Did you know that there are 1440 minutes in a day? I’d never really thought of it much before, until I realised I needed to start spending some time on myself. Just 10 of those 1440 minutes a day was all I really needed to take care of myself, but I used to feel guilty about taking that time out of ‘being a mum’. I’m not going to lie to you all; I seriously put self-care at the bottom of the priority list once Harris was born. Pre-baby I would eat fairly well, fake tan frequently, paint my nails every couple of days and de-fuzz all over every week. However, I became a very different person post-baby – a person with a lot less time who spent every waking moment attached to her baby, and when he slept I slept too (most people do tell you this is the best way to beat sleep deprivation though, don’t they?).
I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wasn’t feeding Harris – whole packets of biscuits became the norm at breakfast time; I stopped fake tanning pretty much altogether; my nails were always bare and I had legs like a gorilla. Not to mention the fact I would go days on end without washing my hair and, dare I mention, forgetting to brush my teeth on the odd occasion! For some reason I felt like since I was a mum I wasn’t allowed to take the time to be the way I was before.
When Harris was eight months old we moved back to be with our family who would be able to help us with childcare once I returned to work, and I was SO excited at the prospect of having time to be the old me again. I felt like I wasn’t Stacey anymore. I was just Harris’ mum, and I wanted to change that. We’ve been back home for over 6 months now, and I can honestly say I feel like myself again. Now I know that ten minutes doesn’t sound like much, but I also know some of you will be thinking how you don’t have ten seconds to spare never mind ten whole minutes, but self-care is so important for your mental wellbeing.
Here are just some of the things I spend MY ten minutes on:
utilise the jumperoo (aka “The Circle of Neglect”) for ten minutes to make and drink a nice hot cuppa, then do it! Don’t feel guilty about using the TV babysitter so you can pluck your eyebrows in peace; and definitely don’t feel bad about letting your little roam around the bathroom floor while you have a quick shower (providing you’ve moved all hazards out of reach, of course – Harris has been known to keep himself occupied with some sanitary towels and a hairbrush while I wash my hair). I don’t think the phrase “happy mum, happy baby” has ever rang more true. Look after yourself mama, and take ten, because you deserve it.
Stacey and Harris
I recently went for a massage with the wonderful Emma from EK Holistic Therapy in Edinburgh and as I lay there enjoying, relaxing and letting thoughts come and go, one thought in particular stayed with me afterwards. When do we make time for our inner self? As I lay there, my imperfections and worries slowly began not to matter anymore. I really took the time for me, to rebalance, fully relax and be at peace with myself. I've never felt so calm and content, truly in a deep sense of relaxation.
'you can't pour from an empty glass - put yourself first'
I always take care of my skin, hair and nails but never my weight or my inner self. I shovel chocolate and toast down my throat with copious amount of tea and coffee. I know we all do it, it's quick and simple. As a mother it's always so easy to forget that we need to function properly too. I never tend to my inner self as much as I should. Mentally, physically or emotionally. I shut things down and push them aside, But you see my body, just like yours, holds onto all that stress & pain.
When you get that chance, go and book something that's for you, take that long walk, read a nice book with the candles on and completely shut off, relax, put some music on and focus on you and your breathing, nothing else! Take up that class you've always thought about, or even make small changes to your diet that will improve how you're feeling. Don't feel guilty and definitely don't make excuses - just do it and see how you feel afterwards.
Remember YOU'RE worth it, YOU'RE amazing and YOU'RE going to do it for YOU!
Before I became a Mama, I loved nothing more than planning a bit of 'me time'. This could take many guises, from a trip to London for the weekend to see my besties, to getting my nails done regularly or just curling up on the sofa with a sweet treat and watching countless episodes of Downton; sheer self-indulgent bliss.
