AD | My Best Ever Fit – Finding Time for Myself
“Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple
I often end up feeling like I don’t have enough time, not enough time to sleep, to read, to shop, to finish a blog post. Time is a funny thing. I never really appreciated having it to spare before Dougie was born, but now I want it to slow down because I feel like he’s growing up too fast!
“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss
I don’t bother setting an alarm anymore, Dougie is a much more effective wake-up call. My days can start any time from 5am, and don’t usually end until around 10pm. No two days are the same when you have a toddler. On a typical weekday, I get up when Dougie does, and get him ready for nursery. I take him to nursery for 7:30am, then I work for the morning. I collect him at 1pm, and we spend the afternoon together – playdates, soft play, walks in the park, scooter rides, trips to the library.
Sam gets home around 5pm and we spend some time together, making dinner for Dougie, then bath and bed for him. Bedtime has been a huge struggle recently, sometimes taking up to two hours, but once he is finally asleep, I finish off any work I need to do, try and read or do some blogging, or watch something with Sam.
Fitting in time to be myself can be difficult.
Being ‘Mum’ is a 24/7 role. When I do get some time without Dougie, I use the time to work, blog, read, or meet up with friends, but I never switch off from being his Mum. I sometimes get envious when friends mention they have booked a spontaneous holiday, or if someone suggests going for drinks one evening. I wouldn’t change my life with Dougie for anything, but it does mean I have to plan things much more in advance than I used to. It also means I’ve had to adapt and find ways to save time, and give myself a chance to be me…
Time for shopping
I remember when my weekends would involve spending hours browsing shops on Oxford Street, or taking trips to Westfield where I would spend ages trying on clothes, deliberating, going back and forth. But now… have you ever tried taking a toddler clothes shopping? It is horrendous. If he’s napping in his buggy, I might get the chance to browse for 40 minutes, but I can’t try anything on which means I often end up buying something to try on later, and more often than not, I end up returning it. Jeans and jumpers are my go-to, whether I’m running around with Dougie at soft play, in the office, working from home or out meeting friends during the day, but finding the right jeans can be so difficult.
Since having a baby I’ve really struggled with feeling good in them, but luckily, M&S have designed a new range of jeans with the Best Ever Fit, made with soft, figure-flattering denim. The Ivy Skinny Leg jeans* come in four different colours, which means I can add a bit of variety to my wardrobe without needing to spend ages shopping. They’re incredibly comfy, and super stretchy which is perfect for me as I spend so much time running around after Dougie. Finding jeans that are a perfect fit for me is amazing, and the fact I know I don’t have to spend hours trying on numerous pairs is even better.
Time for reading
A lot of people ask how I’m able to read so much, and the truth is, I just squeeze it in whenever I can. I’ve mastered the art of balancing a book on the buggy if we’re walking somewhere, and I have one day a week in-office, so I read during my commute. I hold a book while stirring dinner, and if I end up sitting in Dougie’s room while he’s falling asleep, my Kindle (with a backlight!) is a lifesaver. Reading is an escape for me, and over the last couple of years, I’ve made much more of an effort to read – it’s given me a chance to unwind, and reading helps me switch off.
“She wanted none of those days to end, and it was always with disappointment that she watched the darkness stride forward. ”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
Time for friends
Meeting up with friends in the evenings is harder now, especially while Dougie is being uncooperative during bedtime. If Sam and I want to see our mutual friends, we’ve had to learn to adapt – we suggest brunches and lunch dates rather than dinner and drinks. Some of my friends are around during the days, so I make the most of Dougie being at nursery and I’ll take my laptop with me and arrange catch-ups in coffee shops. This way I get to see friends, I’m able to keep up with my work, and then I can go and collect Dougie from nursery and focus on him for the rest of the day.
How do you make sure you fit in time for yourself?
*This post is sponsored by M&S, but all thoughts and opinions are my own