Parenting

How to fit self-care into your life when you’re a mum

  • September 5, 2016

Before kids you can’t possibly imagine how little time you’ll have to yourself. Babies sleep a lot, surely mums can still have long bubble baths, read books, see friends, and generally practice a bit of self-care?

Err…no, not usually.

I don’t have a baby any more though, I have a 5-year-old. I also have a lot more time to myself, and it’s lovely.

I thought our first school holidays would be really stressful, but it’s been quite relaxing – and not at all expected!  I work every day and so have had to organise a lot of childcare for Little H this summer. We’re very lucky to both have amazing parents and so she’s spent her time between my parents, the in-laws and holiday club.

I finish work at 2:15 pm and if she’s at holiday club I’ve had to pay a fortune for her to be there for a full day so I’m mean and don’t pick her up until 5pm. When she’s with her grandparents they all have so much fun they want to bring her back at dinner time. So I’ve been getting home to an empty house at 2:30 pm most days.

I know that I really should use this time to clean the house or do errands, and on some days I do, but I’ve also been coming home, sitting on the sofa and binge-watching House or The Gilmore Girls while eating Oreos and occasionally writing blog posts. And do you know what I don’t feel at all guilty about it! I’m also much happier and relaxed with this little bit of daily self-care in my life.

It got me thinking about why I haven’t focused on myself and self-care sooner. In the past, if I had 5 minutes to myself I’d spend it rushing around cleaning, going to the supermarket, or running other boring errands. Instead of doing these things today I’ve just painted my nails and watched another 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls. I’ve also eaten a bag of Maltesers. Heaven!

Self-care is so important for your mental health, especially as a working parent because it’s not often you get any time to yourself. When you do, make sure you grab it by the horns! If you are stressed or anxious due to work, parenting, or just general life, some time to yourself can work wonders.

So if you’re stuck in a rut and not looking after yourself, here are my suggestions on making time for you and practicing a bit of self-care…

Have a think about what’s important

Is it really essential that your house is permanently spotless? I know we’d all love a completely pristine home but let’s be honest it lasts all of 5 minutes when you have kids and no one even notices all your hard work anyway, so why bother? You may as well just have a nap or read a book rather than hoover! I guarantee you’ll feel happier afterwards.

Share the load

Why should you do all the housework and chores anyway? Make your other half help with the cleaning at the weekend and with bedtime during the week. Give the kids chores to do or at least make them tidy their toys away. The more help you can get with the boring stuff, the more time you’ll have to yourself for the fun stuff. Imagine having time to read a book because someone else has cooked dinner or put the kids to bed.

Take Turns

Finding the time to practice self-care is the hardest part. Why not arrange with your other half to take turns having a lie in at the weekend? In our house, we take it in turns to get up at stupid o’clock with Little H on Saturdays and Sundays. The one not having a lie in has to keep her from going upstairs to disturb the snoozing! Sometimes on a quiet Sunday afternoon, my husband will take Little H to the park for an hour while I have some peace and quiet, or I’ll take her out if he wants to watch the football or play a computer game in peace. We do a lot together as a family most of the time, but everyone needs a bit of peace and quiet now and then.

Get Pampered

There’s nothing better than using your “me time” to pamper yourself. Book an appointment at the beauty salon and escape the house to get your nails or hair done. Sometimes even getting your bikini line waxed is more favourable than looking after the kids! If you can’t afford to go out and get pampered, why not lock yourself in the bathroom and soak in the bath, paint your nails, or try one of those beauty hacks you’ve seen online.

Book a babysitter

Me time doesn’t have to be by yourself, time with your other half is really important to maintain a healthy relationship. Rope in family or friends into babysitting and go out for dinner or to see a movie that isn’t a cartoon.

Start Small

If all of the above is too much just start small. Why not try to do one thing a week for you. Instead of dusting paint your nails. Instead of going to the supermarket do the food shop online and watch Netflix at the same time.

Whatever it is just do something for you regularly – because you are very important. Let’s face it if Mum’s not happy neither is anyone else! This also applies to Dads of course. Many men work long hours and also need a bit of time to themselves of a weekend. The most important thing is that you work out what works for you as a family, and start a routine that everyone is happy with.