I'm really lucky in that my husband is an absolute treasure of a man and knows that if I don't have a bit of time to myself I'll start to go a little bit barmy. Looking after a one year old and being six months pregnant do seem to lend themselves to feeling pretty tired by 4pm and, come Thursday, my brain is a bit fuggy. I find myself sitting at the kitchen table unable to make simple decisions about bathroom cabinet choices, and I think we both know that I need a few hours off.
The hunksband doesn't work on Friday afternoons so this has always been a golden time for me. I take a nap, get my nails done, attend a beginner's adult ballet class ... and just veg out. Recently, I've started tutoring an A-Level English student in this time (I was an English teacher for a decade, pre-motherhood) and this gives me a chance to engage the brain and do a bit of work. I also try and use this time to work on my blog and my other freelance commitments, plus plan a really unhealthy Friday night dinner. Afterwards, I always feel great. Tired, obviously, but much more like 'me' and ready to tackle the next day.
are too proud to admit when they’re feeling knackered/stressed/lonely/frustrated and I really don’t think it’s healthy. So, rather than allow yourself (or others) to lead you into thinking that a bit of time out is a failing, I say go and indulge in it. You’ll be so much better at being ‘in the moment’ afterwards.
I am super religious about my nightly routine however more recently i have tried to enforce a morning routine as well. My nighttime routine helps me unwind and relax, and my morning routine helps set my mood for the entire day. I don’t consider myself a morning person, which really only makes my morning routine all the more crucial. In recent months I’ve loved putting a routine into place giving me a feeling of calm. I also like to feel like I’m ahead of the day so that annoyances and irritations don’t get to me like they would if I wasn’t feeling grounded. Here’s my routine broken down:
I have two kids, four and two years old, and they wake up very early. So the night before, I prepare breakfast smoothies - banana, non-dairy milk, oats, linseed & peanut butter. This way I know they are both getting a healthy breakfast even if we wake up late. Olivia's school bag is packed and I organise clothes for the day.
morning, so I choose to ignore my phone for at least an hour or two. And the longer I stay off social media in general, the better my days are. In fact, I’m hoping to try a digital detox!
This comes later in my morning usually whilst Sofiya has her fruit snack. I love reading a few pages of inspiring books every morning. If you follow me on Instagram, you can watch my Instagram story every morning and read along with me. I am thinking of sharing snippets of the most inspiring parts of what I read. Right now my favourite is “Who says you can’t you do” by Daniel George.
My other favorite read in the morning is The Blogosphere Magazine It’s a really unique magazine printed on high-quality and the most beautiful photography and inspirational interviews from the Blogosphere. It’s a publication written by Bloggers for Bloggers and a great way to discover new talent.
incredibly proud mama but I soon became overwhelmed. This workbook really helped find myself!
I genuinely believe morning worksheets are an incredibly powerful way to bring your intentions and desires into your life experiences when you're otherwise preoccupied.
And that’s my morning self-care routine! It takes less than an hour, and most days I do have interruptions because my girls will require attention but it still recharges me and really helps set the tone for my day.
House of Blossom
There is nothing quite like having kids to take away all of your free time. All of a sudden you are no longer a priority and the prospect of having even a moment to yourself can seem like a long lost memory. Hell, you cant even go to the bathroom on your own! When Sonny was born my biggest struggle was the fact that I didn’t get a moment to myself. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Thankfully my partner made me put in two hours a week where he had Sonny, and I did whatever I liked on my own, to recharge my batteries and bring back my sanity. I know two hours doesn’t seem like the greatest amount of time but its all I could spare and was just enough to make me feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
I LOVE a good pamper session and personally that is my ideal way of relaxing. There is nothing quite like soaking, scrubbing, preening and polishing to make me feel brand new. Whatever your way of using your ‘Me’ time is, I have put together my top tips to make it count and truly rejuvenating.
If like me you love a bath and some pamper time head over to the Beauty and Pamper section of the mamaME Store as there are plenty of fabulous treats for Mums.
Just Another Mum Blogger