timeoutIt can be so hard to find time to feel like a grown up when you're a parent. And behaving like one can be even harder especially if, like me, you have someone's breakfast in your hair, a necklace made of pasta, and a Shaun the Sheep backpack. I spend most of my days singing silly songs, and communicating in baby language, and haven't seen a newspaper in months, so I doubt I even possess the capacity for normal, human conversation. My frame of reference has become so limited by motherhood, that unless we're talking about nits or bowel movements, I really have nothing to say.

The problem with being a parent is that time off is limited. Parents are often made to feel guilty if they take time out for themselves. But the reality is that doing something purely for YOU can sometimes give you a fresh perspective on your kids and recharge your batteries for your day-to-day life. A visit to an art exhibition, or dinner with your friends can sometimes be enough to put a spring back in your step.

Some of us are lucky to have willing grandparents close by to look after the little ones, but for many people babysitting is a paid expense and not one that can be done regularly. So maybe it doesn't have to be a child-free activity away from home. Maybe it's as simple as putting down the laundry and stopping being so organised about dinner. Make yourself a cuppa, and sit down for 10 minutes. Buy yourself a magazine, and lie in the garden while the kids jump on the trampoline. Call a friend for a natter and book that massage you've been promising yourself.

And remember - no one is going to find time for you except YOU.

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