I look at me time as an amount of time I can spend doing whatever I want. A time period in which I am not expected to clean anything or anybody, I don’t have to fetch the snacks or juice, I don’t have to discipline, or work, or listen to someone tell me the same story for a full hour while I try not to roll my eyes to the back of head when I hear the same sentence for the 19th time.
Me time that fits that description does not actually exist in my current life. I work every moment I’m awake to try and get back on track after my husband’s job loss. I’m a work from home parent so the kid and the house literally always need me for something. That’s just the stage of life I’m in right now and for the most part I can accept that. Though it is draining.
A solid hour or even half hour to do nothing is really hard to come by, but I do need some off time. So I’ve become more skilled at using my tiny pockets of time to de-stress. Five minutes while my toddler plays quietly a few times a day. 10 minutes while she is in the kitchen bothering daddy. The glorious half hour when my husband gives her a bath and I don’t have to be a part of it. And the holy grail of me time, Friday mornings when she goes to storytime and lunch with Grandma (the hubby usually claims that time though, as it’s the only time we have alone each week.)
The hardest part of having me time is giving myself permission to take it. Telling myself it is okay to stop working for the five minutes or that the cleaning can wait or the laundry doesn’t really have to be folded tonight (or this week). Just take the downtime while you can get it girl!
Once I give myself the permission to relax for a minute or two I go for one of three things. Reading a book, watching Youtube, or writing blog posts. If I have a longer amount of time I might choose a bubble bath to go along with my book. I also love a fresh cup of coffee and a snack I don’t have to share to go along with any of my free time choices.
I choose my activity based on how likely it is that I will be interrupted very soon and how loud the rest of the house is.
- Toddler watching Youtube on the TV and Hubby watching Youtube on his computer? I’m probably going to watch Youtube myself. It’s easily paused when my toddler no doubt needs me in a few seconds or minutes for a snack or help choosing a new video. Also, one more screen making noise isn’t going to make much difference in the chaos level.
- Toddler playing a board game with Hubby or helping him in the kitchen? Probably a blog post. I have more time to devote, but the house isn’t very quiet. Any mistakes due to interruptions can be caught during edits.
- Everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet? Book time with a snack and coffee for sure. I do read other times as well. A page or a paragraph here or there between interruptions, but I get the bulk of my reading done when I get up in the morning at 4am and the others don’t wake up until 7 or 8. I am working during those hours, but it is also quiet so I can get a bit of reading done between tasks.
I may not have my ideal amount of me time at this point in my life and I may not always use it in the most efficient way, but at least I can usually find a few minutes to do something just for me most days. That might just have to be enough for right now.
How do you get some time for yourself and what do you like to do with it?