Thursday, 4 April 2013

Me Time

Far too many women never think about enjoying themselves, or even looking after themselves, as they are so busy putting their families first.  If they do occasionally pause and wonder about having some time off from their family duties, they are likely to feel guilty.  Why is this?  If they are married or have a male partner, chances are that the man in their life has nights out with "the boys" or plays golf at the weekend or does whatever he wants to do in his spare time.  Spare time?  How many women have any spare time?!

When I was first married, I was one of those women.  I married when I was twenty-two and by the time I was twenty-five I had three children under the age of four.  I returned to a full-time job when I was twenty-nine and worked more or less continuously until I was over sixty.  Did I put my family first?  I like to think so, but over the years I started to realise that I needed to think of myself too, if only to save my sanity.

My husband took a bit of convincing, as he came from a traditional Scottish family where the women were home-makers and the men went out to work. After work the men went to the pub, and that was considered the norm.  However, when I gently pointed out that I would like to go to a Writers' Group just once a month, and that he was able to go to the pub any night of the week that he wanted, he gracefully gave in!

At Newcastle Writers Group I became a writer and wasn't just a working mother . It was a wonderful feeling to meet with like-minded people, who encouraged me with my creative writing.  When the children were in bed, and my husband was out at the pub, I could get on with my writing - though I had a bad habit of waiting to write an article or story until the night before our monthly get-together!  I was thrilled to win the crime story prize in a local writing competition and delighted when I was invited to read out an article on the local radio station.  I even got paid!  I owe that writers group a lot, as they gave me confidence in my own abilities and nurtured my love of writing that today expresses itself mainly through blogging.

I think it is very important for women to keep a sense of their own identity.  It is too easy to fall into the trap of being just "the wife" or "Mum".  Please don't get me wrong, as those are very important roles, but I don't think you should limit yourself.  I find it very sad to hear about women struggling to find their own identity after their children have left home. They have probably given up twenty or more years of their life to their family and forgotten who they were in the process.

You may feel that you don't have any spare time, especially if like me you have a full-time job and children to bring up, but it's a true saying that if you want something doing, you should ask a busy person!  I bet you could find another hour every week for your family if necessary, so why not spend that time on YOU!

If you still aren't convinced, I strongly believe that you actually become a better wife and/or mother through having some time for yourself.  The break from your normal routine will do you good, and you will appreciate your family even more. Even better, if you have an occasional break, they will learn to appreciate all the time that you do spend with them. So go ahead and enjoy your "Me Time": trust me, you deserve it.


  1. I feel fortunate to have the kind of husband I have and to work from home. Though things can get hectic, I think I have more "me" time than most, but the question I still ask myself is whether during those times of reading or even the rare occasion I watch TV, is my mind quiet and out of my office.

    Ummm, think I ought to do what you did Sue ... do something that get's me out of the house!

  2. I was a stay-at-home mom because that was what my husband and I both wanted.I never thought about wanting my own identity. I was happy to be a wife and mother. He did though. Because of his upbringing, he thought about it and encouraged me to do things just for me. I am so glad he did. You were smart. Kids need to see their moms' are important too.

  3. Trish, a lot of it was circumstances, plus old traditions. I am talking about nearly 40 years ago! However, much as I love my family, I don't think I was made to be a housewife, so I guess it was lucky that I had no choice about going out to work. From what you say, I suspect that it would do you good to find an interest outside the home, even if it is only once a week or month. Let me know what you decide to do!

    Devotedtoquilting, your husband sounds like a smart man! No matter how happy women are at home, it is good to have some "me time" too. It helps you retain your individuality. Funnily enough, my son drew a picture at school of "Mum" at the window waving goodbye to "Dad" as he left for work, which wasn't the reality. I wonder if he thought that was the way things should be, or whether the teacher suggested it? I was lucky to be working flexible hours at the time, so was able to make school meetings etc. In fact one of the teachers commented that they saw more of me than many stay-at-home mothers!