If you’re reading this, chances are you too have entered the existential crisis that is motherhood. It can be easy to get so swept up in the haze of caring for your small human that you don’t manage to take proper care of yourself.
Hours on end of CBeebies combined with sleepless nights and no time to even try and remember what your hobbies once were – let alone attempting to do something that makes you happy, can leave you feeling pretty detached from the person you used to be.
Motherhood can be quite isolating, I’m a slave to my son’s naps and mealtimes (if it doesn’t happen at certain time, it just doesn’t happen) so if I want to meet up with anyone, I have a very strict window in which to conduct my social life. I sometimes feel selfish that I’m even bothered about seeing friends, but spending an hour talking about how tired I am and which children’s television presenters might be gay is just enough grown up company to keep me sane for a few more days.
There are a few things that make me feel completely refreshed and ready to face the world again and I figured you might need a reminder too:
Take a Really Good Bath
I don’t mean a luke-warm, half-full 15 minute dip. I mean a boiling hot, hour-long soak complete with bubbly stuff, luxurious smelling things, music and/or a book. Go to Lush, swing by Boots, at a push buy some Radox from the Spar at the end of the street. Do whatever it takes to make your bath slightly better than it usually is. Definitely use a face mask and a leave in conditioner for your hair. Ensure you are not interrupted, make it clear to everyone in the house that you are not to be disturbed unless there is a fire or an equivalent emergency. You will be amazed what an hour completely dedicated to caring for yourself can do for your frame of mind. I’m a firm believer that a good bath can solve a lot of problems.
Listen to the Music You Like
When did you last listen to something that wasn’t dictated by one of your children? My car stereo was broken for about a year and the car was really the only time I could listen to what I wanted. I didn’t realise how much this bothered me until I got a new stereo and was able to be a car DJ again. Music is such a personal thing, no two people will have the exact same taste. Myself and Accidental Hipster Dad have very close tastes but even then we have some very differing opinions. Dig out the CDs of your youth, or at least make a playlist on Spotify, 30 minutes of music chosen by you will make you feel all warm inside (and probably nostalgic, if you’re old like me).
Reading when you’re a parent is the ultimate luxury. If you’re exhausted, you might lack the concentration (or the time) to do it very often but becoming fully immersed in a story can act like a form of meditation. Choosing the right book is important, my mum has banned me from reading anything that’s described as a ‘heartbreaking memoir’ because I become too invested and Rob doesn’t like me reading Bret Easton Ellis if I’m already stressed because it amps up the grumps, but the right book can be a real escape.
Go For a Massive Walk
Normally I wouldn’t advocate exercise because I absolutely hate it, it makes my face red and my hair bad, but going for a walk can make a nice change. If you have a child who is of an age where you can strap them into a buggy/pram, I suggest waiting until they would normally nap and make the walk coincide with that. That way you won’t have your little one complaining at you and trying to climb out of the buggy when you’re trying to enjoy some fresh air. Walking for an hour can give you exercise endorphins (the ones you can’t imagine actually exist) and make you feel energised. Exercise is known to lift your mood, so give it a try – walking is a great place to start! If your baby sleeps during the walk you can even listen to your music too (two birds, one stone!).
This list contains the first things I do when I feel I’ve been swallowed up by mumming. There’s many more but I feel these are the most universal ingredients to get you back to feeling like your old self. Do you have any suggestions?
What do you do to make yourself feel better? I’d love to find out in the comments!