I love those days where I get to relax and switch off. Run myself a lovely bubble bath and lay there for ages, choose a book to read at leisure and ignore the phone if it rings. Randomly call a friend to see if they are free and want to meet for lunch or go shopping for shoes and enjoy life at a pace that I choose. Spontaneously jump in the car and go and visit family or even have a nap in the afternoons or take a yoga class. Ahhhh self-care, looking after me! These much needed moments to reboot my brain, process things and give my body a rest. It’s how I take care of myself……….. WAIT, that’s not quite right. Oooooh brain, what are you doing to me? Did you forget we have children, a house and endless appointments and a million and one things to do.
Let me give you an example of a typical
day morning in my life… (even I didn’t realise how long my day was, this blog could become a series discussing 24hrs so let’s stick to morning)
Dragging myself and kids out of bed early (ish), get them cleaned, dressed, fed and one ready for School remembering the packed lunch, reply to the fifty pieces of paper sent home by School the day before about photograph day, assembly, that I understand about the current bug going around, blah blah blah…… Throw in the bag PE kit, check I signed the reading book schedule, did I send money in for that School trip?, Should I send it again because I really can’t remember. Is today the day they go swimming? Has she got her shoes on? Answer the same question around fifty times “Can I have my kindle please” with the same reply “No because it is time for School, Kindle is for later when you get home” and listen to endless whining because that is the answer she really did not want so she starts with the “Oh but Mum pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease just for five minutes…..”
*School bus arrives and breath, that’s one out of the house for 6 hrs*
Chase the giggling toddler around to change his nappy because he thinks it’s hilarious to run around all stinky. Answer his constant request for cake/sweets/chocolate with a firm ‘NO’ for what feels like hours, build a Lego tower with him thirty five times to have him knock it down thirty five times because he likes that, tell him numerous times not to stick his fingers in certain places, please don’t feed the cats for the fifth time today, can we not throw crisps on the floor please and reply to the million times he asks “Wot dat mom?” as his thirst for knowledge grows. Phone School and remind them I will pick the girl up early for an appointment later because I forgot to write in her communication book about it and then ponder the forty two mile round trip later for one five minute appointment. Did I put the kettle on yet?
Put TV on with rubbish cartoons that will keep him busy for a few minutes so I can get the laundry started because if I don’t then soon we wont even fit in to the room with it. It’s out of control, I mean seriously how many clothes do four people need??? The washing machine must hate me, it never gets a rest ever. I sympathise, I know what it’s like constantly on the go, I feel it’s pain…… Oh, wait I’m now giving the machine love, understanding and feelings. *Sleep deprived mum here* Make a cup of coffee. Unload and reload the dishwasher, sweep the floor because my children’s mouths are clearly not big enough and more cereal ends up on the floor than in bellies. Plug in the kindle to charge or they will be hell to pay later. Stand on Lego and yell (not compulsory yet seems a daily part of my life) and it won’t be the only time it happens. That stuff gets everywhere, how did it even end up in the kitchen! Empty the bin but first taking out dolly, random shoes, the TV remote and my phone that the boy has put in with his attempts to be helpful and “I tidies up looksie” whilst praising him for lovely thoughts but explaining that we kind of wanna keep these items.
Find a toy that occupies the boy and offer him a snack so I can now go on the phone to chase up the missing appointment letter for his sister that they insist has been posted twice, call the pediatrician and get an appointment to discuss why the girl wants to eat paper, sponges, play doh……. they soon get the idea and an appointment will be posted (we’ll chase that in a few weeks of course). Call Doctors and order medications, call family back because they called like six weeks ago and probably assume I either moved or died, answer the phone to people trying to sell me insurances, new boilers or have I had an accident in the last however many months and would I like to claim something blah blah……. Answer the door for parcels and packages that are rarely mine but because they neighbours all work (and the postman knows I am always home) my stairs become a temporary post depot storing beautiful wrapped bundles of what feels like shoes, toys, car parts and the occasional mysteriously shaped package that takes up far too much of my mind as I wonder what it is. Down that cup of coffee I made two hours ago. Who cares if it is cold, it’s caffeine baby!! Chase boy around again having spent twenty minutes asking him “Where are your shoes?” and him answering “ummmmmmm” and throwing his arms in the air with a ‘who knows’ look about him before finding them in a plant pot because that’s where he decided they lived yesterday. I should get dressed, I’m not sure shopping whilst wearing ‘Harry Potter Rocks’ pyjamas are adequate or acceptable clothing for Aldi. Take the boy food shopping and secretly want to tie his arms together so he can stop grabbing stuff and putting it in the trolley because I really don’t need a pack of liver, a dog toy or aspirin…. actually leave the aspirin in the trolley as I am feeling the need for one pretty soon and it’s not even lunchtime.
You get my point right? As parents we lead such busy lives sometimes we don’t even get to think about self-care let alone act upon doing it. We forget. We actually forget to look after ourselves. In my house I am last to bath, last to dress, last to eat and I often sacrifice any free time I have to do stuff for or with the kids. I have 2 small people that rely on me to get things done so yeah I always put myself last. It’s overwhelming and exhausting just surviving each day. Self Care? I’m pretty sure I do it but the basic minimum level. A quick five minute bath on the evenings might be the first time I got to myself all day. So I set myself mini goals – longer bubble bath, read a few pages of a book, do some crafting or card making as I love it and find it relaxing. I try and give myself time to be me. It’s not always possible because life is so busy and I am OK with that. I manage. My kids are happy. There are clean clothes for them, food on the table and they are happy. We read stories together, have cuddles and it makes the busy days all worth it. My goal tomorrow is to drink warm coffee (even I am not stupid enough to say hot, never gonna happen as I have a busy day ahead so lets say warm #smallgoals).
Thank you for reading. This was part of a ‘Finish the sentence Friday’ post hosted by the fabulous www.findingninee.com/ 🙂
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