Sometimes I use this time quite productively. Cleaning the house, washing, taking the dogs for a walk. Other times, so exhausted from my busy life, I nap. Yes, I drop the kids off at school and Kinder, I come back home and I climb back into bed for an hour or two. Crazy huh?
To think I used to be ‘bored.’ When now, peeing alone seems like a distant memory. I usually use the powder room toilet because it has a lock on it. But it seems almost instant before the kids are attempting to smash through the door, little fingers are appearing under gap and dogs are sniffing and snorting on the other side. I open the door to two kids, two dogs and sometimes a husband all staring at me like I’ve been lost at sea for years. Oh to be bored once more.
When raising children, you give up so much of yourself. Your life is no longer yours. Your life now belongs to these little beings, tiny little humans who depend on you for absolutely everything. Going to the gym, doing your makeup, getting your hair and nails done, having a coffee or a brunch with a friend takes so much planning its like you’re planning a 6 month tour around Europe.
I have had to book in coffee dates with friends a month or more in advance, save the date in my calendar and set a reminder for myself the day before so I wouldn’t forget. Gone are the days when a quick text to catch up could mean coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks until 3 am without a second thought about school pick up, after-school activities or looking after screaming kids with the worlds worst hangover. Even drinks after work require careful planning, checking hubby’s roster, making sure he does pick up, organising dinner and packing lunches all come into the fray. Life is no longer simple.
FINDING WAYS TO DE-STRESS
Okay, so this sentence seems rather simple but in all honesty, it took me years to realise I needed to take time to myself to cope and to retain my sanity. It took nearly falling apart in order to realise that sometimes I just needed to put myself first.
So, do something for YOU. You give up so much time doing things for others, you totally neglect yourself. Here are some simple tips to de-stress:
Exercise: Whatever form it takes, do it. For me, I love the gym and have taken up running. I have always loved physical exercise and found that it is great for my mental health. After having children and the busy lifestyle that comes with it, I lost this passion. It was too hard, I was too tired or I just didn’t have the time. However, after a scare with my health, I was advised to do cardio exercise at least 3 times a week. I was forced to find time to do it and low and behold, I felt less stressed, felt accomplished and felt like I was doing something for ME.
Being forced to find the time made me realise that I deserved this time and most of all my kids would survive the hour I needed to exercise. For you, it might be taking the dogs for a walk, swimming, walks along the beach, yoga. Whatever form it takes – do it.
New mom? Join a Facebook group and find local walking groups or mothers exercise groups where you can bring bubs along. You’ll be surprised at how many places accommodate new moms.
Park run is also a great initiative and it is located all around Australia. Don’t be fooled by the name, you can also walk it and bring the kiddies along too.
Find something you like doing: For me, I have always loved writing. I started when I was 14 years old and always used it as a form of expression, to find the words when I didn’t know how to verbalise it or simply just to vent on paper. Again, after having children it’s a hobby I stopped. I just didn’t have the time and my brain was so scrambled I just couldn’t.
ecently I’ve started it up again and have re-discovered just how much I love to write. You might enjoy gardening, renovating, reading, arts and crafts. Whatever your passion, find time to do it. Give the kids a hobby or a chore and set aside an hour for yourself. You’ll be surprised just how good it feels to do something you love.
Be more like your husband: You know how they have boys days, pub trips, footy trips, nights away with mates without a glimmer of guilt or worry? Be more like that and do the same. Go for after work drinks with the girls, organise a dinner date childfree, go on a shopping trip or beach day with just your friends. Forget the kids. Hubby might
Do a girls weekend away: Whether you go to the city and stay in a fancy hotel and eat take away, chocolate and drink wine, have a big night on the town drinking and dancing like you’re 20 again or spend the day getting massages and facials at a day spa, enjoy it.
Take this time for yourself, guilt free and do not think about the chaos you’ll walk back into at home when you return. Try not and stress when you get the text message from hubby saying the kids skipped their bath tonight and are eating McDonald’s for dinner, they will survive.
The best gift you can give your kids is a revitalised, relaxed momma whose batteries are fully recharged, so dump the guilt and just do it.
Find time to just be: This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Walking away from the housework, the bickering and fighting and the chaos and taking a cuppa tea outside to sit in the sunshine is easier said than done. But I do it. I need it and I own it. Take a book, catch up on your Facebook news feed or just sit and bask in the sunshine.
Whatever it is just relax and breathe. Yes, I have locked the door on my kids and told them to go away and give mommy some time when they come scratching down the door (which they will I promise!). Does this make me a bad mother? Hell no, it makes me a mother aware that I need some me time sometimes and that is okay.
Staying sane whilst raising children is hard. I work in a high-pressure job yet after having children I can safely say that my job is a breeze compared to being at home raising my kids. But one “I love you mommy” or squishy cuddle (as we call them) from my munchkins makes it all worthwhile. After all, we need to make sure we have someone around to look after us when we’re old and wrinkly, god knows we probably won’t be able to do it on our own.