Why It's Important To Have "Me" Time and 6 Ways You Can Achieve It

All I wanted was 10 minutes. 10 minutes to just sit down. In simple peace, calm and quiet. To scroll through Facebook maybe, or to read a book. To play on a game or paint my nails.

10 minutes. 10 selfish minutes.

It wasn’t just that it was the Easter holidays.

I forgot to set myself boundaries. I forgot not to expect too much of myself. I just kept extending my to do list, despite the fact that I had children at home on their Easter holidays and that they were both poorly at different times.

We had chicken pox sweep our household recently. My children weren't overly ill with it, my youngest certainly suffered more than our eldest who caught it exactly 2 weeks after. So we were cooped up a lot during the holidays, but it wasn't just that. There were many reasons why I craved peace; 

The children were poorly, they were bored, it was raining A LOT so even the garden wasn't an option on half of the days, my to do list kept getting longer, the children didn't sleep great so we were sleeping in a lot and not getting on with things as efficiently come the morning.... the list goes on. It was a couple of those parenting weeks that you just find incredibly tough and challenging. And all I wanted was 10 minutes. 10 minutes to myself. Now don't get me wrong, I love my children dearly and love having them home but the 2 weeks were hard and testing. On the day school was due back, my eldest was off because of the chicken pox. I had a thousand and one things to do and not enough time to do it. I finally broke down and cried. All I had wanted was 10 minutes. I hadn't had those precious minutes to myself in about 4 weeks by this point and I was craving it. To just escape the constant chorus of "Mummy mummy mummy mummy" and the demands that followed. I cried. Then my husband came home. He told me to go upstairs for 5 minutes and to shut the bedroom door. Only I didn't, I cleaned the bathroom then I sat with my children on the sofa because I am my own worst enemy. I still haven't quite gotten those 10 minutes but things feel a little calmer and I am stealing a couple of selfish minutes here and there which is helping. It made me think; how can us mums steal some "me" time when there is so much to do? I always feel incredibly selfish when I have time for myself. But this week I burnt myself out. And it wasn't good. I became snappier, I cried and I craved. Sometimes it is impossible to get those moments by yourself but sometimes surely there are ways we can sneak in some time? Here are my ideas; 

1. Get up earlier. Even if you are the only one awake. Start your day right with a cuppa and some quiet before the storm. If everyone is awake too, it just gives you those few more minutes and hours of the day to get things done. As we know, there are never enough so this just helps increase your chances of having some time later in the day. 

2. Get to a park or sit in the garden. I find my children enjoy running around and burning off energy- what child doesn't?! And although I am watching them, there are far less "MUMMY" demands to be met. 

3. If it's been a while and you feel like you are on your last thread of patience, turn to technology. Tell the children they can have the iPad/ games console for 10 minutes as long as they let you get on with something you need to do. This feels like lazy parenting on one hand, but technology is great for the stimulation of brains and helps to strengthen their problem solving skills. While they're getting their certain set of skills from technology, you can get a coffee and a book. Even if it's just 10 minutes, it's enough to keep you going.

4. When the children are in bed asleep, before putting any TV on, pamper yourself. With a facemask, a bath, painting your nails, or just laying on the bed quietly for 10 minutes indulge in the silence before either curling up and watching TV or doing those evening jobs. 

5. Ask for help. I am always far too stubborn for this one. I realise now that I got to the point where I was mentally and physically exhausted but I refused to admit it. Until it was too late. Next time maybe I should just say to my husband, I need, not want, I need 10 minutes to shut the bedroom door and do something for myself like reply to emails quietly or play a game on my phone. Just re charge my own batteries. When I was eventually offered it, I felt too guilty to take it up and I cleaned instead. Next time I will do it, even for 5 minutes. It's enough to steal some time but to help me out. 

6. Don't get distracted by technology. I always find myself scrolling through Facebook and Instagram when I should really be getting on with some jobs. I realise now this is bitter sweet, because although I have caught up with social media, I could have been using that time to catch up on jobs. So then I'm even more behind and this is how things spiral. Next time I need to save the social media for when I am more on top of things, then I feel better and less overwhelmed. 

Although I feel incredibly guilty when I want those 10 minutes, I realise that sometimes it is really needed. What is the use of running on empty all of the time? It's only going to stress you and your family out. You then will be less productive and eventually you will crumble, cry and burn out. Next time I won't let myself get that far and I will have to be selfish because after having some me time, boy do I feel good and then I am a far happier and fun loving Mummy! Everyone benefits. And I don't think our children will hold it against us. What tips do you have for stealing 5 or 10 minutes "me" time? Do you think it's important? Pop a comment below, I would love to hear from you. 

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