This one is for all the exhausted mums and dads out there who are on your 4th day of not washing or brushing your teeth. Who don’t know for sure how many hours of sleep you’ve had in the last 48 hours, simply because your brain isn’t functioning enough to work out the calculation.
This is for those of you can’t remember the last time you were able to sit and read a book, or watch a movie, without either being interrupted by the tiny humans in your life or simply falling asleep from sheer exhaustion.
Being a parent is HARD. I’ll say that again… BEING A PARENT IS HARD!!!
Every now and again it’s ok… in fact its necessary to give yourself some well deserved time off. Be that an hour or a full day. Whatever you need.
This (i’ve learned only recently) is the thing that keeps us sane. Of course we love our children but burning the candle at both ends is not healthy for anyone.
Last Friday was the first time I willingly passed over the reigns to Granda (my dad) to take on the toddler entertainment duties in order to give me some time to myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t use that time to relax or for some well earned pamper time. No, I used it to steam clean my livingroom floor and fill one of my photo albums.
Why I hear you ask??? Because these were tasks that were important to me that I couldn’t find the time to do. Every time I looked at my germ-ridden floor my anxiety levels rose, and every time my son emptied the basket of loose photographs onto said floor I seriously considered handing him into the Post Office with a RETURN TO SENDER note attached.
So getting to do that, for me, was absolute bliss… Especially due to the fact that instead of the incessant, obnoxious, downright abhorrent Peppa Pig theme music in the background, I was actually able to listen to my own music.
However, this is just one example of my kind of “Self Care”, which i’m sure most of you wouldn’t be too keen on repeating, so I’ll share some other ideas that might be a bit more appealing to a wider audience.
Be selfish. Do something that makes YOU happy… Only you. Whether that’s catching up on your fave TV show or reading a few chapters of a new book. Just do it!
I understand the irony of this one, with me obviously typing this on my laptop (as well as having my iPhone within reach) but SWITCH OFF! Take an hour… just one hour every other night, or even once a week to switch off ALL of the technology off in the house. Disconnect the WiFi, turn off the TV, put your phone in a drawer and just enjoy the silence. You’ve no idea how much this one little thing can de-clutter your brain. You have to try it!
How many times have you browsed through your Facebook feed to find that same person airing their dirty laundry or just spouting their usual negative nonsense? Get rid of them. Click “Unfriend” and all of that doom and gloom will be gone forever. In the same breath, you can do this in real life. If you have negative people around you bringing you down and not offering any goodness to your life, then you don’t need them to be in it. Cut ties and your little world will be a much more positive one.
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, stop whatever it is you’re doing and put on your favourite upbeat song. Have a 5 minute boogie, whether it’s just you or the whole family, and dance your troubles away. It might not fix whatever’s got you stressed but it’ll definitely ease your worries even if it’s just a little bit.
This is a no-brainer. When you eat well, you feel better. It’s just a fact of life. As much as I would like to say eating half a chocolate cake is good for you, it’s just not. I’m not saying you have to start any crazy diets but eating a healthy diet will definitely make a difference to the way you feel.
Buy yourself a new lippy, pair of shoes or if you’re a gamer, a new PS4 game. If there’s something you really want then buy yourself it. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-indulgence every now and again. It’s a nice way to show that you value yourself.
Do something good for someone else. Help a neighbour in the house with their shopping or donate some of your unused clothes to charity. Go out of your way to make someone else’s day better. You feel better and so do they… it’s a win win.
Lastly and probably my favourite idea of them all… Have a pamper night. When the kids are all tucked up in bed (even if it’s just for an hour before they wake back up again) light some candles, run a bath, use one of your expensive bath bombs, pour a glass of wine, put on a face-mask and just relax. Unwind. Drift away to your happy place. And remember to lock the bathroom door.
I hope these were useful and that they have given you some ideas for those moments when you’ve reached breaking point and are in dire need of some serious “Self-Care”. Looking after yourself is key to surviving the parenting game. Take it from this extremely over-tired mama… It’s a necessity!