I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been feeling a little warn out lately – I’m running around after the boys, working again and caring for a new baby who has about as much respect for night sleep as I do for UKIP. Anyway, I’m pretty knackered and I have been brainstorming a handful of things that can really help to bring your sense of self esteem back up if you are a busy mama and can just give you a bit of a much needed pamper.
- Take 5 minutes and paint your nails.
Ok, I know you are probably thinking ‘How ridiculous!’ but it’s not! I used to paint my nails all the time, even if I only had them clear or french manicured, I would take the time to paint them. Then I had kids and the idea of painting my nails every couple of nights was laughable. So I stopped. I am going to start treating myself to painting my nails again, but this time I’m going to be using gel nail polish – it lasts longer and gives a more even coat, not to mention that it helps strengthen your own nails, helping them to grow. Since this lasts so well I will be making a 5-10 minute slot on a set day once a week to paint my nails.
- Buy some nice bubble bath and have a really hot bath. ALONE.
I can honestly say every night I try to have a nice hot bath, I miss them so! But, it never happens, maybe once every other week if I’m lucky. If it’s not someone jumping in the bath first, it’s the boys climbing in with me, or Edith wanting a feed. Hello cold tap, I’m about to turn you on and freeze my tush off! I hate warm baths. 90% of the time I don’t even bother to get in the bath and I opt for a quick shower. Once a week light some candles, pour some nice bubble bath into the bath and relax – even if it’s the middle of the day or 10pm at night. It will help to lift your spirits!
- Take time to go for a coffee
I miss this sometimes. When you have older children, going for a coffee is like trying to negotiate a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine – it ain’t going to be pleasant and you are going to feel less relaxed coming out than you did going in. Unless its at a play centre, in which case you will be better, but still find your coffee chat punctuated with ‘Mummy so and so hit me’, ‘Mummy I want…’, ‘Mummy!! I needed you!’. Why not leave the kids with Dad or a family member and enjoy some quiet time with friends for a coffee. If your baby is too young (like Edith) to leave for any length of time then don’t, take the baby with you. It will still be relaxing to make time for you.
- Make a date night happen
I hate it when people say, ‘We’ve got a baby (or children) we can’t do date night’. Yes you can and you should. It’s important to have chance to get dressed up, feel special and enjoy yourself. Even if it means putting the kids to bed, the baby in a bouncer and getting the table ready for a take away. It doesn’t matter, date nights don’t have to be about going out (though that is ideal if you can) but they do need to happen to help you feel some kind of connection and relaxation with your partner. It can make you feel like woman again instead of a milk machine if you just have that time to put some lippy on and talk without the interruption of little voices!
- Do something you really love. No that YOU really love.
It can be anything, a crossword, reading a book, playing computer games – whatever. The point is, make time to do it, just half an hour a week would make a huge difference. For me, I love to read, I love to watch The Walking Dead (on my own, without ANYONE around) and I like to sit and re-arrange my charm bead collection – looking at the beads reminds me of all the happy memories I’ve had when I’ve been given or bought them.
So those a a few of the things that I think really lift you when you have had a baby or have toddler… or I suppose children at all. Busy mamas don’t have to be unhappy or miss out on whatever makes them feel special – it’s about time management and asking for help. No, you won’t get to do them daily, maybe not even weekly but do try really hard to do something for you to help keep you out of the rut.