It is true and I am sure most of the mums would agree that the first three years of raising a child belong to the child. Only after they turn 3, that we can look at reclaiming our old selves i.e. if we manage that. Most of us don’t. Some of my friends have changed beyond recognition and I am not even talking physical appearance.
I do not say this with any malice. We all change with time and more so after the birth of a child. We throw ourselves at the nurturing of our children and it is nothing but sheer privilege. But does it have to come at a price of losing our identity to the point that we don’t recognize the reflection we see in the mirror. It has happened to me. It is an unshakable feeling. There were days when I would simply shrug my shoulders and get on with my tasks for the day and on certain days, I would feel myself falling in and out of depressive spells. Not healthy, right? Something so joyful as nurturing your child shouldn’t at any point in time feel like a burden. But then why do we feel like this ? And we all know it ends in us feeling terribly guilty for thinking so selfishly about ourselves.
If you continue to feel bad inside for neglecting yourself, your needs and desires, there is no way you can be your best for the people you love. Your child included.
Three years is a long time and our habits harden and it is difficult to fall back into any kind of discipline that involves doing something about yourself. Again, even if you feel like doing something to change the way you feel, without adequate support from your partner it is quite impossible to lift yourself from this atmosphere of despair. If the partner refuses to see the use in all this need for discipline then he plays a huge rule in the act of negligence. He has a big role to play in the process of deterioration. I am sure, our partners love us too much to see us in any kind of uncomfortable state. Perhaps the only thing they need is a conversation explaining why looking after ourselves is just as important as looking after the children and them.
What qualifies as ‘me time’?
I do not consider going to the beauty parlour, couple of hours in a month or in 6 months as me time. Well some of my friends complain that they don’t even get the time to get a hair cut!
‘Me time’ are those precious hours in the day where you get to do your thing – which could be reading, learning a language, meeting friends for coffee, attending baking classes or even watching back to back episodes of your favourite sitcom.
You may be doing this in breaks – 15 minutes of reading here, purposeful baking for someone’s birthday, meeting friends at common dinners. But that in my opinion is not ‘ me time’.
‘Me time’ should feel selfish and hence good.
Intentionally doing something because you want to do it without any interference or the burden of tasks or responsibilities. That constitutes as satisfying ‘me time’.
Once you establish the ‘me time’ rules, see how much vigour you experience in projecting the best of yourself to others. The energy, the zeal and the enthusiasm towards all chores increases manifold.
I had been a firm believer of spending this ‘me time’ from the very beginning and for that reason I started writing and created this scared space on the blogsphere. It is an extension of me where I shareas much as I feel comfortable sharing.
I have and always will exercise – whether it involves going to the gym or simply going for a walk in the neighbourhood park.
Once a week – on Fridays – I watch back to back episodes of TV series that I enjoy or obsessively try and finish a book.
To me, ‘me time’ is about being shamelessly selfish and not caring whose judging you.
For all this to happen, you definitely need your husband and to some extent, even your child to understand that this is important to you – the mother and the wife.
Baking, out of turn, just because I felt is also something that I think of as ‘me time’ and this Almond, lemon and ricotta cake was a result of such a labour of love. Only very slightly sweet and dizzying tangy, this cake a perfect treat for tea time. A drizzle of honey on top or a even citrus-y sugar syrup can make it decadent. Without any syrup or honey, you can taste the ricotta as an after taste only after you have recovered from the slight shock of the abundance of lemon goodness. The almond adds to the beautiful texture of this cake.So the next time life gives you lemons, make sure you make this almond Lemon, ricotta cake.
- 500 gm greek yogurt or hung yogurt ( preferable) else any yogurt will do that is not runny
- 4 handfuls of granola clusters
- your choice of fruits - pomegranate, mango, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
- honey to sweeten or any low calorie sweetener
- Beat the yogurt until its smooth. Add honey as per liking and beat again. You can use a fork or a small whisk to do this.
- Take small serving bowls or mason jars or glasses and layer it with yogurt
- The next layer you can have berries or mangoes, finely chopped, followed by more yogurt.
- Then the layer after this can be a granola, the more fruit and you can add chopped nuts and seeds.
- Place it in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours and enjoy for breakfast or in between snack.