Two minutes with … Juca Csikos, mama to twins, Janka and Alíz, aged 3 years and Dorka, aged  10 months

Two minutes with … Juca Csikos, mama to twins, Janka and Alíz, aged 3 years and Dorka, aged  10 months

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

My first me-time was 5 months after giving birth – I went to my hairdresser for an hour 🙂 it was so great. Everybody need me-time not only moms, but moms need more 🙂

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

If I don’t have the possibility of having me-time I usually do some workouts at my home. Always with my kids 🙂 this is the key for my balanced life. Everybody should create a hobby that they can do at home next to their kids or when kids are sleeping. 

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

I put it in my schedule – 3 times per a week. If you can do your hobby with kids you can win more time in your life 🙂

Two minutes with … Samantha Brett, mama to Harper, aged 10 months

Two minutes with … Samantha Brett, mama to Harper, aged 10 months

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

That is a good question! I had about 15 minutes on Saturday night after I arrived home from working on the 6PM bulletin at 7 News Sydney, to shower and get changed for a rare date night with my husband, while my father kindly looked after the baby.

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

I love to read a good book, and weirdly reading news articles is very indulgent for me and I absolutely love perusing papers such as the New York Times or Washington Journal.

And I can’t go past a good massage!

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

I think being able to ask for help, and letting other people help you is important. So many women struggle to say “yes” to accepting help from a friend or relative, but in order to preserve your sanity, it is key!

Two minutes with … Audrey Wallace, mama to Rowan, aged 6 years and Abram, aged 4 years

Two minutes with … Audrey Wallace, mama to Rowan, aged 6 years and Abram, aged 4 years

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

When I have me-time, I feel like I can conquer the world! And I don’t want to do any of the every day tasks on my to-do list. The last time I had me-time it was a Saturday afternoon before going out to a fancy party that evening. So I went to the mall, had my make up done for free at Bare Minerals and got my hair curled for free by the sales guy at the hair straightener kiosk. I looked like a million bucks and paid zero bucks for it! Then I went out with my hubby and had a fun date night out.

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

Honestly, this is an area that I need to improve. Only recently have I realized that self care goes beyond personal hygiene. (Which sometimes I am not even good at! Every morning I swear I will never go to bed with make up on again. Then every night I am soooo sleepy again…) So the biggest step I have taken toward focusing on self care is seeing a therapist. At first, I was embarrassed and did not want anyone to know so it is a huge step for me to share this with you! But after experiencing a major transformation in the way I treat myself as a result of counseling, I want everyone to know that it is not shameful, rather a gift to yourself! If you’ve ever considered it, I promise you will be thankful you did. It’s like an oxygen mask on an airplane, make sure you take care of yourself first in order to take the best care of those around you.

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

My absolute greatest piece of advice is to let people help you. Invite them in. Share the load. We are all in this together! And the more we lean on each other, the stronger we will all be as a community. You don’t have to go it alone! If your friend tells you she can help with your kids to give you me-time, she means it! So take her up on it! And do the same for her. Give and receive. Receive and give. My friend Amy and I are so passionate about parents helping parents that we created and app for that called Komae, In Greek, it means Village. For parents, it means free time. I sit for you. You sit for me. We all get free time and no one pays for babysitting. Can I get an Amen?! 

Two minutes with Jo Casamento, mama to twins, Maximus and Matisse, aged 13 years and Allegra, aged 11 years

Two minutes with Jo Casamento, mama to twins, Maximus and Matisse, aged 13 years and Allegra, aged 11 years

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

Um yesterday! My 8 weekly hair appointment for my roots!

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

I’m terrible with exercise and diet. Shocking. My idea of self care is a packet of chocolate bullets and an entire season of Housewives on iTunes to catch up on! Including the reunion episodes!

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”?

Try and feel less guilt. As hard as that is. Your kids won’t remember if you weren’t there to pick them up from school once, or didn’t attend that netball game – but they will remember a smiling and not grumpy you! If I could go back in time I would give myself more time by giving  my kids space to explore life without me and life in others’ care.

How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

Well my kids are a little older now. I have one tween and two teens so I’m now trying to schedule time in with them! Early on it was incredibly difficult, and almost non existent. I had twins and another 18 months behind. I remember my fabulous mother in law would take them all for a few hours on a Wednesday and I would slip off to the movies. Bliss. That’s my spiritual home. Still to this day, the moment the music comes my whole body relaxes.

Two minutes with … Jo Love, mama to Bella, aged 2 and a half years

Two minutes with … Jo Love, mama to Bella, aged 2 and a half years

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

The last time I had me-time was three days ago when I was using my Headspace app – it was literally just for a few minutes but since I started using it, around six months ago, it has become an important part of my life. It’s basically an app for guided meditation and it really helps me to switch off and clear the noise from my brain. When juggling a busy family life and an even busier new business, there can be so many things in my mind struggling for my attention. When I meditate I feel like I have more control over what I need to focus on. At first it felt counter intuitive to me to spend time switching off when I had so much to do, but I can’t believe how much difference it makes to my wellbeing to give my brain some breathing space!

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

I try to integrate aspects of self-care into every day. Since suffering from post natal depression it’s something that’s really important to me. I want to make sure that I’m making myself a priority, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day as just checking in with my needs can make such a difference to how I feel.

Some of my favourite ways to look after myself are catching up with friends. It’s so, so hard to find time to do this as a busy mum and entrepreneur, but when I do get together with my girlfriends it always resets my mood and reminds me who I am outside of mum life and outside of my business. I always leave feeling recharged and with a lot of good memories (and usually a lot of bad selfies too)!

Other things that make me feel like I’m caring for myself, are a bit more habitual – like getting my hair done every few months or simply buying my favourite beauty products. I’m obsessed with Liz Earle and Clinique skincare. Their products do incredible things to my sleep weary skin – I’m currently loving Clinique’s New Fresh Pressed System my skin is transformed within just a few days.

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

When it feels like it is all getting on top of me I try and take a couple of steps back. I’ve come to realise that what works best for me is to ask myself if I really need to do whatever is on my list, right now. Can it wait? And although it sounds like a cliché, I try and treat myself like I would treat a friend. I think we’re all guilty of being a bit mean to ourselves and pushing our frazzled selves just one inch further.

When I find myself doing that, I try and zoom out on whatever is causing me stress and try and put things in context. For example, the disgusting mess that’s always in the kitchen – can it wait until tomorrow while I have a bath or watch Netflix? I think little kindnesses are the most realistic way for most mums to give themselves me-time, whether that’s booking a babysitter, treating yourself to the occasional cleaner or ordering a take-away to make for an easier life.

I try and take it in turns with my husband at the weekend to have a lie in for an extra half an hour too – although with a toddler, things don’t always go to plan. My daughter Bella seems to have her own ideas about what time I should get up in the morning!

Two minutes with … Courtney Dow, mama to Ezra, aged 18 months old 

Two minutes with … Courtney Dow, mama to Ezra, aged 18 months old 

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

My last bit of me-time was last weekend at the beach; 5 minutes floating in the ocean while my husband was playing with our daughter. My ears were covered by the water so there was just silence, the cold water on my body and the sky.

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

Nourishing my body with wholesome plant-based foods

Squeezing in regular yoga practices (even if it is just 10 minutes)

Using essential oils daily to support my emotional and physical wellness

Immersing myself in Mother Nature every single day

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

Me-time doesn’t have to be extravagant or excessive. 5 minutes can be enough to change your mindset and your mood. Find little things you can do each day that make you feel good, such as a few minutes of mindful breathing, a dip in the ocean, or listening to your favourite song. Try and prioritise it, because other things can wait.