As Week Two of my M M Me Monday commitment rolled around, I kissed my little girl goodbye and headed off for a very quiet rainy day.

Across the nearly 9hrs we spent apart, I only had plans for 3 – 2hrs at the beginning of the day, and 1hr at the end. The first two hours went by relatively quickly and painlessly, but as I got back into our little car alone I felt her absence hit me right in the heart.

So I did what any mummy with rare hours to spare does: went to Kmart! While I usually spend hours trying to excite Emmy about homewares, I found myself meandering through kids arts and crafts, and slowly my trolley was filled with glitter and safety scissors. Then it was a quick trip to The Warehouse to look for a rug – I didn’t make it that far, but Emmy has winter pjs for next season, another pair of running shoes, a lifetime supply of pipecleaners, and a tube of mini M&Ms (hanging head in shame).

Feeling hungry I made my way to the supermarket and walked out with pears – which I hate with a vengeance but Emmy loves, green apples – which I hate with a vengeance but Emmy loves, noodles – which I hate with a vengeance but Emmy loves…you can see how this trip went. I walked out hungry.

I finally ran out of ideas so I rang my mummy who swiftly met me for lunch where I ordered mushroomsand bacon on toast – Emmy’s favourite.

A quick trip to Spotlight for more crafts completely unsuitable for a toddler and it was finally time for my massage with

Almost. With no one else to buckle in but myself I managed to arrive 20mins early. Note to self: DO NOT give yourself time to think.

Before I could help myself I found myself sitting in our tiny little car crying my eyes out. It’s been a full on little passage of life for us lately, and although we’re out the other side, things are still a bit sensitive and raw – I just needed a cuddle from my Little Miss.

Pulling myself together – with the help of a piece of cheesy bread – I made my way into Darlene’s beautiful home studio. I love being able to work from home, and I love supporting other mums who do so too. Getting a massage from Darlene has been on my To Do list for far too long, but there’s always been other things – like eating or paying the power bill – that had to come first.

Getting a massage is such a personal thing. You need to trust anyone you chose to be in your personal space, and after hearing nothing but amazing reviews about her services I knew I’d made a great choice – friendly, funny, understanding and a true professional.

I’ve struggled with relaxing my whole life. I associate relaxing with laziness, and I was upfront about my struggle. Instead of telling me to relax – which is about as helpful as people telling a maniac to calm down – Darlene went through my medical checklist, gave me instructions, turned on the music, and left me to strip off and get comfy. After a sneaky Snapchat or two I was ready.

For a self admitted anti-relaxer I found myself nodding off a number of times, lulled into quiet contentment by magical hands, soothing sounds, and warm ambiance. The whimsical dream catcher just above my head pulled a series of mindless thoughts into my drifting mind – the worry was gone, the tension was gone, the stress was gone, and all that remained was calm. My own little snores were all that disturbed my slumber as Darlene worked out all the kinks, knots and have-nots, the overworked and underappreciated writer’s shoulders, and the nosey-mummy neck.

When my hour was over I felt light, long (I have never felt long in my 5ft nothing life), and clear. It still amazes me what my mind wanders to when I have no visual reminders of my own life – a feeling I am slowly learning to appreciate.

Hours later I’m am still basking in the after effects of my massage – my neck is so much more mobile, my constantly tense shoulders feel limber and stretched and the persistent headache is all but gone.

While I don’t think I need quite so many hours apart from my little ball of wonders, taking a couple hours out for myself is starting to do us both the world of good.

(This is Part Two of a Four Part Blog focusing on self care).