As I write this, I’m sitting in the airport alone. ALONE. No child to herd away from the toy section, no inevitably slinging a Trunki over my shoulder, no plotting toilet timings and best of all… No need to constantly entertain a small person.
I have a cup of tea and I’m gloriously people watching for an hour before my flight. I could almost stay right here for three days and be content. The reason I’m jetting off solo is that a friend is hosting a weekend long women’s retreat at her house. Complete with yoga, meditation and of course, a hot tub. Being rather heavily pregnant I debated about whether or not to make the trip, but Gavin’s words of wisdom gave me the push “Darlin, you’re about to become a mother of two and the new baby is going to be attached to you for at least a year. I think you should go.”
As I booked my flights, a touch of the good old Mama Guilt hit me about leaving my brood for three whole days. So in a last minute snap decision we had little a word with the very helpful concierge who managed to book us a last minute whistle stop tour of the sites in a vintage Citroen 2CV complete with private chauffeur, A lifestyle management agency can make a luxury life much easier to live for your trip. I went on a trip to Prague for five days back in December and whilst I had a ball, by the end of it, I missed my boys sorely. After giving myself a good talking to and realising the rarity of the opportunity, I have (mostly) shaken off said case of the guilts and I’m basking in the solo travel life.
When Ethan was just born, a dear friend of mine at the time gave me some health and wellness coaching. She convinced me that for one night a week, I was to put baby to bed and focus on doing something purely pleasurable for myself (that didn’t involve slumping exhausted in front of the TV next to Gavin looking longingly at each other but unable to communicate, like a couple of beached seals). Fancy chocolates, a great book, eating dinner alfresco. Something that would make me feel like myself again amongst the new motherhood haze. Together, my friend and I chose Wednesday nights and nicknamed it ‘Midweek Me Time’. Each Wednesday for a while thereafter, I would receive a text from my friend reminding me of my commitment to myself.
So I sit here indulging in some serious me time and thinking of that friend. With Ethan being four now, me time is a little easier to come by, although still considered a luxury. But I know that’s all going to change real soon with baby number two.
There’s something that happened when I scrambled my DNA with my husband and create these little marvellous beings. A part of me became (whining voice optional) “Muuuuuummmmm”. And while that part doesn’t want to be anywhere else in this world… The other part of me, the one who wore leather jackets, carried a handbag without snacks and wipes in it, felt sexy on a dance floor and could burn both money and time like it was nothing… She’s still a little bit lost about what her place is in all of this.
Like most things, it’s all temporary. And there is something wonderful about the glow I get from alone time now, compared to how flippantly I treated it before kids. I mean, what did I do with all that time?!
If any of you are stuck in the glorious, frustrating, hilarious, exhausting tango of family life, do you have any Me Time scheduled to look forward to?
How do you fit in time to just be yourself?