When someone without kids tells you they have no ‘me time’ what you want to say is:
* “Do you get to open your eyes in your own time in the morning without a small person gauging their fingers into your eye sockets or jumping on your head?
* Do you get to have a morning shower without a small person running in and out of the bathroom commenting on various parts of your anatomy? Do you get to have a morning shower without having to act as a referee for small people who won’t stop arguing? Have you ever had to get out of the shower mid-way through to feed your hungry baby?
* Do you get to go the toilet all by yourself, without a small person asking to see your poo or trying to shove toys down the toilet between your legs? In public loos too?
* Do you get to eat your breakfast entirely on your own, without little people crying because they have the wrong colour bowl or because their toast is in triangles and not squares?
* When you leave the house, do you simply pick up your coat and handbag without having to dress your toddler who’s just undressed himself for the 10th time, or ask little people to put on their shoes on for the gazillionth time?
* Do you get to sit in silence for a few moments in the car or on the bus/train or while walking to work without having to answer a dozen obscure questions on nothing and everything?
* Do you get to enjoy a cuppa while it’s still hot, rather than discovering it cold three hours later in the microwave, where you warmed it up after the first time you found it cold?
* Do you consider going to the supermarket on your own the highlight of your week because you can do the shop with no one having tantrums because you won’t buy them all the chocolate or toys?
* Do you get to eat your meal while it’s still hot, rather than letting it go cold because someone needs a nappy/a feed/is throwing their food all over the floor?
* Do you get to go to your smear test without one or more small people giggling and asking why the nurse is looking at mummy’s foo foo or having a tantrum because they want to clamber all over you rather than stay in the buggy?
* If you’re really poorly, do you get to spend a day under your duvet watching trash TV? Or do you have to get up and dressed, wipe bottoms and noses, do the school run, try to muster up the enthusiasm to play Star Wars and My Little Ponies yet again, and cook tea for little ones who refuse to eat it?
* And if you’re hungover, do you get to lie on the sofa all day overloading on carbs or do you spend it trying not time vomit by the side of the swimming pool for your child’s 8.30am lesson?
* Does organising a night out with your friends take weeks of careful coordinating for childcare and then end up getting cancelled because someone’s baby is poorly and someone’s hubby had to go away with work at the last minute?
Wow! Then you have all the me time you need.”
That’s what the naughty side of your brain wants to say anyway.
However, no one likes a sanctimonious smug mummy who thinks she has it harder than anyone else, so what you really say, with your most sympathetic face, is, “aww, you poor thing. That must be so difficult for you. What can I do to help?”
There is no point in moaning to your non-parent friends; you need to save it for someone who understands the thrill of the Friday night trip to Tesco all on your own!
Because even though the last time you had regular me time was several years ago, and your biggest fantasy right now is an uninterrupted shower, you remember oh so well that feeling of being overwhelmed with work/social life/other commitments and feeling like your brain would explode if you didn’t get some me time soon. In fact, I’d like to say all of this to my pre-child self.
Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? Being a parent is pretty flipping awesome, despite the lack of time to yourself. And, deep down, you know that when they all leave home, you’ll have more me-time than you know what to do with.