Time out for Mum

I remember friends, strangers, family members, who ever knew I was having a baby, would comment “Make sure you have some time to yourself, when the baby comes. It’s really important”. Why wouldn’t I regularly have time to myself? Surely that’s common sense? My husband, or maybe even a family member could and want to babysit from time to time.

Wrong! I have found it extremely difficult to have and make time for myself since my daughter was born in June 2012. I breast fed, so I immediately thought I couldn’t leave her, “what if she needs a feed and I’m not there and I can’t get home when she is crying because she needs to be fed?”.

When my Son arrived in April 2014, it was stressed to me once again the importance of ‘me’ time, since I had two under two to care for. I also breast fed again so I immediately thought it would be a lot tricker to get out of the house for my ‘me’ time, but I also know it was hugely important.

Before I had my daughter I hadn’t even thought of buying a breast pump, why would I need to express? I did buy one, I made my husband call into a baby shop on the way home, I needed to pump. She when my midwife mentioned pumping breast milk before going out for lunch or getting hair cut, I thought “great, problem solved, I can go out and not have to worry about feeding my baby”. I actually found expressed impossible, I was lucky if I got 10mls in total. I gave up on that idea and decided I would have to go out after feeds.

I do love my kids, I love to watch them grow, learn new things and watch their personalities develop. Plus I just love to sit and cuddle and read books. As much as I love them and our time together, I also love my time away from them. Because I love my time away from them, am I a bad mother?

For ages I struggled with feeling like a bad mum for enjoying time away from my children, but guess what? Being away and having some ‘me’ is beneficial for us all. I become a happier mum, therefore happier children. I also find by having a little time away from my children, it recharges my batteries and I reflect on my relationship with them. I find I think about the things I want to do with them and the things we will hopefully do in the future.

I now make the time to have some time to myself. I look forward to it. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing. I see it as essential to maintain a happy family life, besides I was once a person who had her own time before I was a Mum,

To the people reading this, do you have time to yourself regularly? If you don’t? Please try to make time for yourself? Make it happen! It can be just for half an hour walk around the block, take that short time to feel the air on the face, listen to the sounds around you and breathe. We all know exercise is one the nest things for our mental health and general overall well being. Yes, I know easier said than done. If possible perhaps get up half an hour earlier in the morning and go for a short walk?

I am fortunate we are able to put our children in to care, at least two times a week. I know for some people this isn’t always an option. Ask a family member or a friend to watch your baby or children for a short while, so you can have a break. It can be anything you like to do.

I can struggle at times with my three year not having daytime naps anymore, as we know time out is crucial and our child’s nap time is essential to make this happen. Friday’s are often our lazy day, we go out in the morning, my son sleeps after lunch and I escape to my bedroom for at least half an hour. I explain to my three year old, it is rest time. I say “Mummy is tired and needs to lie down”, I let her her choose a TV show to watch and I escape for some ‘me’ time. It actually works quite well, I get a bit of time to unwind and my daughter also has quiet time. Occasionally she has fallen asleep on the couch, bonus! Extra time for me. Plus when the kids wake we are all rested and ready to hang out and have fun.

Love to all you Mum’s out there, we are doing an awesome job and remember to take a little bit of time for yourself.