WITH the stress inherent in juggling kids, jobs, and school events to name but a small part of what forms mothers' everyday schedules, the importance for mothers to find time for themselves - 'me-time' - cannot be understated.

Among Gympie mothers, though, the consensus is that actually establishing this mythical time is on par with hunting the Yowie or photographing the Loch Ness Monster.

For those that have, seeking and securing the assistance of dads in parental activities was an important step on the path towards putting the their feet up and unwinding for 30 seconds.

This was the way mother of two Bree van Rensburg was able to secure spare time for herself.

"I suppose 'me-time' took a long time to come," she said.

"It was by my persistence and decision to say 'Honey, you've got to have the kids'. And I think that was the only time I've been able to find 'me-time'."

Working out and reading are some of the activities she engages in when she does find the time, adding coming back to the latter was a long time coming.

"I've only just started reading," she said.

"Six years now since I've picked up a novel, that's how long it took."

Mother of three Nicole Ryan shares similar hobbies, saying she loved reading or - when time afforded - unwinding in front of the television.

"My 'me-time' is probably when the kids go to bed at night," she said.

As a mother of three, Anna Cocks agreed with the importance of ensuring a share in the parental responsibilities between partners, saying it was how she managed to carve out time for herself.

"I get me time by sending the kids out to the garden with daddy," Mrs Cocks said.

According to research, 10-20% of mothers are affected by postnatal depression in the early stages of parenthood - and not getting enough sleep increases the likelihood of mothers developing it.

Bev Schultz agreed that 'me-time' was a rarity for her.

Ms Schultz is raising two children with special needs, one of which is an athlete.


"'Me-time' is very rare. I don't get much of it at all."


According to some of the women interviewed for Hey Mumma, there was a level of guilt they felt about daring to take any time for themselves.

While there is no general agreement on what the minimum level of 'me time' should be, mothers The Gympie Times spoke with said they were grateful for even the small moments they could manage.

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