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??