The moment your child is born, life changes forever. And it’s not just the day-to-day stuff that gets turned around, upside down and inside out, it’s the fundamental change that takes place within you as a person, the one that alters the course of life and takes you down a totally new path, one that’s considerably different to the one you walked as a childless young woman, free of responsibilities.
Motherhood in all its forms is quite simply a beautiful thing. It’s rewarding and fulfilling and one of the most incredible journeys i’ve ever encountered. I love my boys more than anything and i wouldn’t change my life for the world but there are times when i feel that becoming a mother has changed me so much that i’ve lost sight of the person i was before they came along. Everything i do is for them and i’m happy with that, i adore being their mummy, but i’m also ‘me’ and i’ve realised that i just don’t take time out for ‘me’ anymore.
I think as a mother, I constantly put pressure on myself and trick my brain in to thinking that I need to be constantly busy, otherwise I’m somehow failing at motherhood. Which of course is utter nonsense, but I frequently have moments of feeling that way.
I need to re-educate my brain to accept that it’s ok to take time to indulge my own needs, likes and interests.
I asked readers of Love From Mummy to send me their tips for achieving “mummy time” and I just wanted to share some of my favourite responses with you:
Use nap time effectively. Even if your children do not take naps, they can have a quiet time set aside each day. Nap time is the perfect time to spend time your way. If you like reading, writing, listening to music, exercising or have a craft hobby, this is a good time to pick up a book or headphones without having your children badgering you!
Find a hobby you can do at home. So… maybe you were once an avid wine taster. Or a hiking fanatic. Or you’d hit the slopes with your skis. As a mum, there’s not much opportunity for that. Consider finding or rekindling a hobby you enjoy that you can do at home instead. Maybe that’s playing a musical instrument, reading, or gardening.
Use your lunch hour for fun and hobbies. Your lunch hour is the perfect opportunity to squeeze in some me-time. Sit in a coffee shop for some impromptu writing or journal writing. Take time out to have lunch with friends and coworkers. Find a library or quiet space to sit and read. Practice mindfulness or meditation.
Enforce bedtimes with the kids. Kids are very good at wheedling their way around bedtimes. It’s really important to get them into a bedtime routine from a young age, so bath them, read them some bedtime stories, give them a kiss and a cuddle and then say goodnight. Be strict on this because the more time they stay up, the more of this time is your time that they are eating into
Do fun things after the kids are asleep. With the kids tucked up in bed, use these hours for some much-needed and deserved me-time. Blog, read, watch movies, have a bubble bath, paint your nails, listen to music or relax in front of the fire. Better still, hire a babysitter and go out for dinner with your partner or friends.
Phone a friend. Why not start a co-op? Find a few friends whose mummy time needs are as dire as your own and swap kids. Give her an hour off while you take the kids and vice versa.
Wake up earlier. If you have no luck making me time part of your day, get up just a little earlier than the rest of the family. Mornings are magical. Spend 30 minutes reading, exercising, knitting or doing whatever you fancy.