Breaking news: Today I had a bath.
How is this news? I hear you cry.
I love baths, I love mellowing out in some slightly too hot water with some wonderful fragrance wafting past my nose while I close my eyes and think of lovely things. However, I actually can’t remember the last time I had a bath before today – it must’ve been years ago. Why? Because I feel guilty spending that time just on myself.
Today I had a bath (rather than a shower) because I’ve been suffering from a head cold and I thought a soak would help me feel a little better. I was right; taking that time out has helped enormously, now I feel I can get on with the tasks in hand.
I remember years ago being outraged when the flight attendant on my long haul flight urged all parents, if needed, to put on their oxygen masks first before seeing to their children. It was only many years later when I had my own babe in arms on a plane that I realised that if I was struggling for breath I would be no use to my child.
As parents we are naturally self-sacrificial, putting our children first, pushing ourselves past fatigue and pain barriers. Maybe it’s time for us to take the flight attendant’s advice to look after ourselves, put on the oxygen mask, have a little bit of unashamed time out to do something relaxing or energising. This makes us better carers, fun playmates and generally people who laugh and enjoy life more. It also makes us better role models for our children who we hope, in turn, will grow up to be people who are able to love and care for others (maybe even us in old age, dare I say?) because they have the strength, energy and good humour after caring for themselves.
So….go on, have a guilt free bath!