Two minutes with … Meghan Joy Yancy, mama to Makkedah, aged 8 years, Samaria, aged 7 years, Nehemiah, aged 5 years, Shiloh, aged 3 years, Zion, aged 2 years and #6 is due in April

Two minutes with … Meghan Joy Yancy, mama to Makkedah, aged 8 years, Samaria, aged 7 years, Nehemiah, aged 5 years, Shiloh, aged 3 years, Zion, aged 2 years and #6 is due in April

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I used to never have (or make) time for myself because I didn’t want to be selfish. I always felt guilty when I took time away. But I have realized over the years that I am a better mom and wife when I allow time for self-care. On a more regular basis, that can be sneaking away for a 30 minute hot bath. It can be getting the kids involved with an activity so that I can take 15 minutes to sit in my office and work or read a good book.

And each week, my husband and I have carved out time for me to leave the house for 3 hours to write. Total time for me to dive into my work + passion.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

It often looks different for me. And since I run multiple businesses from home, my alone time is often spend “working” for the time being.  But, I LOVE what I do, so it’s always fun. I’d love to say it’s full of massages and hair appointments and weekend trips away with the girlfriends but honestly, in this stage of life, it’s more like a hot bath upstairs, a solo trip to the thrift store or a few hours at the coffee shop. And it works perfectly for our family.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

Schedule in it. And also, be spontaneous with it. Make sure to get it on the calendar and arrange for that time to yourself and then stick with it. Do something that fills you up so you have more to give by the time you get back. And when those spontaneous opportunities arise to invest in yourself, do it. And don’t feel guilty that you are taking time away. But instead, take advantage of that time to fill your cup up to overflowing so that you can pour more into others.

Two minutes with … Oxana Rumyantseva, mama to Milana, aged 12 years, Virsaviya, aged 7 years, Kallista, aged 4 years and Markella, aged almost 1.5 years

Two minutes with … Oxana Rumyantseva, mama to Milana, aged 12 years, Virsaviya, aged 7 years, Kallista, aged 4 years and Markella, aged almost 1.5 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

It’s so hard to find me-time with my 4 kids. I think it was last week when I was driving alone from photo-shooting, to my clients for personal training. I had 45 minutes.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

I always train. Because it’s my job. So I think in a way it’s not self- care. But I live near the ocean and sometimes I can spend about 20-30 min there alone.  It gives me strength.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

Being a mother is the greatest blessing of my life. I have no time for myself mostly but if I do, it doesn’t last very long. I’m burning out. A few years ago I had the best vacation in my life. My friend gave me a trip to Switzerland. And I left my 3 kids and husband for a week. Shame, but it was better than a honey moon.

Two minutes with … Lucy Good, mama to Amber, aged 14 years and Ruby, aged 12 years

Two minutes with … Lucy Good, mama to Amber, aged 14 years and Ruby, aged 12 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

Last week, I took myself off to the cinema one afternoon before the girls came home from school. It felt very decadent and took a while to convince myself that it was ok to do it, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it and my girls thought it was hilarious that I would do such a thing .. on my own and in the middle of the day!

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

I’m pretty pedantic about having ‘me-time’ on a daily basis. Anything that involves escapism is good. I love to jump on my stepper and read, watch Netflix or listen to some tunes. I usually do this about 2/3 times a day for 10-20. It’s also a great was to keep fit. My kids know to leave mum alone when she’s stepping as it’s ‘her’ time.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

My suggestion is to keep it as simple as possible. Something that takes little preparation and is close to or in your home is good. Yes, it’s great to go to the movies or meet friends etc, but in reality we are unable to do this daily. Choose something that you can do EVERY day, and make the most of it by combining activities. For example, take a walk whilst listening to podcasts, study or music.

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Lucy is the founder of Beanstalk Mums. Beanstalk is an online space which empowers single mothers to re-find their potential and re-build their confidence through a website that delivers targeted information and support.

