🙂 xx
Wasting time and guilt, boy they are key words aren’t they? They are words that certainly resonate with me and I’m sure many, many others! Thank you for highlighting these kill joys and for leaving in their place a gentle reminder to think #AllAboutYou!
They really are, but we have to push those feelings aside and make time for ourselves as there is nothing to feel guilty about and taking time for yourself is NOT a waste of time 🙂 xx
Thank you such a great reminder
you’re welcome, hope it helps you to get some me time 🙂
Me-time and in particular time out away from the house either with friends or just totally on your own is so important! Happy parent, happy child! Thanks for linking to #AllAboutYou
Absolutely – it definitely helps to get out of the house so you can’t be tempted to do some jobs – out of sight out of mind, at least foe a little while 🙂 xx
haha I love the wink and I love your blog. I aspire to be a SAHM so reading up on tips from you. I think I may print this off for the hubster 😉
haha thank you, I wasn’t sure how else to get my point across subtly 😉 Ooh well I hope I can help but I think I’ve quite a long way to go myself! 🙂 haha do it, hope it helps! xx
I can totally identify. Hubby works long hours and we don’t have family support friends are far away so we ask for help rarely. But on the times I do take time out, say walk to a local cafe for an hour with a mag, I do feel better. Taking time out allow you to enjoy your family that much more :0) Love your pics they say it all :0)
Oh it must be hard without any support around, I feel very lucky to have family close by though we try not to impose on them too much! Any little helps and the odd hour can do wonders can’t it? Thank you, exactly, pre-time off I am feeling frazzled, after a bit of me-time I am so much more relaxed and much happier! 🙂 xx
Hear hear! I always have to remind myself of this. Even if it’s just letting the house stay messy after the kids go to bed and spending some time vegging out in front of the tv enjoying a glass of wine, it’s important! Me time benefits everyone in our lives;)
Oh absolutely, every little helps and it really is better for everyone! 🙂 xx
what a gorgeous image of you carrying your son! so sweet. yes we all need some time to oursleves!
thank you 🙂 We really do! xx
LOVE A BIT OF ME TIME!! Am loving getting out for a run and just turning off the brain for a bit.
Yup, important and beneficial for everyone!
Good for you! It is so important 🙂
You’re so right. Me time keeps me a bit sane too. I went.. away this weekend without them! So pleased you had a fun time in London.
oh good for you! Hope you had a lovely time 🙂 xx
You’re so right! Everyone needs some ‘me time’!
I’m having a bit tomorrow night….Off out with my friends to see a band!!
Oh fantastic! Sounds like fun, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂 xx
your ‘day off’ sounds perfect i cant remember i had an hour with my book 🙂 x
Thank you, oh I know, it’s such a luxury – hope you can grab an hour somewhere to just relax and read 🙂 xx
Time to yourself is so important. I’m very lucky as – like your hubby – my OH takes Grace off my hands on a regular basis to help me 🙂 Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x
It really is and I’m glad your OH spends time with Grace, it’s as good for them as it is for us 🙂 xx
Epic post and You time is such an important section out of your day for yourself to gather your thoughts, de-stress for five minutes and maybe collect back some of your sanity! lol!
Thanks so much for linking up to the Mad Mid-Week Blog Hop! xx
Thanks, it really is, even 5 minutes is amazingly refreshing! 🙂 xx
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Brilliant post honey, finding some ME time is so important… but as we all know it can be really tricky to achieve xx
I said it before, and I’ll say it again, you are so very right – me-time is such a necessity, and makes us feel better, like a tonic. It’s also important to recharge and reconnect with yourself, and I am still nodding away to every word of this post! Thanks for linking it up again to All About You, and lovely to have you guest host! xxx
So, so true Caroline. I know I’m very lucky to have a husband who understands this and gives me ‘time off’ 🙂 I’d go nuts without it!
A happy wife equals a happy life. I must admit I try to fit in a dinner or movie at least once a month with a girlfriend. I have been known to sit in the car in a car park with a girlfriend just to have time away from the craziness of the routine. So totally agree – mum time is valuable time. Mel xx
Love this survival kit! And completely agree with you that Mummy me-time is so important. Even grabbing 10 minutes for a hot coffee and a read of a magazine on your own can recharge the batteries. Fab post #allaboutyou