Saturday 01 October 2016
You’ve heard it all before. Being a mum is tough. But unless you are one its hard to appreciate how tough. Yes it’s rewarding. Love in bucket loads. Best job in the world. Wouldn’t change a thing. But then nothing worth having comes easy… (And that’s me all out of clichés but that’s probably still a record for an opener).
‘Me’ time seems like such a selfish thing to want as a mum but, a hot brew and a good night’s sleep aside, its the thing I’m most desperate for. And right on cue there’s the good old mum guilt for even daring to dream about being alone for twenty minutes…
“You shouldn’t have had a baby if you want me time” seems to be the general consensus. But um, there’s two people involved in making a baby and I don’t hear anyone telling dads they should skip the gym or leave work bang on five and drive straight home avoiding any sembelence of time to themselves.
Hell, just driving the commute would be ‘me’ time enough for this mummy some days. Although the choice between blissful silence for half an hour or turning the radio up high and singing my heart out for thirty minutes is already too much for me to make.
My ‘me’ time has become ‘we’ time. A drink downed while my mini human tries to scale the sofa to join me in a sip. A shower rushed because my baby is screaming in his cot. Toast hurriedly buttered and tea left unsugared because someone has lost sight of mummy and is screaming and rattling at the baby gate. Films paused every five minutes to run upstairs and pop a dummy back in. A hair appointment where he cries until I cave and sit him on my knee. A toilet trip that ends in baby crawling off with the loo roll before mummy has managed to use it. Breakfast eaten at lunch time because between feeding baby, dog, tortoise and bearded dragon there is somehow no time left to feed mummy. An attempt at a cuddled up nap interrupted by a baby grabbing chunks of my face. I could go on…
I am never alone. I am no longer a ‘me’. I come as a package. I only do ‘we’ time and while I love every second of it, it is also bloody exhausting.
So here is my desperate plea to dads, partners and husbands everywhere. I’m not asking a lot. I’m not even asking for an hour. But give your baby mummy a break. A few minutes a few times a week. Run her a (baby-toy-free) bath. Make her a brew or pour her a big glass of wine and send her off upstairs for ten minutes peace. Send her out to get herself a big bar of chocolate (your treat) or to meet a friend for coffee.
Baby and me time is worth more than
solid gold platinum diamonds, but just ‘me’ time is sanity-saving silver. Chances are it will be spent writing about, talking about or thinking about little one anyway (trust me on that!) but then that’s just the infuriating beauty of being a mum…
The BIGGEST ever hat tip to single parents the world over. You guys are actual gods.