Finding “ME” time as a parent… Is it really possible?

Why is it the moment nature desperately calls or your best friend rings from overseas after months without connection, or you are toe deep into that warmly filled bathtub one of your toughest weeks when your kids “hunt” you down and need you NOW? When I say “hunt” I mean “Man Tracker” style. It doesn’t matter if you have found the most discreet spot in your home or have the bathroom door locked; kids can sniff you out like hounds.

Of course, once found, the thunderous door banging starts (never a soft knock). Then the familiar questions begin “Mom…what are you doing? Why is the door locked? Can I come in?” Depending on their age these sentences vary between babbles, broken sentences, and hints of sarcasm. “Seriously?” is what runs through my mind, among other choice words.

Relaxation with coffee in a garden

Thinking about it, I am convinced babies are born with “built-in” GPS tracking devices that nobody explains to you during the delivery room buzz. Or maybe my colleagues would remind me that it has something to do with attachment parenting.

Now that my kids are a little bit older, the days of their “man tracking” are dwindling, but at times still present themselves… But thinking back when it was in its prime the need to just use the bathroom on my own, or hear my dear friend’s voice or feel warm water encapsulating my tired body was about the opportunity for some much needed “Me” time.

“Me time” helps us re-balance our perspective and ability to cope with everyday parenting life. Everyone would agree a better parent is one who has had an opportunity for personal rejuvenation. “Me time” means different things to all of us. It is whatever you value and find meaningful. It could be getting up before the rest of the house for a morning paper read, having coffee with a friend, getting lost in the garden, going for an evening walk, or wait for it…taking a weekend away!

Sold you say. But how is it done? I wish I had a seamless plan, but I can offer 5 great tips:

1. Review your week & protect realistic time slots just for you.
2. Share any planned “you” time expectations with the family.
3. Remember quality not quantity. Stick with your plan, even if it’s short.
4. Booking “you” time with friends will strengthen your plan commitment.
5. Enjoy. You owe it to yourself and those closest to you.

Do me a favour. Remember this when you’re planning your “Me” time and as those feelings of guilt sneak in: self- time is not selfish. Some would call is selfless.

P.S. The children’s book below sums it up, have a listen!

How do you find “ME” time, share with us!

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About our new HaltonParents blogger:

Carolyn Wilkie RNI’ve worked as a Public Health Nurse since 2003 with Halton Region.  For most of those years, I have been out in the community supporting new parents on their fabulous and sometimes crazy new journey into parenthood!  I love working as part of the HaltonParents team tweeting, blogging (stay tuned) and supporting the community through Social Media.  I have 2 sweet boys, who continue to amaze and surprise me daily on this parenting journey!  I look forward to connecting with you and your family online or in the community!

 

This entry was posted in Babies, Mental Health, Parenting, Physical Health, Preschool, School, school health, School-aged Children, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Finding “ME” time as a parent… Is it really possible?

  1. Rebecca says:

    Well said Carolyn! I find now that my kids are getting older, I am the one that is asking THEM what they are doing, and if I can spend some time with them! Funny how time goes so fast and how there are times when they are younger that you need your space and as they get more independent you try to bring them closer to you.

    • Carolyn Wilkie, RN says:

      Rebecca, thanks for the comments, so true! Finding the balance is an ongoing affair, before you know it, we’ll hear crickets in the house, I’m not ready for that yet!

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