Me-time, a much needed time of being away from the kids. It isn’t that we don’t want to spend time with the kids. It’s just that when we, as stay-home-parents, are caring for the kids day in and day out, from the time we open our eyes in the morning, till the time we lay our heads on the pillow at the end of the day, we need that time to breathe and do something that allows us the break we need.
Meg Meeker, M.D., wrote in her book “The 10 habits of Happy Mothers” that making time for solitude is one of the elements that makes mums happy. With more and more dads taking on the roles of being a stay-home-parent, I would very much think that this applies to dads too.
I think I wrote about me-time some time ago, but I can’t remember.
While Meg Meeker described this special time as a time of solitude, I see me-time in a slightly different light. As long as it is time away from our daily responsibilities of looking after our kids, we don’t have to be alone to enjoy me-time.
Hanging out with friends
Whether it’s going for high-tea, a good meal or simply having a cup of coffee or tea or a drink with friends, it’s always good to be able to able to chat with adults without having to be interrupted by kids every few minutes, or to have to yell at the kids to stop them from mischief.
As long as there is a reliable babysitter to watch the kids, a date is always good for the marriage. Reliving the good ol’ dating days is a good way to maintain the flame in the marriage and for parents to remember their other important identity – a spouse of the person you love.
Whether it is going to the gym, going for a run, playing sports with friends or doing some exercises when the kids are asleep, having exercise time on a regular basis not only serves as a good me-time, it also helps the stay-home-parent stay fit. One of the things I believe is that a stay-home-parent is no reason or excuse to be sloppy or unfit. In fact, a stay-home-parent should make extra effort, no matter how tiring it can be looking after the kids, to maintain his or her well-being. This is one way to stay attractive to the spouse.
Getting a new hairdo, new hair colour or getting a mani/pedi often makes a person feel better about him or herself. So if it’s been a while since you got a trim or coloured your hair, maybe it’s time to head to the hair salon. Plus, this is another way to keep yourself attractive to your spouse too.
Picking up a hobby can be both relaxing and satisfying. What to pick up depends on personal interest. From flower arrangements, knitting, to blogging, or even fishing, as long as it is something that intrigues you, picking up a hobby allows you time to find yourself another identity. At home, you are the spouse and stay-home-parent. When you are at your hobby, you are the florist, knitting expert, blogger, or fisherman. Seeing the product of your hobby allows a different sense of satisfaction and achievement.
Freelance work for a stay-home-parent? Why not? Depending on what industry you freelance in, you may be able to do things at your own pace, in your free time. I am a freelance events emcee and I only take up jobs when I know my Husband or my mum is able to take care of the kids. Most of the events I take up last a few hours. I love my freelance job because during those few hours at work, I am not Mummy Priscilla, I am emcee Priscilla. I get to be me for me.
From time to time, I also do some social media management for some businesses. This can be done while the kids are asleep or when I make arrangements to sit at a cafe by myself.
The best part about freelancing? I get some income on the side! This income acts as a little bonus for the family and some funds that I can pamper myself or my family with.
Being a stay-home-parent doesn’t mean you only care about your kids. You have to take care of yourself too. A good way to take care of yourself is by arranging for me-time. There is no fixed way to have me-time. As long as it is time spent to recharge, time spent to find our own identity outside of being a stay-home-parent, it is me-time worth spending.