Yesterday I was talking with my wife and I mentioned it is really hard to get solid “me time”. I don’t think she fully followed me on it, because after all, I am with the little guy all day long, and when I go for walks I am alone, and when he is napping I am alone – isn’t that “me time”? Nope.
As you saw from an earlier post, when the nap starts, the clock starts to get things done to prepare for the next “awake time”. So that is definitely not when you get time to yourself. Then there’s the walks – we do 2 long ones a day (morning and afternoon) – and while I usually listen to podcasts and call family and friends on the morning walk, they are peppered with a lot of checking on the little guy, making sure he is happy and comfortable and covered from the sun. Also on the walks we do various tasks like go to the supermarket, which again is not really time to myself.
What about when my wife gets home? At that point it is usually later in the day, and I must get into the kitchen to cook dinner. A quick, “welcome home” and handing over the little guy so she can spend time with him. While cooking, it is probably the most time I have to myself all day, and since I like cooking, it is nice and de-stressing, so that is a good 30 minutes. What about the rest of that “me time” stuff, where I can take care of myself by reading, maybe watch an episode from a series I like, looking for things online, or otherwise just be together with myself?
It seems that as things change when you become a parent, your needs (or wants, or desires) must also change. I mentioned earlier that your lifestyle must change, but this is much deeper than that. You can’t have a need for too much “me time”, and your definition of it must also change. Perhaps enjoying small bursts of solid “me time”, instead of a solid block is what you should look for. And then it is all about quality over quantity. It is very difficult to fulfill needs of the little guy, spend quality time with my wife and keep our relationship growing, and to do what I need to do for my own independence. But, as with everything, there can be a well-balanced harmony between all elements, and that’s what I am working towards.