When you become a parent your entire life changes as do all your priorities. Pre-baby you would work hard all week and then get to chill out in the evenings. You would get to the weekend and recuperate ready for the following week by spending those two days however you wished; maybe lying in bed, going to the pub or having a leisurely afternoon walk. Once your baby comes along the days roll into each other, the night time means being up for feeds/illnesses/colic/teething etc. and the weekends are just the same routine as the week. You may come to accept that your old life is behind you and that your life from now on is non-stop and that you must always put your needs last. But burning yourself out both mentally and physically is not good for any of you and scheduling some ‘you’ time in is crucial.
To be the best for your family you need to be at your best!
Whether you choose to have a girly day, a shopping spree, a spa day, a weekend away or book in some exercise classes all of these will help you to remember that you are indeed still a human and you need to have time off and fun too.
I was a terrible example of somebody who refused to put myself first and I just assumed that now I was a Mum I should take a back seat at all times. I remember taking a close look at my face one day, after I don’t know how long, and I was shocked that I had completely neglected to notice how bad my eyebrows had become, honestly it was like they had a life of their own! something I would never have let happen before having Jake. It came to the point where I needed to be forced to take a break and let someone else take over for a bit. I thought it may seem as though I wasn’t coping or wasn’t strong, but in fact, it was exactly what I needed. By letting somebody babysit for a couple of hours just whilst I got my hair done was definitely needed, but at the same time, I couldn’t stop checking my phone!
For the first year family members kept insisting I take time out for me but I just would not listen and of course it got to the point where I felt burnt out and exhausted. My hubby booked tickets for a West End show in January 2015 and I had no choice but to go away overnight for the very first time – Jake was 13 months by this point. I am very lucky that I am extremely close to my sister and that she has a fab bond with my son, so I can feel very happy leaving him. It was a great night out but by the morning I was desperate to get home and hold my baby. He was of course perfectly fine, there had been no issues and he wasn’t too bothered when we came back!
Since then I have actively tried to fit in ‘me’ time just so I can be at my best for him. I have joined exercise classes to help with my fitness and well being, I have been on a spa day, had a girly day with my sister and had a few more nights away with my hubby.
We are so lucky to have family around us who can babysit and look after our pets, and we are also lucky that Jake is happy to be left with them. It has been very hard for me to adjust to putting myself first again at times, but I am slowly getting there and after my last weekend away I actually found myself, for the first time, wanting to stay away longer. Not because I wanted to be away from Jake, but because my body needed the rest, I needed the sleep and myself and hubby needed to remember that we are still a married couple and not just ships who pass through the house each night!! As a family we work better when we are all at our best.
So this month why not make a day just for you… call your friends, go for drinks, spend some money on you for a change and go have some fun.
A happy child comes from happy parents.
Ten Year Anniversary Trip to Wales: