Although many of us look forward to the six week summer break, for those days when we don’t have to make sure that uniform is ironed, bags are packed, lunches are made and everyone is out of the door on time…it can also be quite a hectic time. I know for me, working from home, it becomes a time of constantly trying to balance working with being present for the kids and quite honestly? Some days I end up just totally frazzled.
Of course I also think there doesn’t need to be a reason why you should want to treat yourself when you are a busy mama or parent; we all work so hard that sometimes it’s nice to have something to look forward to.
1. Buy a new outfit
I’ll admit that my go-to when I’m feeling a little stressed is shopping and nothing makes me feel better than a new outfit. Whether you want to invest in a new trench coat for the upcoming autumn (nothing beats a bit of preparation!) or a new top to make you feel glam…it’s the perfect way to give yourself a boost and it doesn’t need to cost the earth.
2. Indulge in a bubble bath
Ask your partner or a friend to take the kids for an hour or two, or wait until they are in bed and then draw yourself a lovely, deep, hot bubble bath. If you can couple a soak in the bath with a glass of wine and a page-turning book then all the better!
3. Have a lazy day
Not every day of the summer holidays needs to be spent dashing out and about trying to keep the kids entertained. Some days it’s okay to just stay in your pyjamas, eat snacky foods and binge-watch some movies. We love marathoning the Harry Potter films on days like this and I leave my mama guilt at the front door because the kids absolutely love it.
4. Meet a friend for coffee
This might mean compromising and meeting a friend for coffee at the local soft play but there is nothing more uplifting than a good chinwag with a friend. Whether it’s giving each other moral support as the holidays run on or sharing the gossip you’ve missed since school finished; pencil a date in and meet a friend.
5. Do something nice for someone else
Our mental well-being is just as important as our physical well-being and there is nothing quite like a random act of kindness to leave you feeling good. It could be as simple as buying a few extra tins on the food shop and dropping them in to your local food bank or donating clothes you no longer need to the charity shop, in fact it doesn’t need to be anything too complicated at all. The small, every day kindnesses we show can make a real difference.
So if you feel like you are running on frazzled nerves this summer why not use this list for inspiration and give yourself a little treat?
*This is a collaborative post
It’s something I know I have said time and again but since we moved to be closer to the coast we have vowed, repeatedly, not to take our surroundings for granted and it is definitely something we try to live by. At the moment we don’t often get free weekends or spare evenings off but when we do, our first thoughts are where we can go locally to enjoy the outdoors or the weather (when it’s here…)
Not too long ago we had a run of beautiful weather and it made me so grateful that we live just a short car ride from the beach because it meant we could do something which I have wanted to do for the longest time since we got here: watch the sun set.
We had agreed to meet some friends and head down in the late afternoon, whilst the sun was still gloriously hot. This was perfect as it meant that Meg and Eli could still enjoy playing on the beach without the cooler evening air spoiling it.
We found ourselves a quiet little pocket near to the sand dunes as that tends to be where the sand is softest. It isn’t the ideal for building sandcastles but it does tend to be more sheltered which helps. It was incredible actually because the whole time we were on the beach we felt completely isolated but when it came time to head back to the car we realised that the beach was actually really busy, with other people having the same idea as us and bringing picnics and BBQ’s into their own little sand dune enclosures.
We then picked up some chippy (because is there anything better than chippy on the beach?) and watched the sun go down. In hindsight I wish we had brought some blankets because the temperature really did start to drop quickly and we couldn’t stay and watch the sun set fully but it was enough to get some gorgeous views of the expansive sand and sea with the sun going down behind them.
It’s such a simple thing to do but it has honestly been one of the most content days I’ve had. Good friends, good talk, good children, good food…and the views were amazing. Really what more could you ask for?
I know I have mentioned it a number of times now but it’s something which is very difficult to get away from (unfortunately!) and that is our impending house move. Our landlady has decided to sell the house and we are having to find somewhere new to live. We wisely decided that the summer would be a great time as we wouldn’t have the pressure of the kids being in school but as it looms ever closer I’m beginning to wonder about the true wisdom of that!
