Why is everyone talking about ‘me time’ all the time? Everywhere I look there’s a new article, blog post, billboard shouting at me to go and get me some ‘me time’. There’s a faintly patronising sniff to them all too. Like, poor dear, you’re so completely busy and so unselfish and disciplined that you put every thing about yourself on hold just to look after your newly-formed kids. Dear god, you’ve lost the ability to soak in a hot bath while sipping herbal tea and reading a magazine.
Luckily these articles are here to remind us what a bubble bath looks like.
What the hell is ‘me time’ anyway? Though it sounds faintly mastabatory (is that even a word… it’s a good word), I’m sure that’s not the intention behind it… Do you have to be by yourself? Could you go out for coffee with friends and consider that ‘me time’? Could you go with your husband? What if you wanted to bring the kids along on your ‘me time’? Is that allowed?
Does spending an hour collapsed on the couch at the end of the day qualify?
Well, if you read the stories right, it would appear you can’t have random ‘me time’. It needs to be scheduled into your busy, busy day in order to qualify. Most reports would indicate that you’re spending way too much time looking after the needs of others, whatever that means, and not enough time doing ‘me time’ things, whatever they are. You need to love yourself first before you can love your family and that involves some pretty comprehensive time management. Schedule in time for yourself to… be yourself… and all manner of lovely things are going to happen to you, no doubt about it.
Time spent in or quaffing bubbles is definitely ‘me time’, but only the former is allowed when solo. Reading a book is great if it’s not from the ‘parenting’ section of the bookstore. Enjoying time on your favourite hobby is ideal, but not if you open an Etsy store. Getting that much needed aromatherapy massage or hydrating facial qualifies, but a leg or moustache wax might not be acceptable and remedial massage from your physio for lower back pain caused by your pelvis shifting during pregnancy is definitely out. Meeting ‘the girls’ for a chit-chat is in for sure, but not if it involves a park and pushing kids on swings.
Basically, anywhere you’re getting pampered, not paid, and the children and husband are off limits is absolute top-quality ‘me time’.
But then, what would I know? I don’t even know what this ‘me time’ business is… all I know is that life is sometimes overwhelming and there’s lots of stuff you’ve gotta do and some stuff you just don’t. And when it all comes down to it, I’m just ever so grateful that I’m not American because over there they call it ‘mommy time’, which makes me dry-retch even more.