Top 5 Mummy Me-Time Activities
When you become a mum, it’s all too easy to become so wrapped up in caring for your children and running your household that caring for yourself falls low on your list of priorities.
Throw work & social obligations into the mix, and you can soon end up feeling pretty frazzled!
As important as it is to meet our children’s needs, it’s so important to look after yourself too – particularly in those newborn days when your body and mind are recovering from the strenuous pregnancy and birth process.
With that in mind, here are my Top 5 Mummy-Me Time Activities & HOW to find the time for them!
1. Dedicate an hour to pampering yourself
It’s easy to recommend a pamper evening with the girls or treating yourself to a spa day, we’d all love that wouldn’t we?! But sadly it’s not always affordable and it’s not always feasible with small children around – childcare can be an issue and even pampering at home can often be interrupted when babies need feeding or children won’t settle.
One of my favourite ways to unwind is to run myself a bubble bath and have a nice 20 minute soak with a face mask on, exfoliate and moisturise, give myself a mini mani & pedi & pluck my eyebrows – an hour later it’s remarkable how lifted I feel! A little pampering and preening can go a long way to improving your state of mind.
I find that dedicating an hour to myself rather than an entire evening is much more achievable and it eliminates that feeling of stress when a planned evening of me-time is interrupted – I plan my hour wisely, ensuring that my toddler is well settled in bed and my newborn has been fed, winded and changed and is down for a sleep too. I know that way that they are both unlikely to wake up and need anything for the next hour, and I am free to unwind!
2. Pamper Your Mind
It’s not just our bodies that need looking after, stress can have a detrimental effect on our over-all wellbeing and there are so many things we can do from home to restore some calm and balance.
I’ve mentioned before that I like to use relaxation apps to relieve anxiety & stresses – calm.com is a favourite of mine, you can also download relaxing music CDs or guided meditations if thats more your thing – you might think it all sounds a bit daft but until you try it you won’t know how big a help it might be – anything that helps us to feel calmer has to be worth a try right?!
Listening to relaxation CDs or apps can easily be done during a night feed with your headphones, or even aloud as its something baby well enjoy too – soothing music is soothing for EVERYONE – not just adults and you may even find that baby responds well to it and becomes more relaxed and ready for sleep too.
Alternatively why not try something like yoga using home instruction DVDS and get the kids involved? It keeps them entertained and gives you a bit of relaxation and exercise too.
3. Indulge yourself
Ok, so you’ve got a million things on your to do list, you’re trying to shift the baby weight – a treat night doesn’t seem like such a great idea? But we all need a little down time every now and then, and the occasional pick me up isn’t going to hurt.
Motherhood can be tough – some say it’s the toughest “job” in the world – in any job you get the occasional reward for working hard right? A staff meal out, a little thank you gift at Christmas and so on – so why not give yourself that little hard-earned pat on the back once a week?
Whatever it is you enjoy doing – watching a movie with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate the size of your baby? Go for it! Curling up with a book and a massive hot chocolate with extra cream? Why not!! Having a little game of online bingo while watching some trashy reality TV? Eyes down!! Whatever your favourite indulgent pastime is, just let go of any associated guilt and enjoy it one evening per week – the housework will still be there tomorrow, and you’ll feel so much better for it!
All kids sleep at some point – use the time wisely! Its easy to tell Mums to “sleep when the baby sleeps” but you do need to allow yourself some of that baby-free time to do the activities you enjoy too – otherwise its all sleep or mummy time and that can’t be healthy. And those of us who don’t have regular baby sitters on hand know that sleeptime is often the ONLY time for Mum to do anything for herself.
4. Make Use Of Help & Get Out Of The House
If you’re lucky enough to have any willing babysitters around and can manage an hour or so away from the house every now and then – DO IT! But don’t use the time for grocery shopping which can be done online when the kids are in bed or visiting old Aunt Ethel…do something just for you every once in a while. Go for a swim (Oh to go swimming without chasing a toddler around in a soggy swim nappy!), have a quiet coffee or lunch somewhere non-child friendly that you wouldn’t usually be able to go, or nip to the beauty salon for a spray tan or wash & blow dry – do something to make yourself feel recharged and fighting fit!
If you have parents, in laws, aunts, friends or distant cousins who like kids, have some experience with them and seem like they might be willing to babysit – ASK! If you wait around for offers you might just be waiting forever – a lot of people will be only too happy to help out but may feel awkward about offering.
5. Soft Play Is Your Friend!
If you’re having a particularly frazzled day, there’s nobody around to help and time to yourself just isn’t an option – check out the local children’s amenities in your area where the kids will be entertained and out of your hair, and you can have a coffee and 2 minutes to yourself – ok you’ll be keeping an eye on them and possibly getting dragged through multi-coloured tunnels of doom too – but that few quiet sips of coffee as you watch your child go crazy in a ballpond from afar is worth it!
If you have little children, go during school hours when its quiet and often cheaper too. If you have school aged kids, take them afterwards – its the perfect way to tire them out before bed and work up an appetite for their dinner!
How do you make time for yourself as a mum? I’d love to hear your own tips!