The Joys and The Woes of a Mother’s ‘Me’ Time

Let’s start this post with a short questionnaire that will categorise my readers.

(1) Are you a mother? (If ”yes”, move on to question 2)

(2) Does your baby/child sleep through the night? (Continue on to Question 3 if ‘yes’ or ‘no’)

(3) Are you tired? (‘Yes’ or ‘no’)

So we will categorise the readers into two: those of you who are tired and those of you who are not. You may have noticed this Questionnaire is flawed, my fellow mothers. Not only does it single you out, but also shows that regardless of your social class, gender or ethnicity, you are always tired so there really is only one category (what about those who answered ‘no’ to Question 1? They would be in -another category- stop being a nitpicker).

If your little one still hasn’t been able to sleep through the night, you probably dream of a full night of uninterrupted sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and alert. Whilst you will eventually be offered a chance to do this (hang in there!), whether or not you take this beautiful opportunity is a wholly different matter.

Some mothers may use the golden time that their baby is sleeping to finish their household chores (cleaning, laundry etc). After completing all their necessary tasks, they sensibly tuck themselves up in bed, still able to get in a decent amount of hours of sleep before their baby wakes up. If this is what you do, well done!

Other mums will instead indulge in what I like to call ‘Me’ time. This consists of time spent unwinding, relaxing and doing things for yourself. Being a Mother means giving your whole self to your children most of the day, so of course, once alone, they would need time by themselves for themselves, doing whatever makes them happy (not doing this can lead to feeling ‘burned out’- will do a separate post on this).

‘Me time sounds lovely if it makes a mother happy, and definitely a joy, so where’s the woe?’ I hear you ask. Well, like all good things, ‘Me’ time comes with a consequence. The free time spent awake means free time wasted by not sleeping. This is my constant dilemma: should I stay up and enjoy doing ‘Me’, something I can barely do when my children are awake? But I’ve been so tired the whole day, so maybe I should just sleep, something my body is in much need for? But then I lose out on hours of free time wonderfully having nothing to do for once, so maybe I should just stay awake for a few hours? I said that yesterday and ended up staying up till 3am…

In this post I will be writing in more detail about the joys and the woes of ‘Me’ time.

Let’s get stuck in.

The Joys of ‘Me’ Time

I LOVE ‘Me’ time. By the end of the day, when my children’s bed time is near, after cooking, cleaning, doing nappies, wrestling unsafe objects off my DD, wrestling my SS to change his nappy, switching between fun mummy mode (singing and dancing mode for my eager, small audience of two), to stern mummy mode (‘eat your dinner!’-‘Tidy up your toys’-‘stop trying to cruise around the room SS, its dangerous and your only 7 months for goodness sake!’) to contemplative mummy mode (‘I need to be a better mum, maybe I can start ______ with my SS/DD?), to loving mummy mode (‘I love you both so much, I could die’), to psycho mummy mode (‘SHUSHHHH, SS IS SLEEPING!!!’-‘DO NOT TOUCH THAT!’-‘EAT YOUR DINNER NOWWWWWWW!!’), to brain-dead mummy mode (What’s the point, I don’t even care anymore), to say I need time to unwind and relax is an understatement.

I may have been tired the whole day, craving a good nights’ sleep, but as soon as my little ones have been put to bed, my once sleepy eyes widen, hunched-back posture straightened and brain-dead state woken up, alert and ready for anything (both dramatic and peculiar, I realise my description has likened me to a wild animal but you get where I’m going with this). Suddenly, my possibilities seem endless, and a small, cheerful voice in my head suggests ‘go on. Stay up just for a little while. You know you want to. You aren’t even tired anymore…’

I look at the time. It’s only 8pm. ‘You only need 8 hours sleep. It’s a scientific fact! If you sleep by 11pm, you’ll get that. And thats 3 hours away. 3 WHOLE HOURS!!!’. Completely sold by then, I walk the opposite direction to my bedroom to the living room, feeling wide awake (I pass the kitchen that is in need of a clean- ‘way too tired to do that right now’).

So, I’ve built you up to perhaps wonder; what exactly do I do in my ‘Me’ time slot? Go out and meet friends? Maybe hit the spa for a massage? Go and treat myself to a gourmet dinner and dessert?

Er, not exactly.

Not at all actually. Here is a list of typical activities I would get up to in my hours of ‘joy’.

  • Catch up on my TV shows (even watch my favourites all over again).
  • Maybe watch a movie if I’m really feeling like a rebel.
  • Get lost in a good book on my kindle.
  • Get lost on youtube.
  • Have a nice, long shower.
  • Focus on my blog (I’m doing this now as it happens)
  • Sit on my phone and socialise.
  • Sit on my phone and play games (GinRummy is the BEST game in the WORLDDD).
  • Sit on my phone and watch TV shows on Netflix.
  • Sit and talk to my husband about our children.
  • Sit and talk to my husband about life.
  • Watch a movie with my husband.
  • Sit on my phone and watch videos of my children.
  • Go to their rooms and stare at them lovingly (aren’t they just lovely when they are asleep?)
  • Do a mini workout (have done this twice so far in 8 months)
  • Have a nice cup of tea, paired with something sweet (always).

Not very glamorous, right? But to me, this really is my golden time. Before having children, activities like these wouldn’t have impressed me much, but as a mother I’ve learned to love these little moments of complete carefree nothingness. I am extremely busy during the day (even if I am sitting down doing nothing, there is always something I should be doing. The phrase of ‘a mothers work is never done’ couldn’t be more true) so being able to just lounge about, not worry about anything, most importantly my children, who are safely tucked up in bed, and do simple things that are virtually impossible when they are awake, is priceless.

