Me-time is one of the first things to go when becoming a parent, but as Lucy Kippist discovered, it doesn’t have to be that way.
There’s nothing I love more than a simple solution to life’s problems – especially when it means finding more time for myself.
This clever hack from blogger and mum of two toddlers, Lauren, that gave her back some me-time was revelatory.
Pre-kids, Lauren used to love waking up when it suited her, making some coffee and reading before tackling the workday ahead.
Doesn’t that sound nice?
Once she became a mother, of course, mornings started to look very different. More often than not, Lauren would wake up to the sound of her toddlers crying from their cot.
‘I was using my kids as my alarm clock’
After a week away with her husband with no kids in tow, Lauren suddenly remembered just how great it felt to have mornings to herself again.
“Slowly after having kids, I let my morning routine go. If I’m being honest, it no longer existed. I was using my kids as my alarm clock. This had to change. I missed my mornings!”
Ain’t that the truth.
But instead of mourning or moaning, Lauren found a solution. And it’s so simple I think all of us should try it.
When Lauren’s two toddlers woke up the next morning, instead of jumping up and heading to their room, she … *drumroll* … left them in their cot until she got herself ready.
Here’s how Lauren explained her process:
“We did this in 5 to 10-minute increments. Slowly pushing back wake-up time until we hit 7:30 … I also told them on the monitor, ‘It’s not time to wake up yet, buddy. Rest for a few more minutes’.”
And so they did.
And while they learnt to do that, Lauren began to reacquaint herself with a stress-free morning.
Listen to Dr Darren Morton on why making time for your own happiness is vital on Kinderling Conversation:
As she goes on to write, the process wasn’t exactly easy and it took everyone a couple of weeks to get used to it.
“It took patience and prayer. When we set boundaries as parents, it’s not always fun or easy.”
Me-time looks different for mums
Lauren also had to tweak her own expectations of her newfound me-time, quickly realising she couldn’t sleep till her usual 7:15am, if she wanted to get things done before her kids and the routine needed to start.
She decided instead to get up earlier – 6:45am, so the time she gained back to herself amounted to around 45 minutes each day.
Was it enough? You bet!
As Lauren writes:
“Morning time alone was going to make me a better mom throughout the day. When I have time to recharge, then I have more to give to my kids later on … I felt like I had ‘me’ time again and I wasn’t putting my needs last anymore.”
If only we could solve all our other parenting dilemmas quite so simply.
Thanks for the idea Lauren, it sounds like something we could all use.