At the beginning of this week I found myself in the unprecedented position of having no less than two days to myself.
That’s right, time to myself: Me Time. No work, no childcare duties, no nothing.
This is not a regular occurrence. I am lucky to get a lot of support from my family, but at the end of the day, I am a single parent who works full time. There isn’t a lot of time left to be navel-gazing about what I’m going to wear (which seemed to be my main focus in life before parenthood struck. Let’s just say I had an extended adolescence, and adult duties and responsibilities have now finally caught up with me).
As anyone who read my previous post may have guessed, this precious Me Time was cut short by my getting ill this week, something that seems to happen quite a bit these days. Previous recent occasions on which I have been ill have included the last day of term (missed a rare and much looked forward to night out to celebrate the end of the school year as a result) and one evening on holiday, when I was taken ill literally just as I had put my lipstick on in anticipation of-yes, you’ve guessed it-an evening out; but anyway, I digress. On this occasion I was determined to enjoy my Me Time to the fullest. I had, quite literally, been looking forward to this all year long. The nursery term went on just that little bit longer than my school’s, and I had paid for that childcare so I was going to use it.
I had grand plans for all the things I was going to do (inevitably, these were mostly blogging related). I was going to be one of those much-envied hipster types who sat in coffee shops tapping away at their laptops over a latte. Those people whom I always assumed must have glamorous jobs in creative industries where it was probably positively encouraged to go to work in your jeans, and leave at lunchtime for a long brainstorming session in Costa; or who were simply taking a sabbatical to write their bestselling novels.
The reality was that they were probably students.
In my day, students didn’t even have laptops. We wrote our essays by hand, which now seems rather quaint.
Anyway, I am digressing again.
The point is, I had Me Time, and I wasn’t afraid to use it.
But I was afraid of NOT using it.
After dropping Piglet at nursery, spending a few hours sat in a cafe enjoying a guilty breakfast (supposed to be saving money) and a frustrating battle with the wi-fi, I set off home. I had ticked off a few things on my to-do list, but they were all computer based, and I was feeling increasingly unwell.
So I went to the local cafe, ordered a latte, and just sat there, watching the world go by. And I felt guilty. Guilty that I wasn’t making the most of the precious Me Time; that I wasn’t going for a run (despite it being the hottest day of the year and me being both unfit and unwell) or reading one of the long list of books I never got round to reading (my excuse this time was that the local library didn’t have any of them, and the last time I looked for a book there which was for me as opposed to Piglet, I ended up speed-reading what was basically an extended rant by Joan Collins moaning about how no one bothers to be glamorous anymore and the whole world is going to the dogs as a result, and lack of lipstick is the harbinger of the steady decline of all human civilisation.
She had a point. Maybe I should have been spending my Me Time making myself look glamorous. How about a spa day? Hell, how about finally joining Tinder and seeing for myself if it really is as awful as everyone says. Why wasn’t I using my Me Time to find myself a boyfriend and get knocked up before my fertility window closed for good, battened down the hatches and drew the shutters?
Why wasn’t I out there on the road with all the traffic going by, learning to drive? Why wasn’t I already driving? Why didn’t I learn to drive fifteen years ago so that I would already be an experienced driver and wouldn’t have to spend my Me Time worrying about what a bad driver I was going to be when I finally got round to learning?
Finally I leaned back, closed my eyes and enjoyed my latte-as much as I could enjoy a hot beverage on the hottest day of the year when feeling decidedly ropey. Me Time was for me, and I wasn’t going to spend it feeling guilty.
That’s what all the other time is for, right?
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18 Comments Add yours
I don’t know why it’s sometimes hard to really take advantage of that elusive Me Time. A parent’s happiness (or lack therof) impacts his or her children so it’s important to invest in Me Time.
Agreed! Thanks for commenting.
That’s the thing I find about me time you need it, but never quite know what to do with yourself when you get it! #ForTheLoveOfBLOG x
That’s very true! Thanks for commenting.
Lovely post. I’m all for the me-time (when it happens!) and what I call me-treats! That’s good you didn’t feel guilty about having some time to yourself. It’s good when we don’t fill up our me-time with chores or other things to do. Sometimes we just need to mooch about and doing nothing or enjoy that latte. Cool you treated yourself to some nice breakfast, how often do we get to eat on our own outside of our house? I love doing that. Oh you might like my post on The Importance of the Me-Treat (a lot are free!). Nice to have come across your blog on#fortheloveofBLOG Keep in touch x Sunita P.S. love the layout of your blog, all sihned up to new posts x
Thank you! I’m glad you like the layout as I just changed it yesterday and it needs a little bit of tweaking as some badges haven’t carried over to the new theme, etc. I will have to have a look and check out your blog. Thanks for commenting.
I haven’t had me time since my eldest was born fourteen months ago, this post has made me want some even more! I has also made me think about what I will do, I must get it organised before hand!
It will come eventually-best of luck!
My “me time” happens around 1am each day and is regretted around 6:30am!
Haha! I have to wait until the dead of night to have me time generally as well!
Lovely post – I do get a bit of ‘me’ time at the weekend and enjoy going for a coffee by myself to read the paper or a book. I totally agree that pre-baby, I had so much ‘me’ time and completely took it for granted. On another note, I love your new theme, it’s looking fantastic xx #puddinglove
It’s a funny thing that we feel like we have to do something with our me time. Why can’t we just have a coffee and watch the world go by? I have felt guilty being told ‘your child free for a while use your time wisely’ and all i do is either catch up on missed programme’s or sleep! #Thanks for linking up to #puddinglove
I know, there’s so much pressure to get everything done! Thanks for hosting and commenting.
Why is it so hard to decide what to do when you have a day without the baby. I put so much pressure on myself to have the perfect day, and get so much done, that in the end I think I just wrote some blog posts and tidied the house. So sorry to hear that you’ve been unwell Min that is rubbish especially at this time of year when the weather has been boiling, and kind of nice. Thanks so much for sharing your post with us this week at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
Thanks for hosting and commenting! Writing blog posts is productive though-I ended up spending hours and hours on linkies that day. It always seems as though there are loads on a Monday and I tried to join them all. It was definitely too lofty an ambition!
I am craving some me time to blog! I am quite jealous of you being able to sit with your laptop and even more jealous when you sat back and just enjoyed a coffee. Our lives as mums and workers move so fast – we need to take time to find our Me time and it doesn’t matter what we do with it as long we are enjoying ourselves! #PuddingLove
Yes I was lucky. It was only those 2 days though, because Piglet’s nursery didn’t finish for summer until after my school. I will probably be waiting another year to have some more me time. I’ll have to get thinking about how to use it!