People tell you that you should enjoy that bit of maternity leave once work is done and before your little one arrives. People say you should take a bath, get your hair done, read a book, or just enjoy some peace and quiet. People say to make the most of that ‘me time’ because you won’t get any again for some time…
I disagree. A bit.
As I’ve mentioned before, I ignored that advice entirely and sat impatiently bouncing on birthing balls, drinking disgusting raspberry leaf tea and devouring pineapple like it was air during those long three weeks before Felix arrived.
When he arrived I didn’t want to leave him, not for a second. That would make me a bad mummy, wouldn’t it? I was a parent now and I had to be with him constantly or I would be neglecting him, wouldn’t I?
The first time I left him was at around two weeks and only for a matter of hours. I had a dress fitting for my sister-in-law’s upcoming wedding. He was left with his daddy and, do you know what, no one died. The world did not in fact end. Everything was OK.
I wouldn’t say that I enjoy leaving him and, in fact, on my ‘keep in touch’ day at work last week I broke down in tears several times about the fact that I was an awful mum who had abandoned her son. How very selfish of me…
But you know what, he loves different faces, new places and couldn’t be happier spending time with his daddy and grandparents. So now I have decided that ‘me time’ is actually possible and am trying to make more space in our hectic schedule for it.
Here are my favourite ‘me time’ activities so far…
Reading a book… OK so it hasn’t happened quickly but I am soooo nearly at the end of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child now. I went to pick my copy up at the midnight release back in July, confident that I would be able to read it whilst I fed Felix or when he napped during the day. Neither of those things happened. But, almost two months later, I am pleased to say that I am so nearly at the end and I’m loving it!
Pottery painting… It’s important to note that I am one of the most artistically challenged people around. I have great visions and my stick men aren’t half bad, but when it comes to anything more, it’s pretty poor. But nonetheless, we have an adorable little pottery studio close by who run ladies nights. My sister and I have been twice already and we’re booked in for a festive session in November. My paintings certainly wouldn’t any awards, but I will still be putting them proudly on display (in a room that no one else will ever go in…).
Straightening my hair… Sounds silly, right? People stand in front of the mirror every morning and straighten their hair. Well not when you’re a mummy! I’ve now discovered that if I get up early enough in the morning (around 5am usually does the trick), I can fit in a seven minute shower, hair wash, dry and straighten and, if I am really lucky, there’s even time to put on mascara! Ironed clothes, however, is another matter entirely.
The Real Housewives of… Wherever actually, I’m not fussy. Felix isn’t one for daytime naps but he sleeps through the night so I don’t complain. He’s now getting to an age where I can leave him to roll around and play on his mat and he’s content doing this for a good 40 minutes or so. Pretty convenient given that an episode of Real Housewives is approximately 42 minutes long…
Baking… I’ve always loved baking. A bit like pottery, my visions rarely come to life and certainly never match the Pinterest inspired expectations I have, but they usually taste pretty good. OK so I haven’t actually made it into the kitchen to bake much over the last three months (at all, actually, I haven’t baked once), but I have every intention of whipping up some scrumptious cookies and cupcakes again soon. Honest!