I don’t think I ever realised how important time out was going to be. I remember being in hospital after having my little man and thinking that I never ever wanted to be parted from him, I just wanted to be with him all the time. I imagine that many new mums feel like this, after all why would you want to be away from this little bundle of joy that you’ve created, carried for nine months and given birth whom you now love so deeply in a way that you’ve never experienced before?
But what I was forgetting is that it is also necessary for me to be, well, just me. Me on my own. Not just my little man’s mum. I still need to be my own person too. That’s important. And at times I also need my own space. As does my little man. That’s important for both of us.
Admittedly it was a while before I had some proper, quality time away from my little man. My mum did look after him a couple of times whilst we sorted out moving back into our newly renovated house, although I wouldn’t exactly call that quality “me time”! But she did look after him whilst we went out for a meal for a couple of hours on our wedding anniversary back in the summer which was lovely. It was good for myself and my husband to have time together, just the two of us. After all, it is because of our relationship that our little man is here and just because we now have him – who we are both head over heels in love with – we still need to keep nurturing our relationship.
Keeping up friendships is vital too, and my friends have been great about popping over to see me or meeting me out, I usually have my little man in tow – although no one minds, I think it’d be a disappointment if he wasn’t with me! However I have had a couple of afternoons out with a friend without my little man which actually has been lovely. The first time was to see the movie Downton Abbey which was just two hours of pure bliss. Have you seen it? It is just wonderful (if you can’t tell I was a huge Downton Abbey fan when it was on TV!). We had the trip to the cinema planned for a couple of weeks beforehand, I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a film so much before! And it didn’t let me down.
A few weeks ago I had another trip out, this time for afternoon tea, a treat that I absolutely love. It was just so lovely to get out with a good friend, have a good chat (one of my favourite hobbies) and be just me on my own for a couple of hours.
I also came up with an idea where I could socialise without leaving the house – a book club. I’ve never been in on before and have always wanted to be in one, so why not set up my own? So I have and the best thing about it is that we read children’s books! Maybe it seems a little crazy but there are so many wonderful children’s books out there that why should they have all the fun? I actually got the idea from Gretchen Rubin who wrote about it in her book The Happiness Project. A genius idea I thought! We’ve only had two meetings so far but it’s so much fun reading children’s books and discussing them. (In case you’re interested our first book was One by Sarah Crossan and our next book is called The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden.)
So even though my life has been absolutely taken over by my little man, it’s been great to have some time out too. I need that. We all need it, whoever we are and whatever our situation in life. Time to bring us back to who we are. To just think about ourselves for a little while. “Me time” is so important. Make sure you get some.