The Right to: Have some ME time.

Whether you have a hectic career, you are a busy mother, you work late or just have too many things to do: everybody needs some ME time. Stress is a killer. It is one of the causes of high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, depression. Stress is a part of everyday life and we meet it at times when we’d rather not, usually when everything seems to be happening at once. The best way to take control of it is to have some time away from it.

Taking ten minutes to read a bit of your favourite book or watch that programme you saved on SKY + can be the difference between keeping your sanity and reaching breaking point.

It is not selfish to have some time to yourself. Yet the pressures around us tell us we don’t deserve to put our needs first.

Last year I posted something on Facebook about wanting to pamper myself – haircut or massage, can’t remember. Many mummies liked it and could empathise greatly. One woman found her way to it and commented that I should be more focussed on my daughter and should not have time to think about myself. This kind of comment was not meant maliciously but it was written sarcastically and it did bruise me. I really struggled with being a preemie mum especially in the first few months. I had only worried about my daughter, so much so that I hadn’t left the house in ten weeks for fear of infection. I was neglecting my mental health which was clearly starting to affect my relationships with others.

If I hadn’t taken any time out for myself, seen a friend for a coffee, gone shopping, had a haircut, I would have gone insane. The stress was overpowering me and I constantly felt ill. I can deal with not brushing my hair for three days or eating lunch at four in the afternoon because my exhausted baby refuses to nap. I can handle waking five times through the night not knowing what is upsetting my baby or wearing an unchanged, sicky t-shirt all day. I can do all that as long as I have some time for myself.

I have been lucky. Even during the worst times with my husband this year, he has always given me a bit of “time-off”. He has taken baby our for a little walk or watched her while I read a magazine with a cup of coffee for ten minutes. In that sense, he was amazing.

Channel 4 in the UK, shows a programme called, ‘The Three Day Nanny’. The nanny goes and helps a desperate family in need of her services. Last week, they showed a couple at breaking point with twin girls. The mum looked after the girls for the majority of the week, solely on her own. She barely left the house and was unable to complete the simplest of tasks as the toddlers were such a handful. In an interview at the start of the programme you could see tears in her eyes as she seemed so anguished at not having any time to relax and do something exclusively for her. Sadly, she did not have a husband that offered her this. In the two years since the children had been born, he had NEVER offered her a hour on the weekend to have the girls and give her a break. He admitted it freely like it was a norm. I’m sure it does happen and many mums are put in this position.

To have a healthy relationship with anyone, you need to have breathing space. That includes your children. Many women get that when they return to work but like the struggling mum on the show, I will be at home every day looking after my little girl. It was my choice (to a point, we could not find affordable childcare) so some will say, “Deal with it” but I am entitled to have a break.

Thank you David for all those breaks you have given me.

And to the woman who told me off for wanting to take care of myself, like I said to you before:

Happy mummy = happy baby.

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Bad Hair Day? The Worst.

My Lord………..man alive……………yesterday was NOT what I had expected it to be. On Wednesday, I booked a long overdue hair appointment on a website that gives offers on high end salons in the city. I have done something like this before and had a very positive experience. Last September, I used another of these websites to do my hair. It was a success and one the best haircuts I’ve ever had.

Yesterday however, was an entirely different story.

On arrival, a friendly welcoming receptionist greeted me. All good. I only had to wait a few moments before my ‘stylist’ (I use this term very lightly) appeared. She ushered me over to the chair without a ‘Hello’ or ‘Pleased to meet you’. There was no introduction nor did she ask me for my name. I just sat down in my allocated chair.

“What do you want then?” she asked abruptly.

Taken aback by her rudeness and lack of decency, I showed her some printed photos I’d taken from Google of Rose Byrne – my hair idol.

 

She had no clue who this beautiful woman was which was clearly a bad start. In her broken English, she proceeded to argue and shout that my hair cannot be cut in this way.

Baring in my that my hair was to my shoulder blades and almost one length with long layers running through, her argument held no strength. It was clear that perhaps she was not capable of such a cut and I was receiving a barrage of excuses. I couldn’t believe that I was having an argument with my so-called hairdresser! I had booked this appointment, thankfully on discount, hoping for a relaxing and well deserved treatment. Instead, I felt like walking straight out of the door. Sadly, through these websites, you have to pay in advance so it was obvious that I was stuck with her.

The idiotic stylist began making exasperating looks at her fellow co-worker, like I was the problem. She particularly didn’t like it when I called her “aggressive” but that is truly what she was.

After coming to a basic agreement, the hairdresser seemed to understand my request. Well how wrong was I?

I absolutely detest the final result.

She has given me the worst haircut I’ve ever had in my life, far surpassing the time when my father gave me a lop-sided bob aged seven. Thank god I only asked for a trim and my hair grows quickly as I won’t be taking it out of a ponytail for at least a month!

Unbelievable.

Shallow as this rant may be, as a sufferer of BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) my hair was the sole thing that I ever liked about myself so this is bound to knock what little confidence I have left.

Do NOT visit BURLINGTON’S BOUTIQUE in Oxford Circus, London. Unless you want someone to insult you for an hour and ruin your hair (!)