I have always totally rolled my eyes at the concept of "me time." It has often felt like this modern cliche that was birthed by our obsession with individualism and self-absorption. But, I will confess, I've been really enjoying time without dependents these days, however fleeting it might be.
Here's my theory: when Zosia went from being a newborn to a baby to a toddler, her demands on our time and attention decreased. So even on days that I did not explicitly carve out time for myself, I was able to catch moments of it throughout my day. I could read the paper while Zosia played independently, she would "cook" in the kitchen while I actually cooked in the kitchen, etc. But when a newborn is thrown in to the equation (especially a newborn in addition to a toddler), the equilibrium is temporarily disturbed. Suddenly, I am a food source and a caretaker of a little baby in addition to being a teacher/playmate/caretaker of a toddler, a spouse, a pet owner, a member of a household.
Yesterday evening we realized that Selma (our dog) was going totally stir crazy, and that she needed an actual long walk. Ben and zosia have been a bit under the weather, Lily was sleeping, and so I eagerly volunteered. We went on a nice long walk through Falls Church, and between the fact that this was one of the few times I've ventured out since Lily was born and the fact that this was my first long walk in months that I have not been pregnant, it was amazing. It was foggy and a bit drizzly, which can actually be wonderful weather for a walk, and there weren't many people out. During the last few weeks spring has taken over, and so the landscape had transformed in the two weeks that I had seen it. I came back feeling rejuvenated and energized (don't you love exercise?).
So, I still feel totally chiche doing it, but I think I am going to be intentional about finding some (however small) amount of time to spend by myself each day. And as the season of parenthood changes to something that's a little less demanding, I can start to find myself again within the context of my family.