There was a time I thought an hour on my own wandering around the supermarket was sheer bliss because I didn’t have a child hanging off one of my legs.
I refused to do internet shopping because that hour leaning on a trolley meant precious time to myself.
I thought to myself, I love shopping because that’s my me time. The bloody supermarket!
Before that I looked forward to going to the loo, so I could shut that door and not hear ‘mummy. mummy. mummy. mummy’ in that flat, monotonous tone asking for something they’ve already asked me five times for already.
Going to the loo was my ‘me’ time.
Gone were the back massages, the hours in the hairdresser’s chair, the lazy afternoon spent painting my nails. Hell I even had time to buff, shape and sort out the cuticles.
But babies come along and those days of spending time pampering myself were long gone; I went from sleek legs to only managing to shave the one because half way through dragging that razor up your second leg you realise your toddler’s bouncing on your bed and you’ve just heard an almighty thud.
Everything has to be done efficiently and at speed. There is no pampering involved.
This photo is from about 10 years ago. Right in the heart of prime I don’t have time for me territory. Mia had just cut her own hair, Dan was starting school and I was caught up in the whirlwind of pre-school parenting. And I bloody loved it.
And as with all things children, these phases pass. I’m now in the ‘they can pretty much look after themselves and I need to stop hovering around looking for something to help them with and sort my eyebrows out’ phase.
In the daily melting pot that is family life I need to carve out more moments for me. Because if I don’t I’ve only got myself to blame.
I find myself hovering in my 13-year-old’s room helping him pack his PE kit because that’s what I’ve always done. He doesn’t actually need me; in fact he’s glaring at me with that ‘can you JUST’ face.
But here’s the thing. While they have moved onto their next phase, I’m still floundering in the past.
So these past few weeks I’ve started to grab some me time.
A face scrub here, a pedicure there. Baby steps!
But. Truth be told I am still my own worst enemy.
I’m not ready for me time even though I know it’s vital to me being me.
Because the minute I find myself with a smidge of time to myself I go off in search of one of the kids to see if they need me. Because actually, being wanted by them still feeds my soul.
My dry skin and knotted back can wait a few more years.