Me-time and mum guilt.
If you’re a mum the chances are the two go hand in hand: you can’t have the first without the latter.
I’m writing this after being lucky enough to have two whole days and nights childfree, when despite my reservations I left Misery Guts in charge of the kids and hot-footed it to my sister’s for the weekend in pursuit of some much-needed sleep.
To be fair my reservations weren’t without foundation: when I suggested Misery Guts go to the supermarket to get everything he needed for the weekend – ie food for the kids – he came back with a 12″ pizza, a packet of coffee and a bottle of vodka. Which is a perfect example of why I need me-time in the first place.
The trouble with looking after everyone else and always being ‘on’ is that you’re never off. And if you’re never off it’s very hard to relax when you do get the chance because you feel like you should be doing something. And if you’re not doing something things like the aforementioned shopping trip will happen and everyone will starve. All of which has led me to conclude there are 10 distinct stages of me-time mum guilt.
The 10 stages of me-time mum guilt
1. The end of the rope has been reached. You need some time alone. If you don’t get it soon bad things are going to happen. Very bad things.
2. Me-time has been arranged. It took military-style planning, but everything is in place. You can’t wait.
3. Second thoughts kick in. Is me-time really such a good idea? Couldn’t you just go on a little longer and plan something for next month when the baby is one month older?
4. You absolutely cannot go on a little longer. You need some time alone. You need to sleep. Otherwise bad things are going to happen. Very bad things.
5. It’s happening. The day has arrived. You’ve got one, possibly two, days and nights completely childfree. Woohoo!
6. What if they eat the dishwasher tablets in the cupboard under the sink when your other half isn’t looking? Or worse, the detergent pods?
7. You’ve slept through the night for the first time in months. You feel like a whole new woman. Woohoo!
8. You wonder what they’re doing. Do they miss you? Have they noticed you’re not there? You’d give anything for a squish of their cheek or to blow a raspberry on their tummy.
9. Does me-time make me a bad mum? You don’t remember your own mum disappearing overnight every six months or so. Or perhaps she did and you just didn’t notice.
10. Me-time is bloody marvellous. Is it possible to add an extra night? You should definitely do this more often.
Are you a mum (or dad) in need of some me-time? Does any of the above resonate with you? I’d love to hear about your experience!