“Me time” is such a modern construct. It’s the catch-cry of today’s Mother.
I’m picking our mothers and grandmothers hadn’t coined the phrase, let alone felt it was their right. “Me Time” back then was probably a quiet cup of tea while the young’uns wrestled in the playpen or napped, once the washing, ironing, meal prep and chores were done, or a chat over the fence with the neighbour as they both hung out cloth nappies.
Today we continually hear so much conversation and commentary about how hard it is to be a Mother. How it’s the ‘hardest job in the world, but the most rewarding job in the world’. I don’t deny it’s the most rewarding, but I’m skeptical it’s the hardest. I think those of us who feel that way haven’t lived through some rough situations and difficult circumstances. But I won’t deny there are moments it’s frustrating and the day sure feels long. But despite all this, the thing I keep coming back to is that women have been being mothers for centuries, millenium in fact. And I don’t know for certain, but I’m quite sure our predecessors weren’t lamenting it’s trials and tribulations on such a regular basis. They just got on with it. Nowadays I think we over-analyse and over-complicate things – parenting included. But the truth is, it’s no different than it’s always been: raising the next generation from infancy to adulthood, before passing the baton and the cycle repeating itself.
Until my eldest child was five, it was quite enough for me to enjoy an evening out once a month with three girlfriends for Book Club. I got my cup filled with stimulating conversation, a little wine and possibly cheese and loved mostly just the chance to get out of the house and put on a bit of lipstick. It was enough for me. I was fulfilled as a stay at home mum and I honestly didn’t feel the need to be away from my child any more than that. In fact I hated being apart from her. I know that’s not every new mums experience though, so it’s something I was always grateful for.
Things have changed though. Three kids later and I definitely need some time out. Fast forward a few years to where these days my ‘other job’ affords me lots of time out of the house if I choose, the opportunity to meet people and interact in some gorgeous settings regularly. I am treated to experiences that I would otherwise not be able to enjoy and I am very, very grateful for these happenings. But the thing about expecting and needing “Me Time” is that you learn to always want more. Much like life. We become accustomed to a new normal.
Just about every woman I know now wants, needs and craves “Me Time” – regularly. We feel we’ve earned it whether we’re a woman at home with the kids, buried under paperwork and meetings at the office or juggling a bit of both at the kitchen table. We’ve earned it by just showing up! And the cup of tea in silence doesn’t cut it any longer. Now we want massages at fancy spas or a night out with the girls every weekend.
Everyone is different and for you the once a month visit to the hairdresser may be the top-up you need. It might be your fortnightly nail appointment. Your daily hour at the gym. A lunch date with your Mum on the third Sunday of every month. Laying down on the couch with a magazine and chocolate on Saturday afternoons after the kids sport engagements are all done and dusted. Maybe it’s a dinner out with your husband – but I’m picking for “Me Time” to be true, real, actual “Me Time”, husband/partner has to stay home and mind the kids because otherwise it’s not proper “Me Time”. True?
Similarly when it comes to watching Netflix, I designate everything in one of three categories:
- Shows to watch with the husband
- Shows for the kids
- “Me Time” shows
I never thought I’d get here, but at the ripe old age of 40, I love nothing more than changing into loungewear once the kids are in bed, cutting an apple into eighths and booting up the iPad to watch an episode or three of my current Netflix binge. But I don’t feel old and crusty. I feel just right. I’m in the comfort of my own home, thankful that while my kids are snoring in their rooms, dreaming of sugarplums and fairies and my man thing is watching sport or whatever movie on regular TV in the living room (that he’s seen ten times before), I can be tucked up in my cozy bed, nuzzled into cushions and losing myself in a show. Netflix has changed my life. Netflix has also kind of crippled me because their all you can watch banquet of engaging and entertaining programs, movies and doco’s means come 8pm on a weeknight, I’m pretty much clocked out for the night.
Right now when it comes to shows I’m loving – it’s these. Perfect for watching all alone in a dark room snacking on apple or chocolate. For those of you who can’t afford extravagant outings to recharge your batteries, or simply don’t have the energy at the end of a busy day, I can highly recommend a Netflix account and these shows for your much needed, often craved “Me Time”.
The Good Wife
I’m still only in Season 2 and there are seven in total so I’ve got a ways to go. Each season is looooong (I’m talking 22-23 episodes each!) so it’s slow going, but not slow at all. What I mean is… it’ll take you a while to get through it all and binge-ing won’t actually get you far. A strong female who makes me want to be just like her when I parent my teenagers, I love Alicia Florrick. I don’t love her husband so much. I love so many of the characters voices. Each character draws you in and you want to like them all (except already mentioned husband). A lot of recognisable faces in this one, I found myself googling regularly at the start trying to figure out where I knew faces from. Because it’s such a long series, I’ve taken breaks to watch other shows in between and then come back to it. It’s the kind of show you can do that with though and fall back into place.
13 Reason’s Why
You will have heard of this already and if you haven’t, where have you been? This is a gripping show, not for everyone, but well worth a watch. I found I couldn’t stop watching it and when I wasn’t watching it, I was thinking about when I could next watch it. I’m working on a blog post of my thoughts on it currently, but in the meantime (it’s taking a while to articulate myself), I highly recommend you watching it and make up your own mind. Basic premise – story of a young girl who takes her own life as a result of being victimised, bullied and raped. 13 Reason’s Why tells the tale of how and why she ended up feeling as though her only option was suicide. It’s an intense show, raw and emotional and very relevant in today’s social-media driven society.
I watched the first two seasons on TV a few years ago when it was first released and then never caught up, so I’m loving that this is on Netflix now. Such a beautiful show. Stunning storylines, gorgeous costumes and aristocracy galore, I love every character (except Thomas Barrow).
You must watch this. It’s a stunning series of documentaries, each episode of the series profiles a single world-renowned chef. This is one where you can dip in and out as you wish. Visually stunning and so fascinating learning about the chef behind the magic.
Me Time” shows on my list of what-to-watch next:
- Stranger Things
- Orange Is the New Black (seasons 3+)
- Grace & Frankie
When I was in Melbourne last week with Netflix for our #streamteam event, we were treated to two sneak peeks of new Netflix Original shows that will be coming in the next couple of months. Unfortunately that’s all I’m at liberty to reveal at this point, but as soon as I’m allowed, I will tell you all about them so you don’t miss out! Both were incredible and shows that I just know you and I will be adding to our lists.
Speaking of lists – did you know you can actually create lists of shows you want to watch in Netflix so that you don’t need to search for them when you’re ready to watch? I discovered this cool trick thanks to one of the gorgeous girls from Netflix USA and I’m on fire now saving shows to my list (and the kids lists).
I’ll be back soon with great new kids content that my kids and I are recommending, but first, what are you watching and loving that I need to add to my list of “Me Time” shows?