When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?
I’ve actually had a LOT of “me-time” lately, as I’ve recently experienced a miscarriage so I’ve been in and out of doctors appointments and hospital visits, and I’ve been forced to put my own health and wellbeing as a priority. I’m so fortunate to have the most amazing support team in Nick (my partner), my Mum, and my close girlfriends.
My Mum has had the kids sleep over her house a few nights over the last month, and to be honest I spent most of the time asleep on the couch next to Nick while he watched TV. I’ve been craving a lot of home time, so it’s been nice to just snuggle up without interruptions and knowing the kids are being loved and looked after elsewhere.
What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?
Oh there are SO many things that I love to do for self care! I adore having my hair washed and scalp massaged, so I’ll often book in for a blow-dry. Date nights with Nick are always fun, we love going out for Japanese and people watching in a restaurant. Kid-free time with my girlfriends is so important too, although this can sometimes be hard to organise. We also always make sure that we attend as many social events as we can, in terms of nights out for birthdays, engagement parties etc.
It’s easy to feel exhausted by the end of a long week, and use the kids as an excuse to sloth around at home on the weekend. We’re young parents, so our friends have much more exciting social lives than us! But whenever it’s an important event we make sure to organise a babysitter and let our hair down for the night. In fact, more often than not we get the kids to sleep over my Mums house so we can have a slow start the next day and nurse our hangovers!
In terms of simpler, more daily rituals – I have a cosy corner of the house with a special chair that I like to sit on and have a cup of tea throughout the day. Some nights when I’m feeling overwhelmed I’ll leave Nick to sort out the bath/bed time routine and I’ll escape to our room, close the door, and absent mindly scroll Instagram, there’s no shame in that!
What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?
I think the first thing that needs to happen, is for mamas to drop the guilt surrounding putting ourselves first, and for us to wholeheartedly believe that “me-time” is absolutely crucial and integral to how well we can function as a mother and look after our children. You can’t give from an empty cup!
Over the last year, I’ve made time by hiring a nanny once a week to look after the kids at home, so that I can run errands, catch up with friends, do a grocery shop and book appointments. Its been an extra cost for our family, but it’s a sacrifice we were willing to make and its worked wonders! Besides that, I always try to take people up on their offers of help. As we are young parents, we have plenty of child-free friends who absolutely adore our kids and constantly offer to babysit! I used to feel guilty about accepting their offers, thinking that it must be boring for them to look after our kids. But I’ve come to realise that it’s actually a joy and a novelty for them, as they’re not looking after kids of their own 24/7. So I’ve started to say “Yes” a lot more!
Another big thing for our family, and something I hope is understood and respected even more when Charlie and Cooper are older, is that they know sometimes I’ll need quiet time to myself. There is nothing wrong with leaving your kids to (safely) entertain themselves while you take a quick moment to drink a hot cup of tea, or scroll on your phone. I usually sit in my cosy little corner, and if I’m interrupted I’ll kindly remind the kids that I’m having some time to myself, and I’ll be back to being “Mum” in a few minutes. It shouldn’t be expected that we’re on demand at all times for our kids, much like I don’t expect my two littlies to want to hang out with me 24/7. Personal time and space is so healthy, and it needs to be respected.