When was the last time you went to the toilet that you didn’t even think about?
You felt the need, you got up, you do your business, and you resume with what you were doing.
Fast forward to life with kids. Now, going to the toilet (or doing any thing in the washroom for that matter) is a lesson in stealth escape. The only chance I get to actually pee alone is if I happen to time it and go during the five minutes Peppa Pig is on and I literally tip toe all the way there. If they hear the door close, the water run, or even the toilet paper roll squeak as I grab a piece of paper, they are at my side, asking “Can I help?” or “Mum, what are you doing?” or my favourite, “Get off, I have to go too.”
Now, tell me I am not alone on this.
And it’s not just peeing. Anything involving the washroom is now a team sport – brushing my teeth requires three hands and taking a solo bath hasn’t happened in months. My kids, God I love them, but my kids are “Bath Bomber”. They have an uncanny ability to destroy any chance of my “Me Time” when I try to get. As soon as I run a hot bath complete with essential oils and lavender candles, they strip down and are in the bath before I even have a chance to get undressed. They literally take over my bath with their muddy feet and spaghetti-stained hands (and usually my daughter pees as soon as she gets in as well), every single flipping time.
I like to think that I am a fairly patient and understanding mum. I let my kids get away with a lot! But all mums need a little “Me Time,” even if it’s just fifteen minutes to have a shower or 20 minutes to pluck and polish. So I’ve devised a four-step plan to take back ‘Mummy Me Time’ to actually go to the toilet alone, to enjoy the sound of silence and to feel the warm bubbles without sharing my bath with my two nudey ninjas.
1. Set a Time
How often do you need time to yourself? This really depends on your beauty routine, but for me, an hour a week is perfect. I use Saturday afternoons, before dinner, as my me-time. Hubby takes the kids outside and I escape to the washroom where I run a hot bath, exfoliate my skin, apply a face masque, use a deep treatment conditioner on my hair, pluck my eyebrows, polish my finger and toenails and shave.
Yes, I may look like Mrs. Doubtfire during the pie-on-face scene, but guess what, no one is around to see me. That’s right. No one. No son asking me “What are you doing?” No daughter asking “Can I help?” No children. Just me, me and me.
2. Prepare in Advance
You don’t have a lot of time to break away, and the last thing you want to do is spend most of your time gathering your materials and cleaning the bath. So, choose a time when the bath is already clean and have a basket of your me-time essentials hidden in the cupboard ready to take out and place on the bathtub edge. If you’re like me, you will need to remove the three baskets of bath toys from the edge first to make room.
3. Invest in the Right Products
What are my me-time essentials? Well, glad you asked! So, here are they:
- Nail Polish Remover and a few bottles of Polish.
- Candles and a Lighter – don’t forget to have a lighter on hand. If not, you’ll spend the entire time searching the house to find one. Trust me. It’s the Law of Mummyhood.
- A Gossip Magazine – because I am trashy like that. But any good reading material will do.
- A Good Quality Loofah – to exfoliate your skin
- Facial Cleanser or a Deep Facial Masque
- Music, if you want – I tend to avoid using music as the kids gravitate towards it. As soon as they hear the iPod turn on, they immediately come banging at the door asking, “Mum, can you put on the Ironman theme song?” No son, no, I cannot.
Sure, I’m not at a spa and I can still hear the faint laughs of my kids from behind the bathroom door, but it’s free, it’s easy and it’s my time to relax! And honestly, the hour I spend by myself leaves me feeling calm, energised and ready to tackle another week.
4. Finally, Get a Bathroom Lock
Because me-time is impossible without it. Even if you have your partner watching the kids, if there isn’t a lock on the door, the kids will find a way to pass through their Dad and into your bath like sneaky shower-stealing ninjas. I don’t know how they do it, but they do.
Children are just so energetic and curious by nature, so whenever they got to see something new that you’re doing, they’ll eventually bump into it.
But above everything else, it is so important to pamper yourself from time to time to freshen up, be energised and still manage to do some mummy impossibilities.
Jenna Gallina is a WAHM, mum-of-two children under four and an overactive dog. She relies on nap time, Jimmy Giggle and daycare days to keep the house pseudo cleaned and complete her work before each week is done.