Right now it’s time to bust the bubble of some self-help gurus who run about spouting off bullshit platitudes like this me time. Why is doing what we want to do sometimes such a big freakin’ deal for women? How often do we hear about men talking about taking some me time for golfing or detailing their cars?
Here’s the problem: Me time is nothing but another one of those pop culture (and you know how I HATE pop culture) constructs that got pulled and stretched and morphed into something far beyond any rational concept, yet people continue to fly that flag, thanks to a plethora of trite morning show segments manufacturing solutions to imagined problems for women. After I gave birth to my daughter many, many moons ago I would give the side-eye to those women who claimed that “OMG! I’m sooooooooo busy I’m LUCKY to get a shower in every day!” Whaaaaa!? You mean you don’t have any safe place in your house to put that baby down for 10-15 minutes so you can wash your dirty ass? Really? Or the other extreme: the mom I know of the badass monsta kids who announced for the 4th or 5th time in a month all over Twitter how she’s spending an entire day doing MEEEEEEEE time. For real? If my kid was that troubled and busy calling out for help I’d never have another minute of me time until she grew up! I guess I’m just responsible that way. Now I know I’m gonna get some hate mail for that one but before you get to flaming, first hear me out. Both of these scenarios are examples of women following some extreme invented media expectations, rather than a realistic individualized routine.
I am not suggesting that we women don’t need time to ourselves. I am also not going to pretend that gender programming doesn’t tell us that we have to be superwomen and pleasers. But this whole me time thing has just been used and abused to sell everything from spa days to gym memberships to books and in the process, have just de-normalized women’s leisure time into something like selfish hedonism and caricaturized women’s roles into mommy martrdom , where having fun or relaxing is some sort of guilty pleasure.
That women are somehow not smart enough or worthy enough to create time to enjoy something is just as absurd as stereotypes of women having shopping addictions or being submissive. Me time is really nonsense because it’s used as a quick fix to living stressfully and unsustainably and not a normal part of a reasonable routine. So you’re all stressed out from doing everything for everybody else, with not a moment of free time? Forget begging, borrowing, and stealing for me time, make lifestyle changes that make your world permanently more manageable. Realize that if you’re living a balanced lifestyle, there is no need for such me time because time that you spend relaxing and doing things that you enjoy rather than time spent doing things for other people would be already built in.
Here’s the key: treat time doing what you want like just another thing. Not earthshatteringly important, but also not the first thing to sacrifice the minute somebody comes whining your way. Forget me time and go ahead and enjoy your life. Feet looking all dry and crusty? Schedule a pedicure then. Want to lie on the sofa? Go right ahead. But there’s no need to brag about it on social media, and stop apologizing for living.