After having children, it can sometimes feel that you don’t have time for yourself anymore. You’re cleaning up after children, helping with homework, running a house, possibly working outside of the home, doing the food shop, the school run, driving them to their classes. The list is endless. Your energy seems to go into everything other than yourself. You do all you can for your children, you perform at work, you try to stay on top of the house and the little energy and time you have left is saved for your husband. The limited time you leave for yourself is usually just so that you can sleep at the end of the day and even then that’s not enough.
It’s so important to make time for yourself. How many of us try to be the best mother, the best wife, the best at our job, the best friend, sister and so on? How often do we stop and be the best for ourselves? We are usually the bottom of a never ending list and I never quite get to tick of that to-do reserved for myself. It’s so important that we show up for ourselves and not once in a while but all the time.
You made time to schedule in cooking this week right? The school run? The extra curricular classes that your children attend? Work? Housework? Then we can make time for ourselves too. The one thing that all of these have in common is that we believe they are important. That they need to be done and there is no movement on them. They are set in stone in our calendar. Therefore, if all we need to do in order to make time for ourselves is believe that we are important or just add ourselves to a calendar then we might actually find that little bit of time needed to be ourselves again.
Some of the smallest changes can make a world of difference to how you feel day in, day out. What are some of the ways to make you feel like you again after having children?
Buy Some New Clothes
This was a saving grace for me. I had spent years in clothes that I didn’t love or feel comfortable in and therefore I found that I lacked confidence. How do I show up to work and be my best when I didn’t feel my best or at least even comfortable. It even felt as though my comfy pyjamas had had their day. My husband and I spent all of our money on buying clothes for the kids and would only realise how much we hadn’t spent on ourselves when we were in desperate need of a wardrobe change. Going shopping and buying new clothes that fit and suited my post pregnancy figure has me feeling incredible. It has shifted how I feel about myself and how I believe others see me too.
Learn Something New
While on maternity leave with my second, I felt the need to learn something for myself. I wanted some new information. When I had my first, it was all new and exciting. Everything was a first and I was learning something new everyday. By the time I had my second, it was less shiny. Weaning was weaning and I wasn’t excited by the new concoctions I could make up. The developmental leaps were exciting but I’ll admit, I was less excited by them the second time around. I needed something on top of learning about my son. I’d heard of a great book on a podcast and ordered it. I started reading non fiction which was never something I had found an interest in before but I was absorbing information which was just what I needed.
Listen to Podcasts
My husband would talk to me about podcasts but I never fully understood what was so great about them until I searched for a few topics! I couldn’t believe the amount of topics that people had created podcasts on! It was my new favourite thing. I could listen to people who inspired me, provide advice or just seem like another parent or friend who talked about everything I was interested to hear about. If you are on maternity leave or a stay at home Mum, I’d strongly recommend podcasts. Listen while you’re cooking, cleaning or on the school run. It can help to take away that sense of loneliness or just give you something to add to conversations with people when you don’t want to talk about the latest Mum hack that you’ve discovered.
Do whatever it is that you like to do to make yourself feel pampered. Get your hair done, nails done, have that wax you’ve been dreading, have a massage. Take the time and book that appointment. Looking at nice nails, or a fresh haircut every day can make you feel so much better about yourself.
Make Time for your Hobbies
Hobbies can give you the escapism that you need at times when life becomes a little hectic. Your hobbies will particularly give you that little bit of you time that you need. If you don’t have any hobbies, look for some local classes, search online and try something new. Take the plunge to see if you would enjoy it, if you don’t, move onto the next and you never know, you might make some new friends along the way.
Make Time for your Friends
Meeting up with friends without the kids is a great way to have a breather. It doesn’t matter if it’s for breakfast, a night out, or perhaps there’s a class you take together. Make time for friends on a regular basis.
My husband and I take it turns to plan our monthly date night. We go to places that we can’t go with the kids, focus on the two of us and have fun. We get dressed up and date night is something I look forward to each month. On months when we can’t get childcare on a day that suits, we have date night at home and still have fun. Kids in bed, a meal, wine and good conversation.
Always make the time to be yourself. It’s so important to show up for yourself on a regular basis. It helps with our emotional well-being and creates an opportunity for growth. If you’re the best version of yourself, you can be a better mother, wife, colleague, friend or sister. If you’re ahead of the game, not yet a parent, or have recently become a parent, see my post on how to ensure you keep hold of that person you were before having kids.
Is there anything you do on a regular basis to feel more like yourself? Let me know in the comments.