Me Time and Mum Time – striking the balance

A perfect bath

This picture sums up a discovery I’ve made over the past few weeks. To be the best mum possible, you need to strike a balance and find some time for yourself. Even if it’s just a little sliver.

I made a decision over the Christmas break to try and regain some kind of balance. I wrote recently about how being self-employed can make it hard to get that balance right. Although I love every aspect of what I do, I’ve come to accept that I do need some element of non-work, non-mum life too. I need a piece of something for myself.

And since I’ve been taking that piece over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed my shoulders haven’t been so tense. I haven’t been a shouty mum (OK there was the time she drew on the wall, but let’s ignore that one) and I haven’t been a grumpy wife (OK, there was the time he went to the pub and forgot his key and I had to stay up until 1am for him, but let’s ignore that one too).

Mainly, on the whole, I think I’ve been a much easier person to be around, because I’ve been ME. Not a hamster running on a wheel, trying to spin a million and one plates. But ME. Someone who’s prone to laugh. Not someone who’s crying every five minutes through exhaustion and wondering if they’ve lost a little piece of themselves somewhere down the line.

I’m me again. And I like it.

These are the things that have helped:

A beautiful scented candle lit in the kitchen while I’m doing the washing up or faffing with the laundry.

Gorgeous candle

Realising I still have a whole hour to go before I need to collect my two year old from nursery, so making a quick detour to the shops and finding a dress for myself. Not a pair of toddler trousers or a jumper for my husband, but a dress. A dress for ME.

Henry Holland dress

Taking two minutes to pick an outfit for work the next day rather than stumbling around in the dark at 4am. Rocking up to work wearing my favourite pair of pre-pregnancy tights that I’ve found at the back of the drawer.

Bow tights

Taking on a manageable amount of work, rather than a huge mountain I’ll never climb, giving myself the odd evening to do something totally rock and roll, like knit while wearing PJ’s and watching the Downton Abbey box set.

Knitting in front of the telly

These are the reasons I’m smiling. It’s the little things that have set the balance back to one I can happily deal with.

Now, I’m off to go and do my knitting. Don’t judge me.






  1. says

    Hooray to me-time! Sounds like you’re definitely getting a good balance. And you’ve inspired me to plan my outfits in the evening a bit more often rather than just grab stuff in a mad rush each morning.
    Also: cute dress, hot tights and loving the night-time print clash!

    • says

      Thanks for the fashion love! And yes, evening outfit planning is the way forward. Especially if you have to get up when it’s still dark outside!

  2. Kate says

    It IS important for Me time……

    I discovered this a little late, after I ended up in the Drs, an utterly blubbering wreck declaring loudly that I thought I was losing my marbles and I had no idea what was wrong with me, with the lovely Dr holding my hand and siggesting I may have late/delayed onset PND (Number 2 daughter was 18 mths at the time…..)

    In the end, I didn’t need the pills they were keen to prescribe me – turns out what I DID need was an hour to myself everyday….an hour when my OH took charge and I was allowed to slink off upstairs, close the door behind me and do (or NOT do) whatever the heck I liked!!

    • says

      I can absolutely see how no time to yourself, ever, could lead to that kind of stress. I’ve nearly been there myself! Glad you have it sorted now – I think it’s easy to forget how important it is to be a little bit selfish sometimes.

  3. Heather says

    I wrote a very similar post this week. I definitely think it’s harder to balance when you’re self employed and especially when you’re working from home. I’ve been reading The Happiness Project and it sort of spurred me to think about little things I could do to make a difference to my general mood. I feel so much calmer, but I do put that down to having three weeks of January off work!!

    • says

      Ah I can imagine three weeks off would help lots! But you’re right, it’s about the little things and taking the time to be kind to yourself every now and then. After all, I always think if I always put myself last why would anyone else put me first?!

  4. says

    This is brilliant and oh so important.

    it is so hard to put ourselves first. To even be a little bit selfish. To say “I am doing this for me” but we have to. The ripple effect it causes is immense.

    When we moved to our house we were lucky enough to get a hot tub. And it became our escape. Our ten minutes of no kids, no phone, no internet. No nothing. Either with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, or at midnight with a glass of wine.

    We all need to find our “this is my time” and i am thrilled that you have managed to do that.

    Because gawd knows you deserve it.

    • says

      The ripple effect IS immense and a side effect so easily forgotten. I’ve found that since my husband and I have been doing a few more things just for ourselves we’ve been far less stressed, shouty parents. And, because of that, our toddler’s been far happier too.

    • says

      Ah I bet they’ve been brilliant – I’ve seen your pics on Instagram and Facebook and thought how therapeutic it all looked. Pleased for you! x

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