How much time do you get to yourself?

One of my friends is struggling at the moment because her little girl refuses to be left alone, even for a few minutes, and she's able to climb over their stairgate, which makes doing anything extremely difficult. By the time her husband gets home from work she is too exhausted to relax properly. 'I love being a mum more than anything, but I just need some time to myself,' she told me yesterday.

I can understand how she feels, because when No 1 Son was little he went through a phase of not even letting me go to the loo without creating a massive tantrum. Major Separation Anxiety, in fact. What cured it for us was nursery – he soon realised there were far more interesting people in the world than Mummy (and they were all his height, too!) but I realise that's not an option for everyone.

If you have willing relatives then they can usually be persuaded to give you a few hours away from your offspring a week so you can go to the gym/go for a swim/meet up with your friends. But if you don't have anyone close by then even that can be difficult.

How much time do you get for yourself – and what are your tips for mums who feel that they never get any 'Me Time'?

written by Liz Jarvis