I recently posted about how I had worked out that in the 10 months that I have been lucky enough to be Noah's mum I've only had 2 afternoons to myself. I'm sure I'm not the only one and I think (certainly for me anyway) this can be because there is an element of guilt and shame associated with wanting a little space....
"Does it make me a bad mother?"
"Will people think less of me for admitting I'm struggling?"
"Will people think I don't enjoy being a mum?"
"Does it mean I'm depressed"
"Will he feel neglected?"
"What if he needs something that only I can do?"
"What if he won't nap properly, I'll pay for that later"
These are just a snippet of the thoughts that go through my head every time I think about having time away.... and it is utterly ridiculous, although I know I'm not alone in thinking this way. It needs to change...
After I had a few hours to myself to wash my hair in peace and get ready at the relaxed pace I did before having Noah I felt amazing. It was all it had taken, just a couple of hours of quality "me time". And what was even more amazing was that the next morning I felt even better. I had more energy and enthusiasm to play with Noah, I got even more smiles and giggles out of him, which in turn made me smile more and get that inner heart hug that I'm sure so many of you will relate to. I felt brilliant and we had the best day. This got me thinking that if I scheduled in a little more me time each week then I would feel like this most days and I could be the mum I try to hard to be.
Being a mum really is the most wonderful job in the world and I go to bed happy (albeit in fear of how many wake ups I'll deal with!) every single night. Every little smile, giggle and developmental milestone make everything so worthwhile (and I'm so looking forward to expanding our family and creating another little human in the future) but that doesn't mean it isn't hard. It doesn't mean that it is wrong to need to put yourself first every now and then... It can be exhausting at times and it is very easy to lose sight of who you are.
Going forward these are what I am going to do each day/ week and I suggest you do too, or if these don't work for you and your family then create your own list of promises, of things you will do for YOU....
1. Have at least 15 minutes by myself each day where no one needs me for anything (not even the cat!) so that I can enjoy a cup of tea whilst it is hot.
2. Whilst on the subject of tea..... I am going to switch my daily cup of coffee to green tea. I think in the early days of motherhood I relied on coffee to power me through the days; I should have known better... and I do know better, but I'm human. I have reduced my coffee consumption down to one cup a day over recent months but it isn't enough at the moment. When we are feeling stressed coffee is not the best thing for us to be drinking. Coffee can make us feel wired, tired, anxious, and on a rollercoaster all day, not to mention the increased risks of a crappy night sleep. There are lots of pro's to coffee, but during times of stress... avoid! Whilst green tea contains caffeine it also contains antioxidants, aids focus and concentration and with thanks to the amino acid Theanine, it can also have a very calming effect).
3. At least once a week I am going to go for a walk in the fresh air for 30 minutes (alone) to clear my head.
4. I am going to have a Magnesium Salt bath (Magnesium is one of my go to nutrients for stress... It can support relaxation and help us unwind). Pre baby I would have a magnesium bath several times a week and it worked wonders so I am going to find the time to have at least one a week.
(Before anyone thinks of buying themselves a Magnesium supplement please speak to me as there are so many different forms).
5. I will switch my phone off at least 1 hour before I go to bed to maximise the sleep I can get. Noah still wakes up at least 2 times a night so sleep is limited for me but I know I need to make the most of the opportunities I get... Sleep is so important for overall wellbeing (I will do a post on this in the future). As a lot of my work is done via my phone it is hard to switch off. I'm still so wired (and that is without the added impact from the screen lights) when I go to bed that it can sometimes take me an hour to fall asleep. By putting my phone down it means I will actually get some quality time with Ben too so not only will this improve my sleep therefore energy levels it also works wonders for "us time" too.
Print this page off to remind you to take some time out. Whether you are a mum to be, new mum or even if your babies are now adults themselves... Or even if you have no babies but have taken the time to read this just because.. Put yourself first every now and then.