Sarah

Making Time For You | How to make time for you when you have kids | #metime #mumlife #momlife #parenting

19 Comments

  • Helena

    So true and well worth remembering. After all if we were on a plane we’d be asked to apply our masks first right. #MarvMondays

    Reply
  • Ky

    These are all great ideas. I was terrible at first for not making time myself, now I make sure I have at least 10 minutes to myself a day. #marvmondays

    Reply
  • Kirsty - Motherhoodery

    I can so relate to this! And YES to Gilmore Girls ? This blogging lark seems to be taking up a lot of my time, but if I can, I take some time for myself. It’s so important and what are we trying to prove if we don’t? x #SharingtheBlogLove

    Reply
  • Sunita

    It’s so important isn’t it? Just to have a little time to yourself each week helps. I think it’s also good for the kids to have quality time with they daddy, relatives or aunties and uncles without me hanging about! You might like one of my first posts on The Importance of the Me-Treat. Lovely coming across your blog again via #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • My Petit Canard

    Me time is so important, but its the one thing that I am terrible at! Especially since baby number two came along so this is a great reminder to start doing a couple of things for me each week 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

    Reply
  • Jane Taylor

    So pleased you got some time to chill and didn’t feel guilty. Great tips too. Especially the one about starting small. Even the mental thought process of planning a little thing for yourself, no matter how small can help. Thanks for linking #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • islandliving365

    Fab tips that we should all be applying! We need to make time for ourselves #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • islandliving365

    Such fab tips. We always need to make time for ourselves 🙂

    Reply
  • Angela Watling

    Great post and some great tips! Really pleased you are enjoying the time for yourself. I’m sure you do more than enough to deserve it and you’re totally right about the house! My husband and I have just had 2 weeks off work; We sent our daughter to nursery like normal for 6 of those days – they can keep her more entertained than we can anyway! It was wonderful to indulge in some ‘us’ and ‘me’ time. I’m going to keep it up having read your post. #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • Emma Plus Three

    Great tips, it’s so important to make time for yourself. x #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • mumzilla

    We take it turns to get up on the weekend, but I have to do all the housework etc because I’m a sahm at the moment. That said, now I get allllll day while he’s at school to muck around online and watch Netflix. #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • Becster

    Top tips! I have two girls under 3 years and wow finding time to myself is difficult! #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • dearbearandbeany

    Its so important to find a way to have time for yourself. It has been difficult for me to do this for the past 2 years with having both girls home with me. But with my eldest starting school and Holly that bit older, I can see that I will have opportunities to have a bit of me time. Great tips! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

    Reply
  • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    I’m lucky that I have a wonderful husband who always makes sure I get some time to myself at the weekend if I need it – often I spend it in the garden, or head out to meet a friend, it’s lovely! We also have an unspoken alternating lie-in agreement at the weekend. And I’m lucky to have my parents nearby for the odd spot of babysitting too. But I can imagine that those opportunities are easier to carve out once they get a bit older – eating a bag of malteasers sounds just amazing! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    Reply
  • thebritishmaple

    I could not agree more. I am a stay at home mum and therefore feel it is my ‘job’ to always look after the kids; but in the same sense perhaps I should allow myself some ‘annual leave’?!

    I’m in a tricky time with two toddlers, neither of which are in school full time and both of whom require a lot of attention. My latest post had an element of focusing on oneself in it, so I’m trying to head in the right direction!

    #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • twicemicrowavedtea

    This is so true. It’s so easy to forget to make time for yourself. I’m getting better at it and have learned to leave the housework sometimes when my little girl naps, as there’s always something much more fun or relaxing that I could be doing! And like you say, if mum’s happy, everyone’s happy! #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • Poppy Reflects

    I think a bikini wax is more or less always more appealing than looking after the kid! Great ideas for a bit of me time x #KCACOLS

    Reply
  • Madeline (This Glorious Life)

    My daughter goes to her grandparents once a week and for the most part I use that time to do work and get household jobs done, but I do often take a bit of time after dropping her off to just sit, eat some toast, drink some coffee and watch something on the tv, Gilmore Girls is a favourite of mine too! x #KCACOLS

    Reply

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