‘She has gone to the salon’, it’s her ‘me time’ now…‘She has gone shopping’, ‘Out for coffee with friends’, it’s her ‘me time’ now…
Moms don’t only need me-time. They need a lot more than just that!
Quite often we come across such conversations, where husbands and family members proudly state how women in their house get the luxury of ‘me time’.
But what is this ‘me time’? Is it a time-space where a woman (be it stay-at-home-moms or working moms) gets some space for herself, while some of her other chores are being taken care of? Or is it some time squeezed out of her daily schedule, where they work, and the tasks she needs to finish await her return?
So, do women really need just the ‘me time’ or they need ‘me time’ plus some help and support to be able to enjoy that so-called ‘me time’.
Moms only need ‘me time’. Not ‘only’, actually 6 more things:
1. We are not superwomen but humans
We do everything – from cleaning, cooking, buying veggies and stuff to laundry and even chaperoning and chauffeuring our kids. No wonder, most of us experience a physical burnout sooner or later. Our ‘me-time’ doesn’t guarantee our pending jobs are getting done while we are enjoying our time alone. So it would be nice to be treated as human beings and not superwomen for us to enjoy that ‘me-time’.
2. Mental support
While we are running from pillar to post keeping the house in order, meeting the deadlines at our workplace, maintaining relationships, always present at all the family functions and working with a smile on our face, it will be a boost to our mental well-being if we get that assurance that our absence from home for that much-coveted me-time will not stop any movement of household chores.
3. I need help before I go out for that ‘Me-Time’
The time I would like to spend alone, for my physical and mental well-being should be time spent without any care in the world, without thoughts going back and forth to the kids at home, or what is to be cooked for dinner after going back or making hundreds of adjustments and preparations before venturing out. I shouldn’t be contemplating endlessly before I even think of taking some time off. It should be as natural as the other daily things that I do in life.
4. Differentiation between the time taken for personal need versus ‘Me-Time’
Time spent on doing a chore, which fulfills personal needs is not the same as ‘me-time’ for most of us. A visit to a salon, grocery shopping, a stop the boutique and the like do not fall under ‘me-time’. We need help from people to understand this difference and deal with it accordingly.
5. ‘Me-time’ is actually not required if we get equal help and support
Just like there is no concept of ‘me-time’ for men, we also wouldn’t need it, if from the start some help and support are coming our way in terms of shared responsibilities. We would prefer it as shared on an equal footing and not as a favor.
6. Non-discriminated and unjudged
It will truly benefit us women if we don’t have eyebrows raised at our parenting style. I know best why I need to leave my child in the daycare or why getting my little one tutored outside is better than my teaching. I don’t need other moms smirking or gossiping about me. At the workplace too, women are capable of multi-tasking, we all know that, so mostly the work assigned is done, and once in a while we can be let off for this reason.
Motherhood and household matters are not alone a woman’s domain. If this is clear with everyone, then time meant for ourselves will really benefit us.
by Tasneem Dhinojwala