There’s a lot of talk at the moment about self love and the importance of ‘me time’. It’s all I see and hear and social media is saturated with photos of people getting in their #metime at the spa or the salon or on weekends away with friends.
It is a bit of an alien concept to me. Partly because my family isn’t up the road for babysitting duties, partly because we’re a one-income home and partly because The Bearded Manc works away a lot. But mostly it’s because I’ve never been one to put myself at the top of any list.
Since becoming a Mum four years ago, I’ve had (on average) three days/nights out a year without children in tow. Oh, woe is me (jokes!). I even get my haircut at home – imagine the scene, 4 year old running around the salon set up in my kitchen, baby on lap.
Normally, I’m ok with all that. I love how much time I get to spend with my Beastlies. I know how lucky I am. But lately, I’ve been feeling like I might need a tiny bit more for me. Did I just say that out loud?
I don’t want much.
Just a smidge.
For Mother’s Day, I got vouchers for the Bali Health Lounge– it’s as if my babies read my mind. I was so touched. It’s not something I would ever buy myself and it is exactly what I need right now. Upon opening my gift, The Bearded Manc said that he wanted me to be able to ‘have some time alone without being groped at or demanded from by anyone’. Him included. He’s the biggest pest of them all.
I haven’t yet booked a massage, but it’s nice to know that the vouchers are there, because the expression ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’, feels very relevant to me right now. I wouldn’t say my cup is empty, I’m more of a half full kind of person, but I could certainly do with a change of tonic.
When I turned 30, I decided to implement a few self love changes, chiefly buying decent toilet roll instead of the ‘crap stuff’ (no pun intended) that’s like tracing paper on your privates and buying myself flowers, because why the hell not?! They’re pretty.
These ‘big life changes’ were my attempt at doing something for me and I realise that I kind of failed. Epically. It was a pretty pathetic attempt at prioritising myself.
So I’ve reviewed what it is that’s lacking for me at the moment and while I am craving a bit more time with friends, it is my marriage where I feel more ‘us time’, (not me time) is crucial.
Date nights are currently non-existent. The only time we spend out of the house together alone is at adults-only weddings. The irony isn’t lost on me that the only time we get to be ‘just a couple’ is when we’re celebrating somebody else’s love. I remember our own big day fondly. That good looking couple in the photo is us *winkwink*.
Time as a couple seems to make everything feel lighter. We’re more of a team and better parents after we’ve had a bit of time to ourselves, away from the tv and the kids. I don’t know why, although the alcohol most definitely helps. Maybe it’s having the chance to be silly and carefree again for a few hours, dancing to indie tunes in bars with sticky floors, naughty tipple in hand. Like we used to do when our only responsibility was a spoilt, indoor cat.
I’m going to get better at looking after myself. I’ve come to understand that self love is about recognising what it is that one needs in order to be mentally, physically and emotionally well. Right now, it’s about tending to the adult relationships in my life and nurturing them with as much love and attention as I pour into my children. They deserve it, as do I.
So I’m self-prescribing tickets to a gig, rum-based cocktails, a new outfit and an over-indulgent meal at a hipster restaurant, where there are only adults present and the table isn’t littered with crayons and toy phones. And a family holiday, because nothing brings greater joy than seeing little ones on a beach, barefoot and smiling.