16 February 2012

"Me Time" - What You Said

Finally, a moment.
Long enough to sit down and work out some stuff... including the results of the Poll I posted last week.
I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats, aren't you?
Just what do mummies do in their spare time?
Is there actually any such thing as spare time for mummies?
How many of us think we are creative?
And do we actually front up and request time for ourselves...?

All this will soon be revealed.
But first, a big thank you to all the busy mummies who took the time to write to me with your thoughts. Lovely to hear from some "blog lurkers" (psssst! that's we bloggers call those beloved people who read but don't comment)!

I promised a prize didn't I? A copy of the Parenting Magazine awarded to two entries, by way of a draw.
Just a moment ago I wrote your names down on scraps of paper I ripped from a notebook. I put them in my pretty teapot and jiggled it up and down to mix them all up.
Then I closed my eyes, poked my hand in (twice) and drew out a couple of winners:

Ange Wilson from Dunedin and Stephanie Whitmore from New Plymouth!

Wahoo, you girls will receive a copy of the next... er, hang on a second.
Oh blast. I've stuffed up. Seems that the article I wrote containing (some) of your quotes is intended for the June issue of the magazine, not the March one. Darn it.
Somehow the next issue of the magazine will be a Simone-free issue. *sniff*
I know how upset and disappointed you will all be. But don't worry, I'll be back in the mag in June,
with the "Me Time" article. So sadly, I will have to wait until then to send your magazines, girls.
Think you can wait?
I'm really really sorry. How embarrassing.

Right. So now that we have that little bit of news out of the way, let's get to the results...

"Me Time" Poll Results

Guys seem to find it easy to ask for time for themselves. Do you?

  • ·                                 Yes I do it regularly: 50%
  • ·                                 No I feel like I can’t: 31%
  • ·                                 No I never think to: 19%

It would seem that fully half of us don't speak up and request time for ourselves. Either we don't think to ask, or we don't feel we can. Where do you fall on this one? I admit I don't think to very often, whereas my hubby is great at scheduling in things (like sport) that will energise him and give him an outlet.

How much "me time" do you get each week?

  • ·                                 7+ hours: 6%
  • ·                                 5-7 hours: 37%
  • ·                                 3-5 hours: 19%
  • ·                                 Less than three hours: 25%
  • ·                                 Big Fat Zero: 13%

The biggest percentage of "me time" is in the 5-7 hour range, which is awesome, nearly an hour each day. I suspect that this is time when children are at school or kindy... or maybe an hour to put your feet up in the evening. One thing I noticed is that as your children get older, the amount of "me time" grows. So if you're still doing it tough and getting less than three hours (as a combined total of 38% of you are) then be encouraged - it's not forever.

Do you think you are a creative person?

  • ·                                 Yes: 40%
  • ·                                 No: 60%
Just look at that! Nearly two-thirds of us think we are not creative. Mothers, if you truly think that, can I politely suggest you read my post "Creative You"? I have a theory about creativity I'd love to share with you. Go on, go read it.

What is your favourite way to spend time for yourself?

  • ·                                 Coffee with friends: 36.67%
  • ·                                 Curl Up with a book: 20%
  • ·                                 Get creative: 16.67%
  • ·                                 Exercise: 15%
  • ·                                 Blogging: 5%
  • ·                                 Get out into nature: 1.67%
  • ·                                 Watch TV/Movies: 1.67%
  • ·                                 Other: 3.33%

Now look at that! Our favourite activity is coffee with friends. We crave a bit of girly banter, connection and the chance to hang out over a delicious cup of Joe. We shouldn't be surprised that after spending hours on end with little people, the thing we'd love more than anything is sympathetic grown up company. Hear Hear!! (And my second favourite activity, reading books, is next on the list).  

Here is a sampling of your awesome replies:

Neetz, mum of two, Whangarei: For fun, I sing in a band on the weekends... that gives me some "grown up" time and is a social outlet, but also being paid for doing it is a BONUS! I like to play my guitar.  I like to paint, draw, make cards.  I like meeting regularly with a bunch of other awesome Whangarei blogging Mummies and we just have a fun "chill out" together.  

