Why it's important to have 10 minutes to yourself

As a busy mum to two school-aged boys I find it difficult to find just 10 minutes per day just for me. It might sound ridiculous but when I think about my day it mainly consists of doing things for others or working and just when I think I may get 10 minutes to enjoy a coffee and read a magazine the boys are causing havoc and I have to intervene.

But those 10 minutes to yourself are so important, you really must try to have at least that.

After chatting to Michelle Reeves a couple of weeks ago I decided to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual. My usual waking time is 6:30am but I thought I would get up at 6am instead so that I could enjoy a hot coffee and watch the news without interruptions or arguments from the boys. 

My alarm went off at 6am and I hit the button quickly so as to not wake the Hubby. I crept out of bed and into the bathroom where I tried to go through my morning routine as quietly as possible. I then crept downstairs, avoiding the one creaky step, and went into the kitchen, closing the door behind me. Closing the door I hoped would keep the noise of the boiling kettle from waking the boys. So I boiled the kettle and made myself a coffee and with my coffee in hand I opened the kitchen door.

And sat on the stairs with his best smile was LP.

I can never be disappointed to see that smile in a morning but I was a little disappointed that my first attempt to get some time to myself didn't go so well.

I think women are natural caretakers. They take care of everybody. They take care of their husbands and their kids and their dogs, and don't spend a lot of time just getting back and taking time out. 

Reese Witherspoon

Why is it so hard to have time to myself?

Being a mum to school-aged boys doesn't mean I get the whole day to myself, unfortunately. I spend the time while my boys are at school blogging. Yes it is a choice I make and I could just as easily have 6 hours all to myself right?

blonde haired woman with her arms in the air, a beach in the background


Instead I would use that time to do housework and then by the time the boys came home the housework would be done and I'd spend time with them. Because being a mum isn't about how I can spend time on my own, it's about making life good for my children and husband. I forget to think about myself.

So how do you get time to yourself?

It's not easy. If you're a morning person you can try getting up a little earlier than normal and attempt what I did, but it's not a guarantee. 

Here is where giving your children chores will help you have more time. Perhaps your 10/11 year old can load the dishwasher and your 6/7 year old can pick up dirty clothes and put them in baskets. The vacuuming is an easy job to give to your older children and it doesn't even take long but it will give you a few extra minutes.

It is amazing how quickly the kids learn the operation of the DVD, yet are unable to understand the vacuum cleaner.

Etienne Marchal

Hiding in the bathroom may work occasionally but you can't really sit in there with a cup of tea and enjoy peace and quiet while you're hiding from your children can you?

If you have older children you could instigate times during the day when they're not allowed to interrupt you, no matter what (barring emergencies of course). They can entertain themselves while you enjoy a drink and read a magazine.

Why is it so important?

Having time for yourself allows you to think.

You can sit and be you, without thinking about housework or things the kids need. Ignore everything but your drink and your magazine or book, or whatever you choose to do in your time. You have time to wind down, to enjoy something for yourself, just like everyone else does.

Giving yourself that time may help you find new hobbies, learn new things, or even stumble across a business idea.

brunette woman sitting in a yoga position by a lake, relaxing. The lake is in the blurred background.

You are not just a mum. You are not just a wife. You are a person, someone who devotes their whole being to making others happy, and allowing yourself 10 minutes will make you happy. It doesn't matter what you do in those 10 minutes as long as you get to be happy.

I haven't yet managed to get my time in a morning, whenever I try to get up early LP joins me. He is a light sleeper and the sound of anything downstairs wakes him. I'll get that time eventually, perhaps on the days he has after school clubs. He'll be extra tired on those days so perhaps I can take advantage of that?

How do you make time for yourself during your busy days?