It's February and chances are you have had a crazy start to 2023! Now everyone is back to school, back to work and all the holiday celebrations are over, it's probably likely that you may be feeling burnt out. The idea of taking a nap while someone else cleans your house, cooks dinner for the family and does a load of washing probably sounds heavenly!
Post Covid, I’ve found so many mummas forgetting the old saying ‘It takes a village’. Honestly it really does. Even as a mumma in a house with 4 adults and 2 children (where we all share the parental roles quite evenly), I still find myself feeling overwhelmed with the clutter, the noise and all the things that have to be done. So here at SJ’s we have put together a list of ways to ensure you can take some time for yourself and keep your cup full.
BE SPECIFIC ABOUT YOUR NEEDS
Help looks different to every mum. What works for me, may be different to what works for you. Instead of reaching out to your village and simply saying ‘I need help’ Try to make specific requests. For example if you have a new baby in the house and find their afternoon sleep coincides with school pickup for an older child, ask a friend or family member to assist you with either sitting with your little one while they sleep or helping with the school pickup. You will find people are more than willing to help in times when you wouldn’t usually ask.
My mother once told me that I could not be a good mother to my daughter if I didn’t make sure that I was happy and healthy. At the time I rolled my eyes thinking ‘Are you serious? How am I supposed to get time to prioritise myself amongst all of this craziness??” After time I realised she was right. My patience was low, my frustration was high and I just felt continually tired trying to keep up with my never ending checklist of perfection. I decided to take a day. I booked into my favourite ‘before kids’ day spa, and scheduled a soak and massage session. It took 3 hours of my day, but when I returned home at the end I was a different person. Taking the time to rest and relax had helped me to realise how stressed I actually was. It gave me time to reflect on my mothering and the moments I was negatively impacting my daughter. 3 hours had not only helped me, but my husband, my daughter and all the other members of my family.
Even if you are not a spa person. Just curling up under a warm throw (The Snuggly Jacks Mumma Blankets are perfect for this!) and reading a good book can also relive stress you didn't even realise you had!
SNUGGLY JACKS HAVANA MUMMA THROW
PLAN AHEAD AND NO EXCUSES
Set yourself some planned ahead dates. Call a friend and plan to go on a coffee date together. Join the gym and sign up for a specific class that you can’t opt out of. As a mum, it's so easy to have an excuse not to do something for yourself. ‘I can’t today, but I will tomorrow’ can so easily become the standard excuse. And I know, you actually do intend to do it tomorrow, but then when tomorrow comes something else pops up and you miss the opportunity again. This is a no excuses accepted relationship you have to create with yourself. Planning ahead can help to make sure you keep these dates with yourself. It's often harder to let down a friend or your partner than it is to let yourself down, so make sure you involve others to ensure you keep the date.
TEACH THEM YOUNG
Are the dishes piling up? Is that basket of washing overflowing? Are you dreading having to cook another dinner for your family? Involve your kids. Have them help you wash some of the unbreakable dishes, or get them to put the clothes into the washing machine. It’s so easy to go on autopilot when you are a mum. You get home from a long day at work and you just follow the same steps you usually would. Asking your kids for help can actually be engaging and fun, as well as starting to help build the skills and confidence they will need to become independent themselves. My daughter loves to have one on one time with me regardless of the activity.
STOP BEING SUCH A CONTROL FREAK
I am ordinarily a super picky person. I want things done in a certain way and I find it really hard to allow others to do it differently. Having a successful business has definitely helped me to let go of this alot. It’s absolutely impossible for me to do everything by myself. There aren't enough hours in the day and even if there was I would be so strung out no one would want to be around me. Ask yourself what you value more. Is it having your washing hung in the exact right order on the clothesline or is it having the time to soak in the bathtub or grab that massage you have been putting off for months?
However you choose to do it, know that asking for help doesn’t make you inferior or weak. Its important to let others in and to make sure you call out for help when you need it.