The idea that parents require “me time” is nothing new; the concept has been discussed, praised, and talked about countless times, and the general consensus is that all parents can benefit from spending time alone.
There is, however, a fly in the ointment when it comes to “me time” – sometimes, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. While it would be wonderful to spend an hour relaxing in the bath or talking with a friend, few parents will be able to find a long expanse of time in which to engage in these all-important “me time” activities. As a result, the idea of finding this time is simply abandoned as unworkable – which is completely understandable, given the time constraints parenting inevitably creates.
However, there is a third way. Rather than attempting to follow conventional wisdom and set aside a few hours or a whole afternoon for “me time”, you can try to enjoy a little every single day. Here are a few ideas to help you achieve this.
Don’t fill every spare moment with a task
Parenting often involves being constantly on the go, and even when you do find a moment to yourself, it’s tempting to fill it with one of the tasks on your to-do list. However, it can be hugely beneficial to see an unexpected patch of free time as a chance to catch up on your “me time”. Rather than tackling a pile of ironing or getting a head start on preparing tomorrow’s school lunch, simply take the chance to sit down for ten minutes and enjoy a little time to yourself when the opportunity arises.
Leave the house earlier
If you’re heading out to pick your kids up from school or an event, leave 15 minutes earlier than you usually would. This ensures that you have a few spare minutes when you arrive. This allows you to push the car seat back for comfort, grab your phone, and read through social media or take a mobile gaming adventure with you wherever you go while you wait. You can even set an alarm for when you need to leave the car to greet your kids, so you can completely relax without having to worry about checking the clock constantly.
Get up earlier in the morning
Many parents may recoil in horror at the idea of getting up earlier than they normally would, but the early hours are a great time to enjoy a little time to yourself. As your home will be quiet and peaceful, you’ll be able to fully relax and enjoy the sound of silence. It’s also worth noting that there are benefits to being an early riser, so while the idea of setting your alarm a half hour early may sound impossible, you may find it’s a habit that you come to embrace.
By seeking time for yourself every day rather than attempting to block off hours at a time, you may find that you are able to enjoy the benefits of “me time” as a parent. Good luck!