Friday 17 August 2018

Taking Time for Yourself After Having Children

My children are now almost six and four and whilst they are no longer babies, I've felt like I've gotten myself into a rut. As soon as C was born almost six years ago, gone were the days where I could do what I liked, whenever I liked. All of my time and effort went into looking after him, making sure he was happy and entertained and my needs always came second. When E was born two years later, my workload was doubled and finding time for myself got very difficult - not that I'm complaining, being a mother is wonderful!

With the children becoming older and more independent, I've found that I do have a little extra "me time" and I've already started doing some things just for me to help keep my sanity and keep my mental health in check. Here are a few things that I am either currently doing or plan on doing when my darling daughter starts nursery next month and I've got a little extra time!

1. Self Care Sunday
This is something that I make sure I do every week. Things can get really busy throughout the week and I always feel like I'm spinning plates. Taking a little time at the end of the week after the children are in bed is so important to me. Usually my Self Care Sunday's consist of a long bath (LUSH bath bomb optional) with a candle, glass of wine and an episode of whatever show I'm currently binge watching on Netflix. It's a great way to wind down and prepare yourself for the week ahead. 

2. Cleaning
This might sound like a bit of a weird one to put under "taking time for yourself" but trust me! There is nothing I hate more than sitting in a messy and untidy house, it exacerbates my anxiety and I'm very much a believer of "tidy house, tidy mind". After a day indoors with the kids, my home will look like a bomb has hit it but I will never go to bed leaving it like that as I just don't feel like my mind will be relaxed. I feel a real sense of accomplishment seeing something go from dirty to sparkling.

3. Diet & Exercise
After having my second child, I put on a lot of weight and I am still carrying it now, four years later. We are eating the same things all of the time so I want to try and zhuzh up our diet and branch out, trying new meal plans and ensuring that we are all definitely getting our five a day because, admittedly, I don't feel like I am. Getting more regular exercise is top of my list for when both children are at school/nursery because I'll have that block of time to go to the gym or a run, clearing my mind and knowing that I am helping my body at the same time.

4. Teeth
This is a bad thing to admit but I shamefully haven't been to the dentist since I was pregnant with my first child. I had braces for a few years as a teen and since I got those off I've loved how straight they are and have always taken care of them. Obviously pregnancy takes its toll on your teeth and I am a little worried about having them checked over again as it's been so long. I am definitely going to make a point of booking in to somewhere like Docklands Dental and having regular checkups. Although I've been brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, they aren't really to the standard that I want them to be so I'll be looking into getting them whitened too.

5. Having my hair done
I don't know if this is just me or a regular mum thing, but I am so bad at keeping my hair in check. It's recommended that you get your hair cut every six weeks but I think I go about 12-18 months without so much as a trim because it's so hard to find the time when you have young children. One thing that I plan on doing when E is at nursery is having a reminder on my calendar to book in to the hairdressers regularly because when I've had a cut and blow dry I feel so much better!

6. Reading
In this digital age I do everything on my phone. Blogging, browsing and uploading to social media, making lists, filling in my calendar - everything is on a screen! I've now started making sure that I put my phone away at least an hour before I go to sleep and switching it for a good book. I used to read a lot before children and all that somehow fell by the wayside. Since I've started up again, it's become obsessive, I cannot wait to see how plots turn out and it's made me get a better sleep because I don't have the blue light from a screen in my face last thing at night.

Do you have any other tips/ideas to add? I'd love to hear them!

This is a collaborative post.
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