A mum’s guide to having some ‘me’ time

A mum's guide to having some me time header
A mum’s guide to having some ‘me’ time
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Mums… (and dads, I’m looking at you too) Please go and make yourself a cuppa, find a comfy seat, and try to take in what I’m about to say to you without getting distracted by the millions of other things you’ve got going on. I promise I will only take a few moments of your time.

There comes a time when you may start to feel the walls caving in from the overwhelming pressures of daily multitasking, whether that may be looking after the kids, managing the housework, juggling your work duties and keeping your partner happy. So, I would like you to stop what you’re doing right now, yes, right now and repeat after me:

“I am scheduling some me time!”

Take it from me because if you don’t, there is a danger that you will burn out and then you’ll be no use to anyone, including your children. This is what happened to me, twice in one year, which is not a long period of time at all. I am a mum of two boys under five, whom I look after full-time, with no nanny or au pair to help me. I also have a growing business and no cleaner to take care of the housework. So, I have to manage the house, the website, the kids (including the school and nursery run) and feed the family around the clock, which means cooking three to four times a day. I barely get any time to breathe and, if I do, I don’t want to do anything else but sleep. The only problem is I can’t just switch off because I’ve been gung-ho the whole day that my brain needs quite a bit of time to wind down.

There was a time when the kids were even weer than they are now, where I had to work in the evenings after they had gone to bed. Sometimes, I’d work until 2 or 3 am, only to be woken up by the kids at around 7 am. I suffered from exhaustion twice in one year because of the sleep deprivation that I had accrued. I passed out on the couch for almost a week, with aching joints that I can only liken to flu symptoms. My body had quite literally shut down on me and being in this state had caused me to take a long, hard look at myself and my health and think about whether it was worth beating my body into the ground and not being fully functional for my kids so that I could succeed in business. So, when the kids started school and nursery, I had a few hours in the day to work on my business. I shut up shop in the evenings and decided that 7.30pm was my cut-off point, my wind-down time, regardless of what the activity was. So, now I’m pretty good at closing the door on the hustle and bustle of parenthood during the day – and all the chores it brings – and switching to wind down/zen mode with or without hubby in the vicinity.

So, if I’ve lost you at this point, I’d like you to read the next bit because here are my relaxing, yet fun night-in ideas that I assure you will lead to maximum rest and de-stress mode so that you can head to bed nice and early for a great 7-hour sleep. You’ll be ready to tackle the organised chaos waiting for you in the morning.

(Image courtesy of Marin from FreeDigitalPhotos.net) - motherhooddiaries.com
Image courtesy of Marin from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Watch a movie or enjoy a TV show with your partner

When I was working during the evenings, the one thing that I had indeed missed was curling up with hubby in front of the TV and watching meaningless films and TV shows. Now, we get to watch all the latest episodes together and have something to talk about before we head to bed. We are in a far more relaxed state than when I was worrying about deadlines and shushing hubby when I was trying to concentrate on work… I cringe at the way I was with him… I can’t believe he stayed and kept quiet, to be honest…

Groom, detox and pamper

We mums are not good at one thing – pampering ourselves! I know it’s because we have to look after and spoil our little ones, but if we’re not happy, they’re not happy, right? If the kids are in bed then why can’t we offer ourselves the same treatment? Whether that means an extended facial skincare regime (my favourite grooming activity right now – Jeunesse Global stock skincare products that you could check out) and enjoying a glass of bubbly as you put your feet up, just do the things that make you feel good. If you don’t want to drink alcohol, then prepare yourself some awesome bug busting, vitamin enriching smoothies. So, not only will your skin look pristine from the pampering, but your insides will get a great detox too. Win-win!

Lose yourself in online games

I am hooked on Yahtzee with buddies right now and I blame my newfound love for bingo on a fun bingo night out with the other mums at my son’s school. So, now I love playing bingo online! There are loads of new sites like Sun Bingo where they offer cash incentives, but you can also just play for fun. Google ‘Yahtzee with Buddies” and ‘Best online bingo sites” and you’ll see what I mean about how addictive they can be. You can take advantage of some festive casino promotions and play your favourite casino slot games or mobile casino games with free bonus money. I play maybe an hour or so after the boys have gone to bed to wind down and then I go on to something a bit more interactive with hubby.

Order a food takeaway and have a feast

This can be an expensive way to wind down, but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to feast on some gourmet food that you didn’t have to make in the kitchen. I love curling up under the blanket with hubby on a cold, winter’s night and stuffing myself with comfort food while watching our favourite shows. I’m so relaxed and happy that I forget about my to-do list and concentrate on the here and now.

Invite your best friends over and vent

Sometimes, as much as hubby offers me so much love and attention, there are things that I need that hubby can’t give me – girl time! I just love having a good ol’ chatter about nothing in particular and gossip about this and that over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and some great food. Your friends can tap into feelings that you may be bottling up and help you work through them. Venting is healthy, it gets rid of the toxins and clears the cobwebs from your brain, even if it is to rant about how your child peed all over the toilet seat or how one mum was rude to you at school the other day. Whatever it is, let it out and then forget about it. Your poor partner can then get a night off from you burning his ear about your problems.

So, these are my ultimate failsafe ways of just switching off and winding down. Stress is a killer, and the more you release that deadly cortisol chemical in your body, the more likely you will fall ill and not be able to function properly. My number one aim, apart from looking after my kids and hubby, of course, is to make sure I keep stress in the household to a minimum. In fact, my children are better behaved – funny, how they feed off our vibes without us even knowing. And, the less stressed they are, the healthier they become, right?

If you have any proven ways to de-stress and relax, then please share in the comments below. I’d love to learn some new techniques for relaxing and being calm all-round.

Thanks for reading, you can go back to your busy schedule now!

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Leyla Preston (599 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/