Being a mother has many rewards. We have our sweet little ‘mini-mes’ to brighten up our days and those sweet hugs and wet kisses that make all those tired days completely worth it. Sometimes though all we have to show for it are piles of laundry, chipped nail polish, greasy hair in a clip and cold cold coffee. The cold cold coffee gets to me! You know how it is, we brew the cup of coffee and sit down to take a sip and suddenly there’s hundreds of things that need doing in hundred different places in your home. Mum burnout is real and if you’ve got toddlers or kids that always need your attention, you’re going to feel it a lot.
Whether you are stay-at-home mum or a working mum, you might be waiting for months to find some ‘me-time’ to get your hair cut, nails done, read a book, watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that you’ve been dying to, get a foot rub or just simply relax and put your feet up!
Let’s start by why we mums need to make the attempt to find ‘me-time’. We know we put the well-being of everyone in our families before ours. Long hours are something we are comfortable with. Late night feeds, preparing for early morning school routines etc are built into our DNA and from looking after sick children to cooking family meals; we are all capable and get the job done. Nevertheless, if we don’t end up taking care of ourselves and dedicating a bit of time for ourselves, we will definitely end up feeling frustrated. Sure as a mother, you know your job is to take care of everyone and make sure everyone’s schedule runs as clockwork, but you are a person too and you need to have a few activities that are grown-up activities that you will make you relax. If you aren’t getting enough me time, you will find yourself easily losing your cool, easily fatigued, depressed and simply a ticking-bombing.
Now I know I could use terms like ‘time-management’ and tell you to organise your time and find the time for ‘me-time’. But if you have kids, you’ll know that they don’t know time-management and wouldn’t care less! Plus there are absolutely so much of things that you need to do get done and try explaining time management to child who doesn’t want to take a nap! So how do you find time to get it all done?
- Start journaling – start off by documenting every single thing you do in a day. I mean EVERY SINGLE thing. From the time you wake up to the time you sleep – cooking times, meal preparing times, kids bathtimes, laundry time, drinking cold coffee time. EVERY SINGLE thing you do. Once the week is done, read through and analyse and see if you can do anything differently. Do you seem like you are doing laundry every single day? Can you perhaps combine them into a stricter/defined routine? Do you find bits of time that you seem to be thinking of what to do next? These times can be used more wisely for a bit of ‘me-time’
- Have different sleep routines – if you find yourself going to sleep and waking up at the same time as your kids, you’ve pretty much got no me time at ALL. I love waking up 20 minutes before the rest of the household does. This means I can actually have my coffee hot and sometimes take some time to enjoy the silence and inspire myself.
- Shop at Child Friendly Stores – try to shop at stores that have supervised play areas. This way your little one and you both can have some fun time!
- Kids screen time – if you find yourself having to sit and watch Peppa Pig with your little one, remember you can utilise that time to do something yourself. So drag that exercise bike to the TV room or get on a mat and do some exercises. If you aren’t the exercising type, this is a good time to maybe do a home pedi. I don’t think reading when your child is watching TV is a particularly good idea since you both would be in a ‘secluded’ world.
- Meeting up your friends – if you’d like to meet up with your girlfriends invite them over with their kids and go pot luck so that you can have a chat while the kids play. Granted, if the kids are small, you’d do more of making sure they share the toys than talking but believe me, if you stick to it, the kids will remain friends and as they get older, you’ll have more chances to actually talk once they are older..
- Dropping your kids off at the grand-parents – schedule a date night with hubby maybe?
- Want a hot cup of coffee? Stop by your local coffee shop and get yourself a steaming cup and maybe a babyccino for your little one with a cookie! You’ve just got yourself a little date.
- Carry a book or stream a movie– You know all those afternoons at tennis class or swimming class or waiting to pick your little one from school – indulge in a few minutes of reading or stream an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. All you need is internet and your earphones and you are good to go.
- Make a Me-Wish-Menu – make a list of all the things you’d like to do and how much time you’d need to do it. If your little one has 15mins of reading to do, grab that foot massage lotion!
- Schedule Play Dates – play dates are wonderful whether you are hosting them or send your child over. Either way, you’ve got some time on your hands. Back in the day, play date time was my pedi-time. I’d drop my son over to his friend’s house and enjoy some pedi-me-time.
As our kids start getting older, we find that there’s more time on our hands to do more things and then of course we start to miss all the things we did for them. Even cleaning up their rooms! However, we all need a bit of ‘me-time’ to feel like we are adults and do stuff that we all like before we had to prioritise everyone else but ourselves. If you identify times when you can multi-task and little time pockets that can be utilised better, you can still have ‘me-time’ even if your kids are still small.