One of the great joys of being a parent is all the quality alone time you get. If you are anything like me you are forever taking little breaks to enjoy a cuppa, read a book, watch your favourite TV programme, or pop to the shops just because you can…
....yeah, me neither!! I can barely remember the last time I finished a cup of tea while it was still hot, or read a book that didn’t have pictures. Our TV is permanently on CBeebies and I haven’t popped anywhere since 2011.
I often wonder, does wanting some ‘me time’ when you are a parent make you selfish? But when you think about your daily life as a mum – or dad - how often are you putting yourself first and doing what you want to do? Chances are the answer is not very often.
The closest I usually manage is a trip to Artisan Cheesecakes in Livingston where the kids will happily wile away an afternoon playing retro games like Misfits or Ludo while I treat myself to a very large, wonderfully indulgent slice of cheesecake in a place blissfully free of any kind of soft play.
I feel like I’m always driving past places and reading about things to do right on my doorstep, saying to myself that I’ll do it “one day”. So my plan this year is to find that “one day” so that I can do at least one of these things that I keep talking about and never doing.
I’d like to…
Drop in to an adult chocolate-making workshop at Gooey Events
Take on my first Livingston parkrun
Enjoy a lazy pub lunch at the Fork and Field in Mid Calder
Browse the boutiques in Linlithgow and buy something other than pocket money toys
Head to the cinema in Livingston or Bathgate and see a film that isn’t U-rated
Enjoy a spa day with my friends at the Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel in Uphall
Face the challenge of an Escape room in Livingston
What would be on your list of things you want to finally get around to doing nearby?
I think most parents probably spend their days doing activities and going to places they know their kids will love. But that doesn’t mean we don’t all need some time for ourselves once in a while.
I haven’t quite cracked it yet, so do as I say not as I do! I’m sure we could all benefit from squeezing in a little more ‘me time’ (without feeling guilty about it). If you take time to recharge and be off mum duty for a little while, you will probably be a much happier and more relaxed mum when you get back to your kids. For at least 5 minutes anyway!
Published in Konect February 2019
The parenting column is written by Laura Archibald. Laura lives in West Lothian with her family and their campervan Hank. She is mummy, wife, blogger and full-time personal assistant to her two girlie girls.