Did you know that on average, a mother gets around 17 minutes of ‘me time’ per day? Pretty pathetic, isn’t it? Being a mother means never sitting down for some peace. It means never sleeping for a full night. It means eating with one hand at a rapid pace while watching the kids with one eye to make sure they don’t choke on their food. There are some mums out there that consider their ‘me time’ to be while they sit on the toilet as it’s the only time they have alone. There are mothers who eat a chocolate bar in the shower so they don’t have to share. Basically, ‘me time’ doesn’t exist for a mother until their child is becoming a teenager, and they become self-sufficient.
Making some time for yourself is not easy when you have a job, children and a partner to think about. You end up pretty low down on the list important people, including on sick days and hard times. The children will always come first before you even if that seems unfair. Your partner will always ‘have it worse’ than you when they suffer from man flu. There’s a reason that Mummy Bear had the cold porridge in the Goldilocks story and it isn’t because she enjoys chilled oats!
If you want to do something amazing for your mum or partner, don’t present her with flowers and chocolates. Give her some time. It doesn’t have to be a lot, it doesn’t even have to be a whole day. Give her an hour a day of time where she can sleep or sit and read. Give her time to spend the kohls coupons she got for her birthday six months ago, and go with her so she can make choices for her instead of buying for everyone else. Make her a meal that she can sit down to first to eat and give her a hot drink with her book. You don’t have to give her a holiday away from you – she won’t want that anyway. But some time to breathe away from the madness of everyday life, some time away from the laundry and time away from the label of ‘Mum’ can breathe life into her.
It’s important to remember that ‘Mum’ was a person before she was a mum and sometimes, even though she doesn’t show it, she can be overwhelmed and sad. She won’t show her children if she is ever in pain because mothers show strength and rarely weakness. By giving her time, and making time for her to be a person again, you can fulfill her in ways that being a wife, partner or mother can’t. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you or care for you – that’s imprinted through her like a stick of rock – but it does mean she can be a better person, a better mother for it.
We all need a break sometimes. Even mothers need to take the cape off.