Parenting is a tough gig sometimes…if you saw my post yesterday you’ll know that the fun doesn’t stop even when your children get slightly older, never mind when they are still teeny tiny babies not sleeping through the night.
As a parent you have to be on all the time, from first thing in the morning when your children peel your eyelids open at an ungodly hour in the morning to last thing at night when you are creeping into their rooms to check on them as they sleep and hoping against hope that you don’t stand on anything pointy and wake them up with your shrieks of pain!
If you’ve ever spent more than two minutes in the company of a child then you don’t need me to tell you how exhausting it can, both physically and mentally, but something which we just don’t do enough as parents, and this mama is as guilty as the next one, is to treat ourselves to some ‘me’ time.
Downtime is so important for our sense of well-being and yet so many of us feel guilty about wanting time away from the kids. Honestly, I hear you. We have booked a break to Italy in a few weeks time to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday and we are going without Meg and Eli and I cannot tell you how many times I have worried over leaving them behind. Yet at the same time I completely recognise that in order to be my best self, I sometimes have to take a break, step away from my children, and take some time out to relax, unwind and reset.
If that sounds like something you desperately need as well, then leave the guilt at home and consider one of these ways to treat yourself:-
1. Buy something new…for you
Whether you are a lover of the perfect pair of shoes, a new handbag, a book or just a cute little trinket, treat yourself to a little shopping trip which is all about you. It can be so easy to go out to shop for yourself and come home with armfuls of items for the kids but leave that to one side and concentrate on getting something that you want. It doesn’t need to be flashy or expensive, but it does need to be for you.
2. Carve out some alone time
This can be as simple as asking your partner or a friend to take your children to the park so you can relax in a warm bath for an hour or you might fancy booking an urban retreat at a spa to really escape from it all for a while…however it looks, this is about carving out some time when it’s just you on your own. No distractions, no chores, no worrying about things that need to be sorted out or children, just you and your thoughts.
3. Give yourself a break
Our lives are dictated by ‘to do’ lists in so many ways and it can be hard to let those things go but it can be such a relief to just relax the strings a tiny bit every once in a while. Yes, it would be nice to live in a house which was spotless without piles of clothing everywhere and not a piece of Lego in sight but achieving that can take up all of your time. Give yourself permission to not get it all ticked off every once in a while. You might be surprised at how liberating it feels.
4. Escape into a good book
I am a huge bookworm and I cannot tell you how many times I hear parents say that they wish they had time to read but they just can’t fit it in and it makes me so sad! Reading is a fantastic way to disappear into another world and there is nothing so relaxing as sitting down with a hot drink and losing yourself in a book for a short time. You could give 5 minutes whilst the kids are occupied or 15 minutes right before you fall to sleep…but switching your brain off to the outside world and diving into a book is a fantastic way to unwind.
5. Plan a girls night
Chatting about everything and nothing at all over a glass of wine (or two…) is the ideal way to treat yourself. It can be energising to be around friends and to give yourself the opportunity to let your hair down, something us mamas don’t get to do as often as we used to! Whether you plan an evening at home with close friends or you head out to make a night of it, this can be another brilliant way to treat yourself.
We are all busy and we all have things to do but hopefully this will have given you some idea about ways to treat yourself as a busy mama.
*This is a collaborative post