You get told all the time when you become a parent, and even more for a mum, be sure to find some “you time”. They say you need to find time for yourself, and find time for your relationship. Man that is a lot of spare time to try to find!
They say sleep when your baby sleeps, and we’re extremely lucky to have a through-the-night sleeper already, so from 9pm-7.30am when both kids are asleep, I’m meant be asleep – not happening! Not unless I want to forgo showering, or washing clothes, tidying the kitchen or tidying the playroom/avalanche of toys. When I think of “me time” it’s reading a good old fiction book (Harry Potter is a particular favourite of mine for relaxation) with my feet up. I do this maybe one evening a week. Relationship time? Forget about that! When you have a baby who absolutely refuses to take a bottle and would rather go on hunger strike until she gets what she wants, date nights are relatively non-existent. And with a husband who is either buried in apprenticeship book work, working 12 hour days, or glued to his PlayStation game (his idea of “him time”) we’re lucky if we can find 10 minutes at the end of the day to chat before falling into a deep sleep of exhaustion.
Lately I’ve been finding it hard to switch my brain off at night. I’ll be up around midnight still drumming through ideas I have for the new Facebook group I’ve started (Marketing My Small Business), or writing for this blog, or researching and educating myself on the latest in marketing strategy. I’ll be reading leadership books, or jotting down notes about what my future goals are, pros and cons about what my return to work plan might look like, rewriting my return to work plan. Again. And again. I don’t remember my brain being this wired in such a long time, it’s almost a foreign concept to me. But it’s like a switch was flicked when Baby #2 came along, and all of a sudden I’m really honing in and focusing on future planning and personal growth.
I guess where I’m heading with this, is me time and relationship time, seem to be the default for if and only if there is absolutely nothing else to be done. I certainly don’t actively make time for myself, and occasionally do we really attempt for husband and wife time that doesn’t involve snoring. So what happens when I return to work next year? Does it become an even further away, distant ideal? I am consciously aware that I need to switch off occasionally, to push the washing out a day so I can watch tv one evening, or take an extra long shower, lie outside in the evening sunset and read Harry Potter. I just haven’t quite got to the stage of implementing it.
My husband and I are lucky we’ve been together so long, and we have a relatively stable relationship, that we can handle the lack of time for just us. We chose to become parents, and with that came the responsibility for these two little humans, so we knew the sacrifice we might be making. We know it’s important for us to have quality family time with the girls as they grow. But we need to remember how important it is to spend time on just us, or we might one day reach a place where we’ve grown so far apart we don’t recognise ourselves as a couple.
So this week, I plan to make a conscious effort. Make a few small changes. Step forward and actively seek some me time and some us time with my husband. We shall see how it goes!
How do you make time for you? As a parent, a grandparent, a partner? What is your favourite way to spend “you time”? I’d love to hear your experiences.