I wrote this post about being an Introvert a while ago. I've since come across a further definition of introversion/extroversion that I really identify with.
Even when surrounded by my nearest and dearest I eventually need some time with only my own thoughts in my head. I can be having the best time ever with people I love being with but after a while I just need a bit of quiet. And I completely understand the opposite trait - that some people need to be with others, in hustle and bustle, with activity to truly relax especially if they've been isolated.
Whatever your personality type, whatever you like to do, we all deserve a bit of time to do it.
Learning this about myself has helped me to shake some of the guilt I feel about 'me time'. Every Mum I know feels the same - that any time they could carve out of a busy day for themselves could (should?) be spent on something more productive.
It's true you could be doing something else, but trust me a little time invested in your own wellbeing will be payed back to those you love in other ways. If I have half an hour for myself and use it it to do laundry - my kids might have neat piles of clean clothes but if I use that half hour to read or sew or knit or daydream my kids will have a happier mummy more likely to get through to bedtime without any grumping (mine not theirs) .
Before I had children 'me time' certainly happened more often but it also happened when I wanted it to. Now I don't have as much control over when a free half hour window might appear. So sometimes it can be hard to just put everything down and get on with, well, nothing. But trust me, if you wait until you've tied up all the loose ends, you'll never get time to yourself.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Thank it kindly and run wild and free until you have to resume normal duties. This week Greig offered me the chance of a free hour. I hummed and hawed - not really long enough to go anywhere and if I stayed at home I would undoubtedly have found something 'useful' to do. But off I went. I put on a scarf and my smart coat over my jeans - fancy eh? Headed out to the shops. I had time to browse two shops - on my own! - somehow managed to buy a coat, pick up a takeaway Chai and head home.
Not sure if you can afford to grant yourself some 'me time'? Try out this scenario for size, imagine you are in your kitchen. Making someone a snack or preparing dinner or just tidying up. Imagine your elbow gently swiffs an open box of cereal sitting on your kitchen counter. Before you realise what's happening you hear a gentle swoosh as hundreds of tiny little 'o's spread over the length and breadth of your kitchen, filling nooks and crannies travelling as far as the eye can see.
What is your response? Do you calmly clean them up, softly chastising yourself for being a bit clumsy? Do you let out a guttural scream, feel tears pricking at your eyes and drop to your knees banging your fists against the floor toddler style?
If you chose the latter your probably need some 'me time'. Might I suggest you call the spilled cheerios 'snack' and comfy yourself with a cup of tea and some light reading until you feel like a human being again? If you plumped for the former heck you probably need some 'me time' too, and you certainly don't need me to sanction it. Do it now! Pencil it in, when the chance arises grab it with both hands, enjoy it because it will be over before you know it. No one is going to balance your life for you, you need to squeeze a little 'me time' in today.