Guest post from my wonderful friend Lucy all about why me time is so important and how she manages to find it as a busy single mum!..
Lucy is one of my friends, and her son Kit shares his birthday with Ozzy, they're pals (known as Kizzy) and like to bite eachother's heads when they play. Here is a photo of them plotting their escape into the garden.
Lucy is wonderful. I'm very proud to call her a friend, she has been supportive when I've needed somewhere to go for a cup of tea and a cry, she is a wonderful mother to Kit, and is also a wonderful writer and blogger.
You can and should follow her account Kit's World here on Instagram to see gorgeous photos of Kit.
You can visit her blog here to read about hers and Kit's story so far.
Below is the post she wrote for me, and some photos of her and Kit..
Currently, as I write this, I am laid in bed at 10:24am on a Friday morning, alone. My 9 and a half month old is at his nana’s with his dad while I wind down for a few hours. When I say wind down, I mean shower, go food shopping, and tidy my house. It's crazy how the definition of 'me time’ has changed so radically in 9 and a half months.
The past year of my life has been the most challenging. I've had my first baby, a traumatic birth, same baby in special care, and a break down of my marriage.
And honestly, I don't think I could've done it without time for myself.
Becoming a single mum was one of the most difficult changes, after actually having Kit, of course. You suddenly find yourself doing everything you used to share, all the wake ups and early mornings, all the naps, all the poo explosions and puke and all the tears. My own and his! But I also got all the laughs, cuddles, and memories.
So if my mum offered to take him for a day I wouldn't say no, even if I felt guilty, and I'd take the time to do mundane house chores and possibly eat my lunch in silence.
I think it's important for every mum, whether you're on your first or fourth, to take time out of being mum. After all, you're not just a mum.
You're a woman, you're a partner, a friend, a sister, a painter, a walker, a designer, a doctor, a leader, or anything else you want to be. ‘Me’ time isn't just about finding time for yourself, it's about finding yourself. About finding yourself amongst the pile of nappies. Finding yourself amongst the fifth episode of the Teletubbies and finding yourself amongst the selfless role of being mum.
I think as mums, we find it hard to accept help. Partly because we know we do it best but mostly because we feel we have to go without. I struggle with the guilt of leaving him, but I think as mums, guilt is our middle name!
We should set an example to our children that we can be a parent and whatever else we want to be because surely that's what we would want for them?
For my ‘me’ time, I love to go out without the baby. Not taking a nappy bag and worrying if he is going to cry all the way is very refreshing.
Although I must admit, I really love it when I'm out with him and people coo over him!
This weekend I have brunch with some friends with cocktails followed by a nose piercing, and I cannot wait. Yes, we might spend the majority of our time talking about our babies, but we don't have to worry about high chairs or making a mess.
If I'm at home alone I really try not to do anything but relax. I just know I'll regret it later, so I have a cup of tea, watch some daytime tv, and just switch off.
The other day, I left Kit at home with his dad and I went to a friend’s house. Honestly, I just laid in her bed for 2 hours while we laughed and chatted and it was the greatest relaxing time I'd had in ages. Even though I didn't sleep, I came away fully refreshed.
It is important for mums to have the time to switch off, and I believe it greatly improves mental health before you have to jump back into it. ‘Me time’ can come in any shape or form, anyway you like it. Go back to bed at 2pm, go for brunch, or just watch tv. I understand childcare doesn't come easily for some people, and I'm very lucky I have it, but ‘me time’ can come from baby nap times or bedtime. Spend the evening unwinding, leave the dishes and washing till morning, watch Bake Off with a chocolate muffin and a cup of tea. Just remember you deserve this, it's your treat for surviving the day!
Find what you love again, what you're passionate for. You'll shine and your kids will love to see you shine.
It's okay to do that while you're kid is at his grandma’s for the second time this week! They're fine, probably on their third cookie, but I guarantee they'll have nothing but smiles for you when they see you again.
So go, find your 'me time’! Be you for 10 minutes or 10 hours, step out of your mum shoes and into your you shoes.
Thanks Lucy and Kit!!