Many people under-estimate the power of ‘me time’. When I was single, I had plenty of it and I was happy about it …most of the time. When I met my husband, I had to juggle work, living in London and traveling to Kent to see him. I didn’t have many days off to just be alone and switch off. This got even worst when I moved to Kent, I quit my job and stated my own business. It was a massive change in so many levels and areas of my life.

At the beginning I wanted to spend every moment with my partner and his daughter when she was with us. I thought it’s something I needed to do.  Soon I was getting more and more upset and we had arguments over nothing. I realised how much I was missing ‘me time’.

 Here is what I put in place

Having me time every week

It doesn’t need to be all day, it can be only evening, morning or just a few hours. I got so upset in the past because I was pushing my limits and didn’t recognise it. Now I choose a day and time, announce that to my man and he just deals with it. It doesn’t matter what I do, spa day at home, reading book, having a lazy morning, going for a walk or doing f**k all. I clear my head, get present to what is missing, what I have, and how happy I am. Me time is the perfect way to de-stress.

I don’t need to be with him/them all the time

I used to believe that as a step-mum I had to be with them all the time, that they need me, they want me to be with them, so I joined them for all weekend. I got so tired and annoyed! I don’t like going to family places such as a soft play or farm parks. I partly grew up on a farm, so I don’t need to go and admire these animals. And the soft play. Just one-word GERMS!

We still spend plenty of time together but saying ‘no’ was easier than I thought. It benefits all of us. They work on their relationship and I can get some me-time. And it’s the same for my partner, he can watch his movie and I’m having a spa day upstairs.

I do say ‘I need a space’

I read somewhere that you shouldn’t say to your partner ‘I need a space’ if you need time for yourself. It’s not about the sentence but how you communicate it. If you’re upset and just yell at your partner ‘I need a space’ that’s not ideal. When I feel stressed or just have a bit too much of him, I tell him straight away ‘hey I need some space I’m getting cranky’. Trust me he’s more than happy to give me a space for as long I need. To his daughter we say this is my day off and we have dinner together and maybe watch a movie together.

Just talk to your partner or family before you reach your limits. Share with them why you need spend some time alone and how it will benefit all of you.

Ask your partner for help

I understand is not always easy, especially for full time parents, to have that precious time to de-stress. But it’s all about communication and commitment. It doesn’t matter what you need help with, if it’s things around the house, your children/stepchildren or making dinner, just talk to him.I’m more than happy to make dinner for all of us so they have some extra time together. However, right after dinner I’m going to do my stuff and they need to clean up. It gives me at least 15 minutes of my time, which is better than nothing.

Just talk to your partner and come up with a balance that will work for everyone, and both of you can have ‘me time’. Don’t forget children need privacy too no matter who old they are, give them a bit space and enjoy yourself.