For those of you who have had a chance to read my new novel MOTHERLOAD I’m loving all the reviews you are sending through! Thank you!!! I’m also enjoying this new MOTHERLOAD blog I’ve started to support mums lightening the load. So here’s the second instalment. Also, here’s the link to my first MOTHERLOAD blog… ‘ESCAPE THE MOTHERLOAD.’
Grab a cuppa, put your feet up, and read on mums – go on, you’re worth it.
Once we have babies one of the things we quickly realise is that children thrive on rituals and routine to function well and be happy. We also realise that we have to go with the flow a little with this routine stuff and be flexible and adjust it as our children grow and so do their needs. But what about your needs? Yes, you mums! You, the mother who carries the burden of managing those needs of your kids and family 24/7, 365 days a year. Whilst we are not ‘on’ 24/7, there are some days it feels that way, so it’s important to build in breaks just for you, to be just with you.
Do you create regular rituals for your own time out, me time, down time or free time? Or do you claim your time out in a sort of, “Leave me alone for 5 minutes please (and maybe a few expletives in here)!!!” fashion?
No matter what your load – working, full time or part time, working from home, stay at home mother; kids will basically demand, cherish and soak up your attention as long as you are willing to give it. And while it’s an amazing feeling being all loved up with your babes, every single one of us needs space to breathe and be at one with ourselves. It’s healthy for you and it’s healthy for your family. But the only person that can create this space in your motherload schedule is you.
So mums, moms, and mothers worldwide, here’s my guide to MOTHERLOAD ME TIME.
- Write it Out
As women we have this never ending exhausting tendency to over think, over analyse, over communicate and basically over do a lot of stuff! When we do this, we create tension in our body as well as our mind and it can filter out to tension in our relationships with our immediate family, extended family, co-workers and friendship groups. One of the best things a mother can do is give herself time to be with herself, be with her own thoughts, and be with her own wisdom. The simple act of ‘when in doubt, write it out’ is incredibly cathartic and doesn’t cost you anything but some small change for a piece of paper and a pen and a little of your time. Creating the space to write out your worries, process your thoughts with a poised pen and simply give yourself the space to regurgitate any stress that is sitting on the never ending winding mind of yours is invaluable. Create a regular ritual with yourself where you write out your thoughts and let go of the mind overload and you will be well on your way to lightening the motherload.
- Me Time Ritual
Just for a moment take your mind back to what life was like pre children. Yeah… if only you could get that time back again and use it a little differently huh… knowing what you know now about the lack of time that motherhood brings with it. Think back to the rituals you indulged in. Anything from pampering yourself with facials or massages, long leisurely walks on the beach, reading a book all day in bed or by the fire… without being interrupted… you get the drift. You can create your own rituals as a mother too, where it’s time just for you. Sure, it might take you and your family a little getting used to but it’s well worth the investment in yourself by creating new habits to simply be with yourself. And let’s face it, your family are so much better for it, if you come back to them after your me time, refreshed and with a fresh perspective on life.
- Morning Zone
With two kids born just a year apart, I literally felt like I was living in the Twilight Zone or something like that for a few, sleep deprived years, of early motherhood. Thank God I meditated because it was those extra few minutes of mindful quiet breathing each day that helped me get through some days. It wasn’t until my kids were a little older that I realised I spent every day basically waking up and just being ‘on’ for my kids. Whether it was breastfeeding on waking, changing nappies, feeding hungry bellies, creatively coming up with ways to occupy bored busy little bodies, I realised I was always giving out rather than giving in… to me. These days with my kids 12 and 11, I regularly give myself time in bed with the door closed to just be with me. Sometimes I meditate, sometimes I do yoga, sometimes I read, sometimes I sip on a cuppa, sometimes I gaze out at my garden and sometimes I just lie there in my bed because I can!!! You see, the second I get up my kids want, need and basically enjoy me sharing my motherhood with them each morning. And I love this, but I love it more when I give to myself first. Because the second I walk out of that bedroom door, it’s move into the next morning zone of getting the school lunches ready, making sure my kids have everything they need for the school day etc., and then it’s straight into my work day once they’re out the door for school. So basically, that ‘morning zone’ time is vital to give to me before I give to anyone else. Whatever is ‘your way’ to give yourself a little healthy space in your morning routine, I urge you to turn that alarm clock on a little earlier to create the space for you to be with you. Go on, you’re worth it.