We are led to believe (by someone-Who? Who? Let me hunt that imaginary f****r down – because I do believe they don’t really exist), that when we become parents, we somehow get demoted in our own lives and we don’t really matter anymore. A new tiny being is suddenly the most important thing on earth and their cuteness factor makes us all fall for this fallacy. Everyone needs time out, I don’t care how much of a super mum you are, or how connected to your child (or not), we all need time for ourselves.
I had this opportunity the other day and, oh my word was it marvellous. With the blessing (and encouragement) of my partner, I took myself off to the Sheraton spa in Noosa and got me some pampering. It was divine! My lovely therapist Leah looked after me so well, and I really felt like I had some absolute me time.
Something happens when you have time for yourself. It’s like recharging a battery that’s been flat for a long time-and the results are pretty dramatic. I felt like I could face anything and I had renewed my tolerance bank (which lets face it takes a battering on a daily basis). I had time to just be, and think about me and my mind and my body. I thought about my kids-for a second-and then lost myself in a lovely massage and chill out in the jacuzzi spa thing. And I had a ridiculously long shower.
I don’t feel bad for wanting to forget about them for a little while-I give them all of me 95% of the time. But without my 5%, I would become a shadow of myself, and ultimately not the best mum for them. Brow beaten, knackered and fed up does not a good Mummy (or partner) make.
Before kids I was much more selfish-because I could be, and I don’t apologise for that… I remember it fondly… But it is so easy to forget that and lose your sense of self amongst 10,000 nappies, food on the walls, numerous miscellaneous random injuries (several bent back fingernails/cuts from prams/car seats/rummaging in baby bags and bruises/split lips from accidental child headbutts anyone? Or is that just me…) and piles and piles of washing. I deserve mummy time, and so do you. Mums, Dads, anyone who cares for anyone in fact. Don’t lose yourself, because then you’ll become really boring, and who wants that? Plus-whoever you’re caring for might not need you so much in a few years, and if you don’t keep reigniting your spark, it might just go out altogether.
It doesn’t have to be a posh spa, it could just be going for a run by yourself or a yoga or dance class or reading a book – whatever the hell you like, as long as it’s for you and just you. And more than once every lunar eclipse.
Don’t forget who you are because let’s be honest, an enriched happier you makes you able to give more to others. It’s a win win. Go forth and indulge.
Ps this can serve well as an interim measure: