Regular readers will know that about 18 months ago we finally got to the top of the allotment waiting list in our area. It was great fun at first, but what was supposed to be a family project where we could spend quality time together outdoors quickly turned into another thing on a long list of jobs to do each weekend because everyone lost interest except me.
Cajoling the family into going there, clearing the site and listening to the complaints that ensued was anything but fun, so I held my hands up and admitted defeat. It was time to hand the little patch of land back.
But then I thought about it, and how much I loved going. And how much more I loved it when I was there on my own.
Being a stay-and-work-at-home mum, I spend pretty much all my time at home – there’s no going to work and leaving everything that’s going on at home at home until I return in the evening, and there’s no coming home and leaving everything that’s going on at work at work until I return the following day. Basically there is no escape!
So having somewhere else to go to – away from the chaos of family life and away from work – where I could really forget about everything, suddenly seemed really important.
So we didn’t hand the patch of land back, and instead I turned our shed into a she-shed (think man cave but for girls), and the allotment became my bolt-hole.
I hot-foot it there on a Saturday as soon as Misery Guts is back from the gym and training for his ultra-marathon (his me-time) and if I’m lucky I make it up there one evening a week too in the summer months. No matter what mood I’m in when I go I always feel better afterwards, and no matter how worn down I’m feeling with the kids just a couple of hours break gives me time to miss them and feel raring to go again. Basically the break makes me a better mum.
It turns out I’m not the only one, either. This month I’ve taken part in a feature for Prima magazine about women who have their own sanctuaries they escape to for me-time – there’s me with my allotment (pictured), a lady with a beach hut, another with a house boat and one with an amazing shed at the end of her garden.
I know I’m a bit biased, but it’s worth a read (it’s in the August issue with Kirstie Allsopp on the front).
Do you have somewhere you go to escape home and family life? Do you think it makes you a better mum or dad?
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