Tate’s Mumma says…
You know those days….
- Where you are totally running on empty
- Where you cannot wait for your OH to return home to hand over your delightful little one
- Where you cannot wait for them to go to sleep
- Where you have the urge to hide in a cupboard
- When the only dinner possible is take away
- When you want to cry and you aren’t enjoying every single moment of this motherhood rollercoaster
- Where you just want to close your eyes and sleep for the whole afternoon/ day/ night/ day AND night (well actually you’d settle for a few less unbroken hours than the usual!)
Where you are wracked with guilt that you….
- Aren’t an all singing all dancing mummy entertainment co-ordinator
- Just REALLY want a moment to yourself, away from your much-loved baby
- Shouted as you lost your patience when the food you cooked for lunch gets tossed straight on the floor the moment you sit down for the first time in hours!
I know even though we often don’t say it out loud most of us lovely mummas have felt like this.
It’s ok to need a break… its human… it’s essential. Taking a break and making time for you makes you a better mumma as you are relaxed and well rested and happy.
Needing time off does not make you a bad mumma… it does not make you weak. It’s not something you should use to beat yourself up or to make yourself feel horribly guilty about.
So why, despite the logic above, do some many of us struggle to take time for ourselves?
I am going to say it out loud for us all… I need a break!!! I need to take time off!
I am currently sat typing this as I have been given the weekend off by my OH as I was totally running on empty. My juggling act has crashed to the floor with me at the bottom of the heap!
Because being a mumma is a balancing act… whether you balance 1 or more children, running a home, work (full or part-time), relationships (marriages/ partnerships/ friendships) or any combination of the above… it’s often a delicate balance… add in a little one with a cold or teething and poor sleep, additional work pressures, an argument here, a stress there… the balance is quick to go. And the first thing to go is often mumma’s time and mumma’s needs.
For me learning to keep a good health balance since becoming a mumma has been hard, (Leyton’s Mumma also talks about the many sides of herself now here):
- I want to be a great mumma,
- I want to do amazing fun things with my boy
- I want him to grow and learn through our fun interactions and play
- I want him to eat well; home cooked nutritious food
- I also need to keep my house in shape, to shop, cook, clean (endlessly it seems when you have a toddler) etc etc etc
- I need to work part-time
- I want to have time with my husband
- I want to maintain my friendships
- I want to support other mummas
- I need to recover from Post Natal Depression
- I want to do things I enjoy (outside of being a mumma)
That’s a whole long list of things … and I have probably forgotten many things (baby brain) … and look what’s right at the bottom of the list… doing things for me! I am sure that most of us can write similar long lists… and that the positioning of your needs may also be somewhere near the bottom.
For me it’s been hard to get past the guilt and the pressures I feel to be a great mumma 24/7 and take time for me. I have had to get to breaking point to take time out. I have had to fight with myself to take time away.
I am not writing this blog as an expert… I am writing it as I learn how far is too far to push myself as a mumma, and how to reach past the guilt and feel free to take time off. I am learning how to care for myself as well as caring for my baby, as I do think as mummas we tend to focus everything on our little one and push our needs to the back somewhere. I am learning how to find me, a new me in the mumma me. I love the mumma me… on a good day; she’s fun, creative, energetic but before the mumma me there was another me… who has sort of got a bit lost. She was adventurous, cherished relaxed time with the girls, loved to shop and to have pamper time and just to potter slowly.
Ways to take time out:
- Use nap time wisely… stop running around doing jobs and take 30 minutes to do something for you… a little yoga/ pilates/ read a book/ have a long shower… relax first then do some jobs, if you need to.
- Book things in… don’t leave things last-minute to help make sure you do it; book in the next hair cut/ book in regular massage, book in for yoga/ exercise classes.
- Book in a regular babysitter so you and your OH can have precious time together. Relationships can really suffer with all the changes and sleep deprivation involved in parenthood.
- Schedule a mummas day off into the week/ month plans… I have Saturday as mummas day off and my OH has Tate. I can choose what I want to do depending on the mood… a few hours off, a whole day, a cafe trip, a nap, some craft activities, shopping.
I wrote about my mummas day off when I wrote about my PND (my story here), it took me ages to feel able to take this time for me. And ultimately I think my mood suffered more for not taking the time… so be kind to yourselves mummas and take some decent time off!
- Share weekend lie ins with your OH, someone takes the early shift each day… the other person gets to lie in and then have a long undisturbed shower.
- Book in monthly evenings/ days out with friends in advance, go out and do something pre mumma (ie not shopping for baby stuff… go drink cocktails, go shop for an amazing outfit, go for a long lunch with wine.)
- What jobs can you let go of… how can you simplify cleaning tasks, can you get someone to clean for you, can you share cooking with your OH, can you shop online, or making shopping an adventure with your little one, how can changing how you do some jobs free up more time for you?
So have a think, how can you take some time out today/ this week/ this month?
What pre-mumma things do you miss doing? How can you find ways to fit them into your mumma lifestyle?
By making a little time for these other needs you are in turn going to help yourself be an even better Mumma… so try to shake off any guilt and take some time out for you!!
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