If you ask any new mum the one thing they miss about their life pre-parenthood, they’ll probably say the same thing. Alone time. Me time. Silence.
That’s definitely true for me and I tell you, three years of not being able to take a dump without someone peering down the toilet asking you if your bottom is smelly, or shower without being accompanied by your knee-high shadow can really take its toll. Once you’re a mum you never truly feel alone again, and as one who has always been very comfortable in my own company I found this one of the hardest things to deal with.
Sometimes, and this sounds really silly, but I get so overwhelmed with the pressure of making sure my two little mouths get fed three times a day. That’s a strange thing to focus in on, but as an adult you can just inhale a banana or some cake for lunch if you’re busy/stressed/not hungry. You can call your husband for fish and chips, or eat pasta and butter (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it). These two little ones, however, need nutritionally balanced low-fat healthy meals cooked for them and sometimes it takes all I’ve got to think about what I’m going to cook them and then make it. Contrary to popular belief you can’t really feed them fish fingers every day and some days I find myself spending hours and hours slaving over meals for them.
Then there’s the daily pressure of making sure we’re doing fun, educational and stimulating activities, limiting the amount of CBeebies we watch (I find it easily becomes a crutch if I’m not sleeping well) and ensuring we make it to bedtime in a timely fashion and all in one piece. EXHAUSTING. It’s the most full-on flat-out job I’ve ever had. I obviously wouldn’t change it for the world but I do sometimes wish there was an HR department I could hand a holiday form to.
And that is why I have decided to take a bit of time off. On a whim last Friday night (and yeah, on two glasses of wine if I’m honest) I booked a ticket to New York City, leaving this Wednesday, as in 48 hours time. It’s time to cash in my ‘me time’.
My best friend Kirsty has lived out there almost as long as we’ve lived in the countryside and despite me vowing to visit for all that time I’ve always been a bit preoccupied with being pregnant or breastfeeding. Now I’m neither of those things I’ve decided there’s no time like the present. The last six months have not been particularly easy for me or my family so I think it’s important to get away and re-discover who I am once again. I hope I will come back a little more relaxed, a little happier and with a little less of a burden on my shoulders.
I can’t wait to spend some quality one-on-one time with Kirsty that doesn’t involve a Skype connection, strolling the streets of New York whilst she’s at work. More crucially I can’t wait to remember who I am again. I’m already anticipating the heartache of missing my children for five days but they will be getting in return a much happier mummy. I can’t wait.