Regardless, we have moved house a number of times since being married and I like to think it’s something we are quite practiced at. It certainly doesn’t fill me with the same level of dread that it once did and I think we’ve managed to get the process quite streamlined these days (although I don’t know that that is something to boast about necessarily…)
So off the back of that I thought I’d pass on some tips we have picked up along the way which might help anyone else with an upcoming house move, especially for anyone moving with children:-
1. Get The Kids Excited
Moving house with children can be a really anxious time for everyone so it pays to talk to your kids about the move, the new house and the new area and get them excited about the adventure. Listen to any concerns they may have and do your best to reassure them. You obviously won’t be changing your mind based on their reactions but it’s best to make them feel as though any issues or worries they have are being heard. If it’s possible, take your children to visit the new house and talk through where there rooms will be and what you can do to them…being able to see exactly where they will be sleeping and that it maybe isn’t so different from what they have now will help a lot in the transitional period.
2. Pack Early
Nobody wants to live surrounded by boxes, especially when you have children but the reality is that the sooner you start, the less pressure you will feel as your moving day comes closer. Make a list of things you consider to be ‘essential’ to your every day living and keep those out but begin to pack and clear out the rest of your belongings as soon as it is practical to do so. Grab a suitcase for each member of the family and pack into there anything you know you will need throughout the move and in the immediate days afterwards. This will relieve the pressure of having to unpack boxes the moment you arrive.
3. Pack Well
It can be so tempting to throw things randomly into boxes but if you take the time to pack well and clearly label boxes then it will make your life at the other end so much simpler. Whether you are hiring a van or using a furniture removal company such as Shiply to do the moving for you, make sure you clearly label each box so you know immediately which room it needs to go into in the new house. Another top tip is to NEVER use newspaper as it leaves print over everything. It might be cheap but butchers paper or kraft paper is so much better and you won’t have the additional worry of having to wash items before they can be used.
4. Have A Good Clear Out
There is no better time to declutter than when you are moving house and it’s something we have learned to be quite ruthless about. Unless something is of particular sentimental value or is seasonal, if we haven’t used it in 6 months or more then it doesn’t make the cut. There’s no point carrying items with you that don’t get used, don’t work or are just waiting for you to fix them up ‘one day’.
5. Prioritise Bedrooms
Experience has shown us that a good night’s sleep can do wonders for an upheaval such as moving house so getting beds up and bedrooms sorted should be a real priority. If you are able to get your kids rooms sorted as quickly as possible then this will help them settle that much quicker. As a minimum try to get everyone’s beds made up with clean sheets so that everyone can have a good rest.
6. Stay Calm
Ultimately, moving house can be a stressful experience but if you are edgy or anxious then your kids are going to pick up on this and react to it. If you know that you are unlikely to be able to remain calm then see if a family member or friend can look after the kids for the day so you can simply concentrate on getting everything moved across.
Do you have any tips for moving house with children?
I am currently having something of a love affair with Rose Gold. It has long been a favourite of mine, ever since James bought me a necklace a few years ago with intertwining hearts; one white gold and one rose gold to symbolise Meg and Eli. I instantly adored it but the emergence of rose gold onto the mainstream market has been quite slow and it’s only just recently that it seems to be everywhere.
This season in fact, there seems to have been an explosion of rose gold items onto the market and I am loving it. I have already picked up some trainers, a few pieces of jewellery and a couple of bits for the house with plans to accessorise for a family wedding with rose gold as well. Seriously…I am addicted.
If you need some inspiration on where to start with your own rose gold obsession then here are a few of my favourite pieces. Etsy is a great place to start if you want to find all kinds of beautiful rose gold items from jewellery to prints and it’s often the first place I will turn to if I want something a little more unusual.
I could honestly have spent hours lost in the world of Etsy but here are just a few of my top picks:-
I absolutely adore these freshwater pearl earrings with rose gold wire; I am seriously considering them for a family wedding we have coming up as my dress has hints of rose gold (of course!). The Harry Potter inspired necklace is so perfect for any HP or bookish loving peeps as well. I wish I’d spotted it before my birthday because it would definitely have appeared on my wishlist! You can’t go wrong with rose gold home accessories or prints either; I think both the concrete dipped letters and the wall print would look perfect in my study. The coaster and the paperclip are self-explanatory; cute and real must-haves!
New Look also have some great rose gold home accessories in store at the moment; I’ve picked a couple to display in my study already including this clock but I’ve got my eye on a few other pieces. Especially if we move house and I get to start again with the decor in my home office!
Other high street stores like Primark and H&M have a good selection in their clothing and home ware departments and Not On The High Street also have a pretty good offering if you wanted to pick out a few other pieces although I think my Etsy choices will keep me going for a good while yet.
Are you enjoying the rose gold trend at the moment? Do let me know any of your favourite pieces and places to shop!
*This post contains some affiliate links. Use of these links may help me to make a little extra money at no additional cost to yourself.
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