Elaine, mum of twin boys, North Auckland: I think a lot of women are not used to planning in their own ‘down time’ and replenishing their souls. There are often awkward dynamics in marriage relationships which means the women feel ‘bad’ asking for time out for themselves. And some children need training in understanding that even though Mum goes out, she always comes back. That it’s OK to be with Dad or the babysitter at appropriate times. Sometimes women need to learn to trust Dad or the babysitter. Mostly I plan my ‘me time’ when the kids are at school. This would be much more difficult if both parents are working full time.

Ange, mum of one (with one on the way), Dunedin: When my son sleeps, I try and read, or watch things I've recorded from the telly. I also try and get to a yoga class once a week, and in the weekends, I like to shop without a stroller, go to a cafe and read, or cruise round the local Farmer's Market. Sometimes, I'll spend a couple of uninterrupted hours doing something crafty - toddlers and glue don't always mix well! My husband is very supportive and is always pushing me out the door on the weekends to go and have some time out, which is lovely, because otherwise I just wouldn't think to do it (especially when the laundry pile is sky-high and the lounge looks like a tip!)

Dani, mum of four, LA: After having four babies in five years I have learned that I do my 
best when I focus on each day, one day at a time, and when my kids were babies, it was often hour by hour each day. Gretchen Rubin's quote, "The days are long, but the years are short." has become my mantra. I say it to myself many times each day and it helps me keep life in perspective. 

Amanda, mum of three, West Auckland: I get a lot more “me-time” now that I have 2 at school and one in kindy 3 days a week.  But when I had 3 under age 4 it was a lot different and it was overwhelming, like being on a treadmill that just won’t stop!  It was a very exhausting stage of my life, I was either pregnant or had a new baby for several years.  “Me-time” is really important for a mum’s mental health.  The 20 free hours childcare has certainly made it more affordable to have more “me-time”. 

Stephanie, mum of four, New Plymouth: When I have spare time the first thing I do is clean.  Not that I really want to mind you, but having a clean(ish) house gives me a clear mind and then I can get down to the real business of ‘me time’.  Like you I love to write.  Its sad that being a penpal isn’t trendy anymore and blogging my life kind of freaks me out.  I can’t imagine that I would be half as interesting as you!  So, instead I write down everything from my bible study to whatever is happening in my life and that of the kids in a number of different journals.  I also scrapbook (which is more or less an arty version of a chronicle) and make cards.  And I have to read.  It is my ‘bliss’ and saves my sanity.  And, honestly, life isn’t complete without a book in hand, and failing that a pretty good blog site does the job just fine!  LOL.  I adore being on my own, enjoying the peace and quiet too.  We have an awesome paddock that has heaps of huge old trees and stumps in it.  Sitting there surrounded by nothing but nature restores the soul I think.  Sometimes it is doing nothing but stopping the world and hopping off for a while that makes for the best use of ‘me time’.


So there you have it... "Me time" in a nutshell. Spending time taking care of YOU - your children's mother. How do you do it? Do you get much time? What refreshes and replenishes you? We'd love to hear from you...

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Unknown said...

My "me time" is getting together for a "sanity night out" with other mums. We often go for tea and a drink and laugh, talk and unwind... very true the name, it gives us back a bit of sanity!

Ange - Tall, Short and Tiny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ange (Tall, Short and Tiny) said...

Wheeeee! Thanks Simone! I am more than happy to wait until whenever for the mag :)

This was such a great thing to do...I never really thought about what I actually DO do if I get/take "me time", and it really made me realise how important it is for all mums (and dads, too) to take some time out to do something, anything, for themselves.

P.S: I fall into the "blog lurkers" category sometimes...but I lurk with good intent :)

Miriam said...

Can't believe I missed the poll I always so enjoy sharing my opinions!!! Really good to see what others do and I bet the 40% that said they were creative still had to fight with themselves to say yes I am creative. Great post. I look forward to the article.

Jen said...

interesting post :)

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