It seems that recently a lot of my life has been about trying to be a bit more selfish. In the wake of my PND I’ve realised that actually, there’s not a lot I do for myself, ALONE, and before last week I had not been on my own without children since last November. I’m lucky to have both grannies willing to babysit but they would usually take either Elfie and Hux and I’d have quality time with whoever was with me.
Now, I think that connecting with your child on a one-to-one basis is very important and it’s something I really enjoy, but connecting to yourself is equally as important. Mama needs time to just sit and be quiet sometimes, to just be without the responsibility of being soley in charge of children. And if you think this is a little self-indulgent sometimes (I definitely used to), just leave your kids with a childless person for a couple of hours and see how much they’re pulling their hair out by the time you get back.
I realised recently is that I’m not the only one in my group of friends who craves alone time. The lovely Molly Forbes wrote about searching for the elusive me time this week and a mum friend and I have vowed to make time to get together every couple of weeks sans kids to chat over dinner and glass of wine. I’ve been thinking long and hard about easy changes I can make to my routine to make sure I make the most of time I have alone… but there’s always time for more relaxation! How do you make the most of your ‘me time’?
Don’t Do Housework
Snooze, yawn etc, but I am the sort of person who can’t relax in a messy house. I think it often borders on obsessive as I really find it hard to leave the house and start my day when the house is messy, so I’m trying to stay on top of this as much as possible (I did first try letting go a little bit, but nah, didn’t work). When I get rid of the kids for a couple of hours I don’t want to spend my time hoovering so I am trying to get this done with the children in the house. Lucky for me Elfie thinks cleaning is some sort of fun game (I know…) so we seem to be managing it and when I relax it’s in a lovely clean and tidy home.
Turn Off The TV
I’m one of those people who likes background noise accompanying them through every part of their life. I always seem to have the TV on in the background when I’m working and the radio when I’m cooking. I’m trying to turn these off when the kids or sleeping and I’m alone and just enjoy the silence. This still feels quite odd to me though, and I need to learn how to enjoy it more.
Paint My Nails
A ridiculous one but nails make me feel so much more together, even when I look like hell. I used to paint my nails last thing at night but after an unfortunate incident involving a white duvet cover and a bottle of OPI I might have to re-evaluate this method of relaxation.
I find it quite hard to relax when I go to bed at night, I’m often winding down for a good couple of hours and can find myself lying in bed at 1am thinking about work, or kids, or fitting work in around kids. When I had teenage insomnia I used to listen to audiobooks before I went to bed and it really helped me drift off; I’ve recently joined AudioGo, an BBC audiobook download service, and it really helps me turn my brain off. Michael Palin and vintage Archers are current favourites.
Bath, DIY facial, moisturise, bed. It’s my favourite thing to do in the evenings…. feels divine! I can never have enough evening time baths and they really do make me feel so lovely and relaxed, and I’ve started researching products I can specifically use to make this time even more special.
Look at that top picture: I’m wearing makeup! In a restaurant! I went out with my mum for a meal at one of my favourite restaurants (The Black Horse in Woburn) and it was wonderful to be in a public place with other grown-ups for a while. You don’t have to be out with your husband, in fact it’s nice to remember who you are as an individual, I think.