Time to be ‘Me’
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to have some time to myself. I had no idea what to do with it. It sounded like an oxymoron. Time? to Myself? A relative had offered to look after Bubs, and I accepted it, but didn’t think about what I would do in the time. I hadn’t had the chance to choose what to do, for a while. Usually when someone has her, I am going somewhere, or doing something else. This was the first time I could just ‘do’ something. Anything! I felt like a child in a sweet shop.
It is only 5 months since I had Bubs, but in that relatively short time I seem to have forgotten how to be just me. What on earth did I use to do with myself? What did I do with my time? I couldn’t contemplate it. My mind may be frazzled from pregnancy and having a baby, but it is usually filled up with a list as long as my arm of what I need to do in the day, and that is usually baby related.
Until I had a baby, I don’t think I really took time into that much consideration. I mean, I had to be on time for work, for appointments, I had to make sure I was at the right place at the right time, as it were. But I don’t really remember ever thinking to myself, Oh, I had 2 hours to do this or that. Oh how times have changed. I used to have weekends to myself, when Dan was working. I used to just sit there, idly watching TV, drinking tea, and eventually I’d decide to get showered and dressed. Oh how I should have made more of my time! The day would tick on by, and I would not notice at all. Nowadays every part of my life appears to be run by time, and jobs, and things I need to do.
So, what did I do in my two hours baby free? I walked to the shops near my home. I know, I really got out, didn’t I?! I went to print off some baby pictures in Boots, for a scrap-book I want to put together (ironically I never find the time to actually stick anything in it) and then I went to Costa’s, ordered a Panini, and a drink, and I just sat there, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’d never sat on my own in Costa’s before – I never had the time for that before. Ha. What I mean is, I could never be bothered to go and do something like that before. In fact, I would have never have done that before.
I walked about the shops, and in the sunshine, it was lovely. I felt like myself again. I felt I could just take a little break from everything. Because now my life is run by time. Time to feed, time to sleep, time to change, time for baby groups, time for tea, time for appointments. No time for me. No time just to ‘be’ and do nothing at all. When Bubs is asleep, I get to write this blog, but then I have to forgo other things I also want to do such as read my book, or eat lunch, or paint my nails. Everything I do, I now have to plan ahead. What do I want to do when she naps today? Even when she is asleep I am having to do things to make sure when she wakes up, everything is sorted.
It also struck me that I had to get out of the house in order to have some ‘me’ time. The baby was home, so I had to get out. So I couldn’t just lie on my bed, read a book, or paint my nails. The expectation was I left the house. Which on a lovely sunny day, was great. If I am in the house, and so is the baby, people don’t really appreciate that I may want time to myself, and so interrupt me or basically don’t give me the chance to just ‘be’ in my own home. I was even really unwell one day, and I kept having to get up and see to the baby! It amazes me sometimes that people ask me for help, when I have to just get on with it, and work it out as I go along!
It makes me wonder why it is me that has to do this. My partner has the luxury of being able to come and go as he pleases. Don’t get me wrong, he helps me out a lot with the baby, but that’s it: he helps me with the baby. I don’t think it is ever the other way around. Is it fair to expect me to forfeit all time I have, for that smiley happy little girl? When Dan and I discuss working vs being here on maternity leave, the assumption is that whilst I am not at work, I am at home and that equals free time and how lucky I am to have it. Dan talks about working 8 hours a day and then coming home and having to help with the baby. Where does my shift start/end? There is no start, there is no end. I am expected to carry on, and on, and on. I love being with her, don’t get me wrong. What I am trying to point out, is that my time is not my own, not anymore.
Don’t Burn Out
Going to Britmums was a wonderful break from it all, and it was a very good use of my time.It was refreshing to feel released from responsibility, from having that never-ending shift. I felt so much better, and when I got back, I felt invigorated, not just about my blog, but also about my baby. I had missed her, and it made me enjoy the time I had with her again.
So when I got back yesterday, to a smiley, happy little thing, who is currently able to shuffle herself off her mat, and appears to be doing amazing things everyday, I felt happy, pleased and again, invigorated. It doesn’t take a lot of time, it doesn’t mean going to London every time, but just having a little break, a little time to be me, really can make you feel so much better. And I think we all need this, some time to ourselves. I would say to any new mum, or any pregnant woman, hell in fact any Mother, try to make sure you get some ‘me’ time, as you can burn out very quickly without it.
What do you think about your time? Do you have time to be yourself? What advice would you give to me or anyone, about finding time to be yourself after having a baby? Leave a comment in the box below!