Oh boy. When I put my hand up recently to volunteer at my son’s school, I didn’t quite realise what I was getting into. Don’t get me wrong, the community is terrific and I love being part of something bigger. It just takes up a lot of time.

I also have an 8-month-old baby to play with and care for, a business and consulting work, a house to clean, all while trying to be a good mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter.

Anyone else knows what I’m talking about? Yeah, of course, you do. While you may not have that exact experience, you’re a multi-dimensional person with different things going on in your life.

So, when you read the parenting articles that talk about the importance of ‘me-time’ do you also groan and think, “Where the heck am I meant to fit this ‘me-time’ into my life?” Or “Me-time is great, but it doesn’t decrease my workload.”

And you know, I’ll be honest – I enjoy being with my family and don’t necessarily crave an abundance of me-time.

Therefore, what I’m pondering right now, is how to juggle ‘all the things’ and still find an opportunity to ‘be me’.

I feel that reframing ‘me-time’ to ‘being me’ is key. For me, it’s less about having time alone (for now), and more about taking opportunities to feel like I am expressing who I am and doing things that light me up.


‘Being me’ in every day of parenting

In the busyness and whirlwind of parenting, it can be easy to lose sight of everyday opportunities that allow us to express ourselves. Oftentimes we look for things external to ourselves. For example, we might be waiting for the family to visit so we can do something for ourselves. Or waiting for our partner to get home to give us a break, or go back to work so we can tap back into our professional self.

So, instead of waiting for something external to happen, I find it useful to go inwards and feel my way through my needs. Sometimes I crave a feeling of being grounded, so bub and I will go for a hike and play in nature. Other times I need to stretch my brain and learn something new. In that case, I’ll listen to a podcast while folding the laundry or cooking dinner. Maybe I need to get in my body and shake my sillies out, so I’ll put on some music and bop around like a crazy person with babe-in-arms (who is also giggling like a crazy person).

These things, while they aren’t profound or revolutionary, help me ‘be me’.


What things help you ‘be you’?

You know yourself better than anyone else, so have a think about the things that light you up.

Better yet, don’t just think about them, get a pen and paper out and write them down. What is it that you love doing? If you haven’t thought about it for a while, think back to before you had children – what did you like doing then?

Now that you have a list of things you enjoy doing, go through that list and see if you can do any of them in your current routine – with the kids in tow. If that’s not possible (things like surfing and mountain biking might be tricky with a baby, I’d imagine), is there a way you can tap into the good feelings you got when you did those activities? It might help to dig deeper and uncover what those activities provided you – was it freedom? Adventure?

Once you uncovered those underlying feelings and needs, have a think about the opportunities available to you – right now. It may even be just as simple as carving out a few minutes to daydream and visualise yourself there again, in that happy place and let your whole body feel into it.

Now is a perfect time to do this activity. When I had my first son, we didn’t have Netflix, Spotify, the depth and breadth of current podcasts to listen to, or meditation apps and tools all in the one place, so accessible. In this day and age of smart devices, we have a rich pool of resources at our fingertips that help us tap into the things we love without even leaving our house.

So, I’d like you to get out your pen and paper now and list down the things that make you ‘you’ and see how you can creatively build them into your daily routine.

If you do this activity, I’ve love to hear from you. Let me know what worked and what didn’t. What your main challenges were, or your main joys. In the chaos of family life, share with me and the Kiddipedia readers how you managed to ‘be you’ amongst the chaos of family life.