Okay. I won’t be the first to say this, and I sure won’t be the last: Parenting is hard work. And I’m open enough to admit that some days I struggle. I’m sure we can all agree there are some days when we just wish for bedtime to come around so we can put our darlings to bed. Whether that’s because they haven’t been darlings at all *cough* little shits *cough* or because you’re just not feeling it that day, (which is totally okay, after all you’re basically a servant to a human half your age and size) – a break is sometimes needed! But am I a bad parent for wanting ‘me time’?
Now don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids and they are my world, but I am only human too and sometimes I need a few hours just for me; to recharge, reorganise my thoughts and find my happy place. No yelling, “don’t touch that!” or changing nappies or CBeebies or even the feeling of responsibility for little lives. Just for a few hours.
I often get myself worked up at the thought of asking for someone to have the kids whilst I have ‘me time’. It was my decision to become a parent, I feel I shouldn’t ask others for help for something I chose to do. I feel like I’m failing as a parent if I ask for ‘me time’, or for someone to come around and watch the kids whilst I get back on top of my housework. But I know deep down if I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t be a very fit parent – or person for that matter. I’d end up sinking into a deep, dark hole and become a miserable person to be around.
Because even though people may tell you how exhausting and draining it can be being a parent, we don’t really tend to listen. This week has knocked me for six. I’d over worked myself and the heat really affected me too, and I could feel myself being dragged down into that hole. With snappy remarks, lack of patience with the kids and a serious case of “I can’t be arsed to tidy the house up” – it was all just getting too much and I needed a time out. So I messaged my mum in a desperate plea to see if she would be able to have William for the night to allow me to have a lay in past 7am. Not only did she take William, she took Lily too, and had them all day the next day! I was so grateful for this time-out of parenting, to have a day of nothingness and primarily focus on me. (That’s not to say I wasn’t messaging my mum every few hours checking in on them!)
Once we’d dropped the kids off to grandmas, I could already feel the tension lifting, and a pull up out of the dark hole I’d buried myself in. It was a bittersweet feeling though as I felt an awful pang of guilt for leaving them. This is my internal battle I have with myself: I want to be there with them 24/7, but I need to have some time away too…Although, when they came home I felt ready to burst with the love I felt for them when I saw them.
Parenting isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it can be arduous and mind numbing and downright stressful, but these times are overshadowed by the rewarding, happy and loving days. The good days will always outweigh the bad, and in time these strenuous and hard days will be but a fuzzy memory in the back of our minds. So take that time out, focus on yourself to be in a better place for yourself and your children. You’ll thank yourself for it! In answer to my original question, no. I don’t think I am a bad parent for wanting time to myself; I am a better parent for admitting it and taking the time away to be a better person for my children.
What are your views? Do you agree or disagree? How often do you get ‘me time’?
(Link for badge isn’t working for me, click here to join in!!)
(Link for badge isn’t working for me, click here to join in!)