Two minutes with … Mimi Kwa, mama to Royston, aged 14 years, Mason, aged 12 years, Harper, aged 9 years and Berry, aged 7 years

Two minutes with … Mimi Kwa, mama to Royston, aged 14 years, Mason, aged 12 years, Harper, aged 9 years and Berry, aged 7 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I take time out for me time as often as I can. After years of allowing my schedule to rule my life I finally wised up! I walk each morning with my husband and then do yoga at home while he does the school lunches. Sometimes the kids join me for down dog or a stretch for a few minutes here and there or call out to me for lost shoes or school books, but they know that it’s my time and not to expect much of an answer in return. They are learning to respect ‘me time’, and so am I. I also sneak away once a year to stay at a health retreat, which sounds like a luxury. Of course it is, but I’ve actually also come to see it as a necessity. A way to disconnect from work and family obligations, to nurture my own wellbeing so that I can, in turn, nurture everyone else’s when I get back. Which I’m always happy to do when I feel refreshed and recharged.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

Getting in touch with nature: I enjoy walking and being near the sea whenever I can. I was raised by the ocean in Perth and I really feel a yearning for a beach walk when I’ve had too much of the city life here in Melbourne. The water has a such a calming, soothing and regenerative effect. I was in Sydney a few days ago for work, and I made sure I did the Bondi to Bronte walk. It was raining but I didn’t care. I breathed in the sea salt air and looked out at the ocean and felt alive and grateful.

Exercise and Diet: I have gone through phases of gym, pilates and now yoga. I am by no means super fit but I do feel so much better once I’ve exercised each morning and ready to face the day. I would say exercise and diet are the foundations of wellbeing. I follow a low carb and intermittent  fasting regime which sounds a bit militant, but it suits my body and mind. At 43 I am more alert, sharp and driven than ever before and I do not miss out on anything… as my eggs, avocado, smoked salmon, fetta and spinach breakfast plate will attest!

Reading, TED talks and Podcasts: I love digesting anything that feeds my mind and helps me grow. Reading alone and in silence is a big treat but I do try to do it once the little ones are in bed and the bigger kids are settled in to homework. The podcasts and TED talks, I listen to on walks. My husband listens to them when he’s gardening. I am always amazed how much new research is out there on happiness and wellness and brain plasticity and changing habits. I’m always thrilled to take on new positive lifestyle changes as I, my family and businesses evolve.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

Get up early and start the day with intention. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is alkaline but has the sour bite to to wake you up every day. Go for a walk or exercise at home. There are great YouTube yoga videos you can just follow in your lounge room. Put yourself first to be able to help all the others in your life. It’s like the oxygen mask on the aeroplane. Fit yours before you assist others. Don’t make excuses about being too busy or tired to exercise. Find what suits you and the rest will follow.

Two minutes with … Elise Blaha Cripe, mama to Elle, aged 4.5 years and Piper, aged 2 years

Two minutes with … Elise Blaha Cripe, mama to Elle, aged 4.5 years and Piper, aged 2 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I actually have more “me-time” right now than I have had since becoming a mom. My girls go to full-time daycare/preschool Monday-Friday so I am able to get all of my work done during those hours. I also use some of the time during my work days to get the house picked up (I primarily work from home) and make it to a pilates class a few times a week. This has been really helpful in making me more present in the evenings and weekends because I am not trying to divide my time between work and the girls.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

I love to take classes! Last year I took a pottery class and this month I am starting screenprinting classes. Usually I go one evening per week (my husband watches the girls) and that’s a great way to get out of the house and do something creative just for me. I also read a lot. I try to fit reading in throughout the day but I usually get the biggest chunk of time before I fall asleep each night.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

As mentioned, we are in a great season right now and I have a lot of help with childcare. My youngest didn’t start daycare until 18 months though and so during that time I had to be more creative. Some of my favorite things to do – pop the kiddos in a stroller and go for a long walk with a fun podcast in my headphones. Ask for help! Get your partner or a friend to watch the kids for an hour and go to a coffee shop to read a book. See if you can establish a good and early bedtime and use those evening hours to take a bath or read. Pay attention to how you spend your time. What makes you feel better? Worse? I remember I used to spend full nap times on my phone scrolling and scrolling and then my daughter would wake up and I would be disappointed that I hadn’t accomplished anything relaxing or even enjoyable. At the same time though, scrolling your phone might be exactly what brings you joy and that’s great. Don’t feel guilt for how you spend your time, just make sure it’s what you actually want to be doing.