Don’t get me wrong. I love, love, love, LOVE being a mum. I changed for the better when I gave birth to my two little munchkins, they made me better, and my life became so much better. Though in changing, I am still me and enjoy doing things that I used to do when it was just me, so of course ‘Me’ time is always appreciated, and needed for my own sanity. A nice cup of tea, comfortably sitting on my couch, lights dimmed, a throw to keep me warm and my iPad to browse through feels like the best activity in the world (I know if you are a mum you get why that is such a joy).

Whilst that is all lovely, lets start to talk about the woes of ‘Me’ time.

The Woes Of ‘Me’ Time

Remember when I promised myself I would be asleep by 11pm to get in a good, 8 hours sleep?

I didn’t.

So I’ve been in the living room for 3 hours. It’s 11pm now. I should sleep. But I’m in the middle of watching a TV show on my iPad. There’s only 20 minutes left now and then it’ll finish. ‘You might as well watch it all now. It’s only 20 minutes’ I tell myself. So I do, intending to get up after and go to my bedroom. Except it ended with such a cliff hanger…’Might as well make it a round number and sleep at 12.00pm. Watch the next episode, you deserve this’ the stupid voice says in my head. So I do.

By the time I’ve finished, it’s 12.10am. ‘How awkward, might as well sleep at 12.30pm now. Let’s go on youtube and watch some funny videos’ the idiotic voice now suggests (the voice is youuuu, you imbecile!!!).

After some laughter, I look at the time. It’s 1.30AM.

I’m suddenly filled with dread. What have I done?? I have the feeling of deep self-loathing, regret and abrupt drowsiness. Oh well, I’ll just go to bed now I guess.

Then I remember I haven’t done the dishes, or folded the laundry, or ironed my SS’s uniform, or tidied up the living room, or used my brain to do anything useful at all for the past five hours.

5 frigging hours. FIVE!

Now no longer feeling like the cheerleader who was active and wide awake but rather like the mother who was so exhausted the whole day, I get up and start on my chores (it is often said to me, ‘just do it tomorrow morning!’, but I cannot sleep until everything is done, I’m weird like that).I do the dishes in deep contemplation. Why do I always do this? Is it all worth it? What did I actually do this whole time? Was it better than a good nights sleep in my nice, comfortable bed? Definitely NOT. ‘Me’ time shmi time, nothing is more important than sleep. When I have early nights (rarely), I wake up in the morning feeling content, and me and my bed part on good terms, rather than be dragged off by my husband. My days seem more relaxed, and I’m less irritable and calmer dealing with my toddler and baby. So surely the woes associated with ‘Me’ time outweigh the joys?

Resolving to never do this again, I finish up, refuse to look at the time to prevent further depression (I suspect it’s 3am now but ignorance is bliss), I go to bed and pass out.

After what feels like an hour, I get woken up by my DD and, feeling so tired I want to cry, start the day, dreaming of the early night I’ll have that evening…

Except I probably won’t.

———–

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I alone in this dilemma? What do you think is more important? ‘Me’ time or sleep?

Thanks for reading 😊.

Zee

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24 thoughts on “The Joys and The Woes of a Mother’s ‘Me’ Time

  1. Nim says:

    You are sooo not alone!! I rarely get β€˜me’ time thanks to my 4 little ones, but literally two days ago they were all asleep…at the SAME time!!!! Wait for it… during the day!!!!! So then i felt lost, should i nap and catchup on my sleep or watch tv etc. i ended up cleaning and mopping πŸ˜’ . Totally regretted it once they were up lol. πŸ’œ your blogs!

    Like

    • Lol noo don’t regret it, your awesome for choosing to do something constructive! So amazing they were asleep at the same time, mine nap one after the other 😐. Thank you for taking the time to read my post 😊 X

      Like

  2. Me time is so important! I also get my me time in the evening after my little guy goes to bed. I try to get my chores done first before relaxing but it doesn’t always work out that way πŸ˜€

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  3. Hahaha, took me back to those “should I sleep or not” days. People always hand you out a list of things you need to do when the baby is sleeping, which by the way includes sleeping too, that you are not sure if you want to continue to get fried on the pan or jump into the fire. I slept through the initial few months till my body asked me to just stop sleeping and then I read books. Thank God my kid sleeps through the nights now.. woo hoo.

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  4. Hello Zee Can i be your 3 am BFF> This was so hilarious. It is totally what I do. There has been no night where I have slept before 3 am and still the house is a mess, chores havent been done. Me time is all i do.. catching up on social media and serials. hahah

    Like

  5. What is this wonderful β€œme time” your referring to looool sounds blissful 😍😍!! Wonderfully wrote with all your usual relatable, beautiful charm! Love you zee welcome back ❀️

    Like

  6. roopikais607 says:

    Can’t believe we are all members of the same tribe! The Zombie mommies!
    My β€œme” time comprises a very very teeny-meeny dream of putting a sexy nail paint on my fingers.. but Murphy’s law comes up every time to prove it’s existence.. you know what m saying!!?

    Like

  7. This situation is so rare for me that incase both my kids go to sleep early, I really have no clue about what I should do with my time. But you are bang on with the dilemma. Had fun reading the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hear you! Been there (no wait, I am still there!) Now I have made sleep my best friend πŸ˜€ So after 10, let the whole world descend into chaos, I only see my bed

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  9. zoumar2001 says:

    I felt like I just wrote this blog! Every single detail matches my life πŸ™ˆ. The me time is so worth the consequences some times. Every day my mum says to me why don’t you sleep when the kids sleep, but she just doesn’t understand πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

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