Redefining the concept of me time

I recently used the above as a title about needing to have time away from the children and taking time out for me and I received a tweet from Kirsty Younger saying she misinterpreted by title and though I was really redefining the concept of me time.

me time

For the next couple of days this tweet kind of sat in my mind making my brain twitch somewhat.  It was like an itch that needed scratching.  Should I be redefining the concept me time?

One of the things that irks me about “me time” for woman is people often talk about using this time to get pampered or to pamper himself and I was so guilty of this in my last post.  However, I am one of those woman who find a trip to the hairdressers a stressful experience and would rather sit in silence that chat about the weather or the next holiday the stylist is going on.  Put me in a spa situation and I feel like a four year old child on her first day of school.  I am never sure of the right etiquette and again who wants to have small talk whilst someone is checking out your nose for blackheads and judging you on your lack of skincare regime.  A spa is the seventh circle of hell for me, not something I would want to do with any precious alone time I might have.

The more I thought about me time, the harder it was to define in the first place never mind redefine.  Have my standards dropped since becoming a mum.  Do I not wash my hair or paint my nails often enough.  Do I need to carve out more time in my day to do this, or would my spare time time be better spent learning something new like I am with my sewing class?  I know that I am getting so much out of getting out of the house and meeting new people and learning new skills.  It is fast becoming my favorite day of the week.  Plus I am able to put my new found skills to work making quilts and things for people I love.

But here is lies the crux of the issue.  In order to redefine or even define me time you need to get past the part of your brain that feels guilty that as a mother or partner you are putting yourself first before your children or other people in your life.  That you could possibly not be satisfied by all the other things in your life and  need to look for some other outlet.  But I am learning that guilt is the strongest emotion I possess and if I let it, it will always come to the front of my mine and I am no longer going to let my life be ruled by guilt.  Whether it be my own guilt in the form of self deprecation and self worth or even self bullying or the guilt of other people that feel that by me needing some time away from my family that I am doing a disservice to mothers everywhere rule my life anymore.

high tea

It is so hard to rewire that mindset, but Dreams have helped me reinforce it by offering me an hour to myself and I decided to take my wonderful sister in law out for a champagne tea and it was wonderful.

 

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15 Responses

Emma | 06.11.13

Jenny, such a thought provoking post, I actually love spa days but dont have them often. However i agree that as mums we carry around too much guilt. guilt if we work, guilt if we don’t. Guilt from time away from our children, guilt if we don’t. Glad you had a great champayne treat!

I like this post. Guilt is the currency we pay for all of the joy that parenting brings, I think!
Spa days and the like are not everyone’s cup of tea. The whole point of you-time is to do things that nourish you. I tend to fill any such opportunity to do whatever it is I may have been lusting after but not had the chance. Sometimes that means time away, doing something treat-ish but often it just means immersing myself in the life I’ve created for myself but without the feeling that I ought to be doing something productive.

Carly Markham | 06.11.13

I think that all mums can identify with this on some level I know I do. I feel the same about hairdressers/ spa days etc. I am so ungroomed these days that I would feel more paranoid and embarrassed and would rather be at home washing up! I feel guilty having a bath and leaving my baby with his dad when he’s home from work, how silly! I think we all need to find something we enjoy doing and remember we are more than just a mum/wife etc and we don’t have to feel guilty about doing things for ourselves :)

Great post and I think for me in order to be the best mum I can I need me time be it working or chilling out at the hairdressers/enjoying a night out with friends! The guilt needs to go!

ahh the old motherhood guilt. We feel guilty for even thinking about stuff. We really are our own worst enemies. I’m a firm believer in taking time out to do something without the kids that I want to do – i’d love it to be spa days but i can’t afford them. But whatever it is we decide to do it’s important that it’s about us and doing something that makes us feel restored somehow. the champers treat looks fab

I loved reading this post, I think a lot of us feel the same way!! Cheers to guilt free time to ourselves x

HelpfulMum | 06.11.13

Sometimes I think maybe I should feel guilty for enjoying time when I am not with my children. However, it rarely happens! I know that I am a better mother when I occasionally get a break from them. I appreciate them more as well!

pinkoddy | 06.11.13

For me the problem with me time is that all my jobs just stand still, so there’s just more to do afterwards – and depending on how many there are to do, I just end up thinking about them

Cathie B | 06.11.13

My ‘me’ time consists of a large glass of wine and snuggling up with a favourite book such as Jilly Cooper or Jill Mansell. I always get confused in a spa – do we go in the sauna naked or in a swim suit!!!!!!

Such a great post! I must admit that it has taken me a long time to learn to enjoy ‘me time’ but I am just about getting there. For me it is normally just small things like setting an afternoon aside to do nothing but read a book or paint my nails. I don’t think any of us have an answer to the guilt thing though I swear it is ingrained from the minute your baby pops out ;-)

Purplemum | 06.11.13

I am not a spa person either, and I’m not great at ‘me’ time. Like you mention I feel like I’m not mothering properly if I need time for something else. However the simple fact is I do. I usually go to the cinema alone, my me time is escapism with a side order of popcorn.

TK | 06.11.13

Such a lovely thought! I’m not a spa or salon person either, but I do like to steal time to write and read wonderful blogs :)

Alison May | 06.11.13

Like you, the expression “me-time” makes me cringe: so I re-defined it as “extreme self-care” and decided that just as I care for my boy and my house, I have to be there on my priority list…

Truth is I still put myself last whenever the rest of the world is pressing, but I know I am on my own list and will eventually do something for myself that feeds my soul…x

Susan Mann | 06.11.13

Such a lovely and thought provoking post. It’s important for some Me time x

Ned | 06.11.13

me time is so very important.. i think it keeps you sane.. I have learned to love and respect myself as an individual and don’t feel guilty about spending some alone time anymore..

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