Friday, June 11, 2010

Looking Through Your Window

At 17 months, Fern is a child well established into a routine. All the experts will tell you that children thrive on routines... and by-damn if they are not right! Our routine changes and fluctuates, of course, and from time to time goes completely out the window. But it remains a routine nonetheless.

I'm lucky (and unlucky) that my child likes to have two daytime sleeps as part of hers. These days, she sleeps about an hour-and-a-half between approx 8.30am-10am and then again from 1.30pm-3pm.

So, I get two small windows in the day in which to organise the lives of my household and get 'stuff' done. Inevitably, my morning 'window' is 95% taken up in cleaning up the house from the morning tornado, doing some washing, having a quick shower and throwing some clothes over my bod before my window closes and Fern is UP.

So, it's not really until my lunchtime 'window' that I ever get to do anything for myself. In an ideal world, I'd take the phone off the hook, make a (decaf - I've forced myself off coffee temporarily) coffee, ring a friend, start a craft project or catch up on a magazine/ novel or even (gasp) watch some mindless TV. There's no reason why I can't do those things... except that most of the time, I don't.

In my hour-or-so that I get to myself each day I normally feel too guilty to do other than throw a sandwich down my neck and make myself busy around the house. The ironing. The folding. The sweeping outside. Paying bills. Organising dinner for Fern. Writing blog posts!

The problem is, I feel too guilty to relax.

I have magazines sitting on the rack from 6 weeks ago that are still inside their cellophane (hello, free tea-towel edition of Inside Out). DVD's I have never watched. Neatly folded squares of material inside their original brown paper packaging.

Why do I feel too guilty to take proper time-out for myself?

What do YOU do while your children sleep? Be honest - how much time do you take for yourself??


  1. That's good that Fern has those two blocks of sleep for you Nicole. Grace has about 20 mins in the morning (usually when we're out and about so ends up being in the car or pram) and then her after lunch sleep from 1.30 to 3.30. I try and balance things in this time between 'me' time and housework so give or take, I do housework from 1.30 til 2, then sit with a cuppa reading through blogs or a magazine from 2 til 2.30 then 2.30 is cleaning again. If Grace is still asleep at 3 that time is bonus 'me' time. In saying that, this week I've had a slack week and half my housework hasn't been done except for the essential things :) I know what you mean about magazines and movies piling up - I have SO many things I've taped and still haven't gotten around to watching - the hard disk drive on our DVD recorder currently says 'full' - oops! Hope you have a great weekend Nicole and get a chance to finally open your Inside Out magazine x

  2. It took me a long time to get past the "guilt", but I finally have, and now the 1-1.5 hours I get to myself are always "me time". Either catching up on recorded tv, or reading mags.

    At work, you would get allocated time for lunch. And as a mother, if I don't look after myself, I only burn out and it's the kids who end up suffering (and poor hubby ofcourse!).

    So do it Nic, dedicate afternoon naps to YOU - the WHOLE nap, and enjoy catching up on tv/mags/sleep. Especially before no.2 comes along and the opportunity shrinks!

    H x

  3. Sebastian's a once a day at lunch time nappper and it can last anywhere from an hour to 3 so I never know what I'm going to get. He loves a routine too and I gotta say I'm not great at relaxing it cos I'm too scared of the consequences. He seems to be relaxing it himself the last few weeks though in refusing to go to sleep til way after 2pm when he usually goes to bed at 1230. I try to dedicate at least one nap time a week to myself. I'm woeful at me time usually but my body has a way of telling me when I need to. And this week I've been ridiculously slow on my feet with a very grumpy, teething toddler so in lieu of doing anything at all domestic I have caught up on blogs, tv and reading and work (bleurgh). I consistently feel guilty though during any relaxation time and wonder how I can push through that myself.

  4. Remi has 2 sleeps, each for about an hour. That means roughly 10 hours a day of Remi-awake time, so, let's be honest, Im totally up for myself as soon as she's asleep! Chores are a lowly second, everytime. Everything seems to get rushed though to fit into these small windows- eg. 10 mins on a mag, 10 mins eating, 10 mins on the computer, so nothing is really savoured and enjoyed in the desperate attempt to 'do everything'. :(
    It's really hard being a Mum (lucky they're cute!) xx

  5. I aim to get an hour or so of both boys down asleep after lunch and I have to confess - that is MY time. I'm only home a couple of days so I need that chunk of me time. Chores, well, look at the name of my blog.... they get done when I can be bothered!

    (I answered about the chickens on my blog but basically - you don't need much space for them if you are happy to let them wander the yard a bit as well. Cleaning out the coop is Mr's job (yay!) but isn't too onerous if the coop is small.)


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