Being a Mum is hard AF. Research shows that mothers spend an equivalent of 98 hours a week on every aspect of parenting. Cooking, cleaning, activities, keeping the kids alive. Thats like 2 and a half full time jobs, and doesn’t include the time we spend worrying about literally everything to do with being a parent. We are spent, overworked and burnt out. But we are mums, and even when we have nothing left to give, we manage to dig deep down, way way down, to find that extra ounce of strength to get up the next day and do it all over again. I bet every single mother that reads this struggles to take any time for yourself to recharge. We find excuse after excuse not to. There’s no time, I feel guilty, what if they miss me? Here’s the thing, if we don’t look after ourselves, no matter how hard we dig, we really will have nothing left. So here are my top five ways to take some time out for yourself.
Go for coffee
No I don’t mean the coffee you and your friends go for after the school run with a baby in tow. Or the coffee you don’t manage to drink at a playdate because you’re chasing the kids around. Actually plan a grown up coffee date. Because you can’t fully relax when the kids are still there. There will always be someone that needs a snack, or a wee or help on the climbing frame. Message in the group chat to arrange that coffee. Rope in a partner or a grandparent, or another mum to babysit so you can go on your own and drink hot coffee in peace.
Find a good show to binge
Pick your favourite streaming service and search for that show that you just don’t want to stop watching. But here’s the thing, you have to put your phone down and actually watch the show. I am so guilty of this. I will finally get to sit down and watch something, but I get two episodes in and realise I have no idea what the storyline is because I’ve been mindlessly scrolling through my phone the entire time. So find that show, stay up late if you want to. Get lost in the storyline, and if you relax and forget about all the things you worry about even for a fleeting moment.
Take a bath
I am so guilty of not doing this one. I think the last time I soaked in the bath, on my own was three years ago. With the exception of hair wash day (which I’m lucky to get once a week!) My showers usually consist of a quick two minute wash or a child hanging off me. So get your significant other to put the kids to bed, or wait till they’re fast asleep. Hide the bath toys, put on that face mask, grab the book and soak. Soak till you’re wrinkly. Soak till you’ve stopped fretting about your day. Soak till you’re so lost in your book that the bath has gone cold. Then put on your warmest pyjamas and take that book to bed or curl up on the sofa and binge watch your story.
Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin. In other words, it makes us happy! So rope some unsuspecting friends in to go for a hike, join a local gym or find an awesome workout on YouTube. If you can’t get time to work out without kids, put that baby in the stroller or the carrier and go for a walk. Find you local buggy fit class and make some mum friends in the process. (If you’re in Cardiff I highly recommend Mission Fitness for this one.) Whatever form of exercise you take, a gentle walk or a hardcore bootcamp, it is so good for the soul. Trust me, you will be so glad you tried this one.
Spend Real Quality Time With Your Kids
I know this one may sound contradictory to taking time for yourself, but the biggest guilt I carry with being a mum is the guilt I feel of not being enough for them or not being present.. So for this one, dedicate 10 minutes a day, an hour or two a week to being present with your kids. No phones, no laundry, no cleaning. Just uninterrupted time with them, playing, colouring, reading to them, talking about their day. Take some time to connect with them and forget about the heavy load of being a parent.
I really hope after reading this you manage to find time to do even one of these. I am so guilty of not taking time for myself, and I’m sure I won’t find time to do most of these, but I know I am going to try my hardest. We often forget about ourselves as mums because we are too busy taking care of everything else but remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup, you matter too.
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