I don’t know a single mother out there who would say that they find being a parent easy all the time. There is no doubt that it is the most rewarding job out there, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s hard days (or weeks…… or months….). It’s not easy to switch off from being a parent, but I do think it is important for your own mental health to find the time to do so!
I am very lucky. My parents live just 5 minutes drive away, as does my sister, and I know that if it gets too much I can fall on them to help me out. My parents take Piglet for one day a week so that I can work, but I am also able to use that time to take care of me if I need to! You don’t need a whole dedicated day just for you though – all you need is 10 minutes after the kids go to bed.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 5 minutes of 5 hours, there is something you can do every day to take care of YOU – and hopefully make a tough day feel a little better.
1. Cook Your Favourite Meal
So many of us eat as a family, and that often means adapting a meal so your children will eat it. That could be something as simple as toning down the level of spice, or hiding veggies in it that you wouldn’t usually put just so they can get their 5 a day!
Set aside 1 day a week where you don’t plan to eat as a family. Plan you dinner for once the kids are in bed, and cook it exactly how you want it. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy, it just has to be whatever YOU want. And then you can enjoy eating it without fussing over who has or hasn’t eaten theirs too!
2. Pamper Yourself
I can highly recommend a bubble bath to destress, but if that’s not your thing then there are plenty alternatives! Painting my nails is one thing that always makes me feel better and a bit more “put together” (but realistically it can’t be done with demanding toddlers around!). You can even give yourself a a mini facial at home but properly exfoliating, cleansing, toning and moisturising your face. Even a 10 minute face mask will make your skin feel better if that’s all the time you have!
That said – I do like to try and get out and treat myself at the spa once of twice a year. I have very kindly been given a voucher by my friends for a spot of pampering before baby number 2 arrives, and I hope to be off for a facial and pedicure this week!
3. Read A Book
I love watching TV as much as the next girl – but it’s not the same as getting engrossed in a good book. Although in my case it’s usually my kindle these days! For a start, the shortest TV programs are all at least 30 minutes long which is just not practical when you only have 10 or 15 minutes to spare. And aside from that, these days many of us have jobs that rely heavily on screens. I always feel much better for getting away from a screen for a bit.
4. Get Out Of The House
Sometimes you just need to get away! You might need to set the date a month in advance in order to get child care, but it is so worth it. You could go to the cinema, or meet some friends for lunch and a child free natter. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either. You can check out the top attractions to enjoy in Newcastle, or your nearest town, and get yourself a great deal on things like restaurant vouchers, event tickets and even spa treatments.
5. Take A Nap
All this “sleep when the baby sleeps” stuff seemed a load of rubbish to me when Piglet was little. If he was sleeping then I was showering or tidying up as quickly as possible. When I became pregnant with baby number 2 though I was suddenly really struggling with energy. I found myself taking a nap for 2 hours most afternoons while Piglet napped – and it was so worth it.
It might not seem the most productive use of your time, but if you’re not getting enough sleep overnight taking a short (or long!) nap during the day can give you the energy boost you need to see you through.
What do you do when you’ve got a bit of time free from the kids? I’d love to hear them so please leave ideas in the comments below!
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