Mothers. What is our problem?
Why is it mothers take on so much and leave so little time for ourselves? I’m writing this standing at the kitchen counter whilst stuffing down a sandwich and working my way through a big to-do list. I’m attempting to sort out childcare and any activities I need to book for the Easter holidays. I’m also firing off emails to work and contacting venues, entertainers and friends to try and arrange my six-year-old’s birthday in June.
Last on the list – my own 40th birthday in a few weeks, which I am failing to organise big-time because it all seems like too much hassle and I’ll probably be too tired to go anyway.
Any of this sound familiar?
Shameless nanny plug alert!
I love my children dearly – but sometimes I miss my nanny. Being a working mum is tough. When I commuted three days a week, she was the glue that held our busy lives together. She arrived before we left for work, helped get the children ready, dropped my eldest at school and picked him up. When I got home, they were fed and watered and I could enjoy stories and bedtime. I got to focus on my job – they got to play at home and still socialise with friends at baby groups and play dates. And it cost less than paying for two children to go to nursery, school clubs or a childminder.
Now my children are older I freelance from home and that has many positives too. But I really miss having that extra support, especially during school holidays, or when things are crazy at work or the kids are ill. Or just having double the woman-power in house in the daily fight against chaos. We were a team and she had my back. She helped around the house, got the toddler to put his socks on in the morning and PUT AWAY THE WASHING (sob!).
Don’t get me wrong, I have a brilliant, supportive partner and family. But we both work and I’m at home and with the children more, so the daily responsibilities of family life tend to sit with me. It can be exhausting and all-consuming and easy to feel like you have no energy or head-space for anything else. But I realised a year or so ago that it wasn’t doing me – or any of us – any good to have no time for myself.
I needed more than work, family and Netflix. So over the last year or so I’ve attempted to break out of the work-family bubble and re-discover the things I love to do.
Here’s what I’ve learned
- It’s OK to make time for you. Guilt is your enemy. Squish it.
- People will help if you ask. If you don’t have family support nearby, maybe ask a friend. Perhaps they’re in the same boat and you can help each other out?
- It’s good for all the family. I honestly believe that having a little time to myself to pursue my own interests makes me a better parent. I’m not perfect (who is?!) but I am a happier, calmer parent when I’ve made time to focus on myself and things I enjoy.
- It gives you back your confidence. Motherhood is a wonderful thing but learning to care for a tiny human takes huge amounts of time and energy. Doing something that inspires or challenges you (other than negotiating with colleagues or toddlers) is a good reminder that you’re a clever, creative, capable human and can be really therapeutic in combatting stress.
- Everyone will be fine if you let go. You may mother like the boss, but you’re probably not the only human in your children’s lives who’s capable of keeping them alive for a couple of hours. Learn to let go a little bit. A few hours with Daddy or Grandma will make time for you and they’ll all love it too.
Mother’s Day #MumMeChallenge.
In case you hadn’t noticed Sunday is a day for mums everywhere to be pampered and cherished and so they should be. But lets be honest, the breakfast-in-bed and presents are great, but you deserve more than 1 day a year focussed on you.
We are mothers every day and its wonderful-crazy-hard. Why not take the Happy Nest #MumMeChallenge and commit to doing something every day, week or month just for you.
What would you do with a few hours to yourself?
What have you always wanted to learn but didn’t think you had the time? Is there something you used to enjoy, but gave-up because you were too busy or too tired?
Painting? Learning a language? Joining a choir? Taking up boxing? It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as its something you enjoy and it isn’t about work or family.
And if you’re already doing it – great! Please share your ideas and experiences to inspire other mothers to do the same.
Use your time in bed this Mother’s Day morning wisely.
Take the #MumMeChallenge. Find the thing you want to do near you and don’t just look at it, BOOK IT! You won’t regret it.
Contact Happy Nest Nanny Agency if you would like to find out about a childcare, or maternity care solution that will fit around your family’s needs.
London & the South East: 01702 919 999
Leeds & the North East: 0113 347 0335
Cheshire & the North West: 01244 292 528