The Quest For Me Time

It’s now official women get no “me time”. They did a poll. Seriously just asking for “hands-up who doesn’t have a minute to themselves” at the school gate would have done the trick but nevertheless 1000 women with children aged 16 and under were surveyed by Galaxy Research for Procter & Gamble.

The outcome – mums average less than 40 minutes a day to themselves, they spend 2 hours and 20 minutes a day solely on childcare, 87 per cent felt isolated, and over 50 per cent felt guilty trying to reach a balance between work and raising children. No surprises there.

Although hats off to the mums who are managing to get 40 minutes to themselves on any given day. I don’t think they asked how they got that 40 minutes – barricading yourself in the loo, arriving at school pick-up half an hour early just so you can sit in the car by yourself, or counting up the time you spend getting Macca’s drive-thru coffees is probably not the most rewarding of time to yourself but I’m sure it counts. When you find yourself enjoying the grocery shopping because it’s an hour by yourself while the kids are at home with their father it’s probably a sign that your definition of “me time” needs a rethink.

Naively I thought with my children being older I could attempt to claw back some “me time”. So began the Shambolic Living blog and  Project 44. Now don’t get me wrong all are supportive of the endeavour but that doesn’t stop the heavy sighs, the eye rolling and the “you are on the computer again?” comments.

Getting “me time” for my little hobby has involved rising at 5.00am or staying up until after midnight on many occasions. Like a shining beacon my firing up the computer seems to attract the family. Sitting next to me looking over my shoulder watching what I write, perched on the nearby lounge asking “what are we going to do about …” or standing behind bellowing “do you know where my jumper/assignment/bus pass is?”.

Sometimes I sneak away to the bathroom, load up the tub with scalding hot water, pour in a bottle of bubble bath, slink down below water level in an attempt to drown out the noises from the adjacent rooms. Without fail Princess Child will appear at the doorway announcing the latest injustice she has suffered at the hands of her father or sister. Seriously they just had to be alone together for 15 minutes. Just 15 minutes to go through the social niceties, pretend to be civil  and not rile each other up. Anyway, who died and me referee of the whole world? Fight it out amongst yourselves.

Notice nobody seems to be surveying the dads. Are they just as stressed out or are they better at finding me time? I suspect they are probably just as time poor but more capable of slipping in moments of tranquility while our whole “guilt metre thingo” hinders our ability to even carve out a second for ourselves.

While I flounder about in my feeble attempts to restructure my life to support my new blogging addiction hobby others do give much clearer guidance. Life Coach Kirri White has a great blog post A Short Guide to Achieving Life Balance which advises finding your main stumbling blocks, creating space and honouring your own values as important steps on the road to creating your own down time.

Do you manage to get “me time”? What do you do to create the space for your own “me time”?

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9 thoughts on “The Quest For Me Time

  1. Time for myself? I haven’t even had time to retreat to my blog haven! I am with you and the bath strategy for stealing some ‘me time’. I also get those eye rolls accompanied by “You’re on the computer…again?” Why is it that they aren’t interested when we’re doing the housework, but oh, fire the computer up or take a bath and it seems you have an audience. Great post.

  2. Any woman with kids that works outside of the home can relate to this post. If not, then it means she probably never got the chance to see it.

  3. Me time? What is this wonderous thing that you speak of, me time? I might get an hour, and that would be on Wednesday when I refuse to answer the phone(I watch my show then. :)). I may get some of that, if I am not too tired to take a bath, and read.

  4. your blogging addiction/sorry, hobby is so funny! it’s all true, but you make it a joy. so keep going. but take a rest for yourself – uh, tuesday at 7:05 after your meeting? happy monday!

  5. The greatest amount of “me time” is the 50 minute commute to the office that happens after I get 2 kids dressed, fed breakfast, lunches made, back packs packed, listen to them fight like cats and dogs on the way to school, drop them at daycare sometimes with and sometimes without a guilt inducing lecture. Some days I have enough time to get to Starbucks and take a cup of tea along for the ride.

  6. Where I used to work up to 2010, we had the opportunity to take “Me” days off so people didn’t burn out. I believe this is because it was a mental health organisation.

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