A week ago, I gave myself a mission.
Mission Me, as I chose to accept it, involved doing something for me every single day for one week.
I’ve been feeling a little rundown lately and a little broken down by a demanding toddler and teething baby. I’ve noticed myself raising my voice to Curly-locks, and being whiney to Dave.
Whenever I feel like this, I know a little me time is all I need to get me back on track.
Me time is such an elusive thing when you’re a mum though. It’s so easy to charge through life letting your needs and wants fall to the wayside. Just like all of the other mums out there, I rarely have a minute to myself. Even my showers are in front of an audience – a baby looking for mischief, and a three-year-old heckling me about my little boobies and wobbly tummy.
It would be easy to forget about me and continue down the path I was going, but I wouldn’t be much fun to be around. Plus, I’ve recently had a nagging voice taunting me, ‘If you think you’re busy now, just wait until you go back to work’.
Ahh, returning to work. That old chestnut. Yet another reason last week’s mission was so important for me.
To help ease myself into this next stage of my life, I want to ensure I’m in the best emotional, mental and physical state as possible. (I know it sounds like I’m prepping for an ascent of Mt Everest … it feels like that some days 😉 ) That’s why looking after me now is more important than ever.
Mission Me was a great experiment.
It gave me the time I needed to recharge and allowed me to get back on track to being the happy, healthy, and strong me I want to be.
Here are some of my highlights from last week:
I accepted help
If you’re anything like me, you want to do everything by yourself and to perfection. I have come to realise this isn’t a healthy way to live. So, when mum offered to take the girls for a day, I jumped at the chance. Instead of staying home to get on top of the housework, which was very tempting, I hit the shops enjoying my freedom and the chance to look at clothes that don’t have Dora or Peppa Pig on them.
I listened to my body
For a long time, my body has been saying, ‘Damn girl, you are tight’.
Not tight like the hot allegedly 34 plus women in skimpy bikinis doing head stands on the Facebook ads flooding my page recently, tight like my shoulders are up around my ears, my neck and back are full of knots, and I walk like an old lady.
Last week, I booked myself in for a remedial massage to address my aches and pains, particularly a nagging tail bone problem.
While there’s no easy fix to my injury, I’m content with the fact that I’m finally doing something about it.
I listened to my body some more
I spoke with a friend last week about ways to centre and calm myself in stressful situations. I have a slightly anxious personality and I thought arming myself with a few techniques to help keep me cool as a cucumber in times of stress definitely couldn’t hurt.
I rejoiced in the simple things
Of course the girls chose last week to get sick and have the cranks big time. I realised on days like these, I have to be content with the few minutes here and there that I can grab for myself. I realised that sometimes a few minutes is all I need. A little time for a cuppa, to sit in the sunshine, or to read a few pages of a book. The key, I’ve realised, is to take this time no matter how small it is and use it to recoup and recharge. Housework can wait. Trust me. My ironing is waiting for me right now.
I didn’t go out
Keeping it local last week took some pressure off. The girls and I enjoyed not having to rush off anywhere. We didn’t even go to our regular mummy and me dance class. The simple things entertained us – watering the veggie patch, chasing butterflies, teaching Smiley to crawl. Simple stuff. Easy stuff. The best kind of stuff.
I made time for Dave
Since becoming a mum, I’ve found I tend to focus nearly all of my energy on the girls. Second comes the housework, then comes Dave. Most evenings I’m exhausted, as is Dave after a long day at work. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for us to sit side by side on the couch, Dave watching a doco and me next to him with headphones on writing. We make a point of having at least one night a week where we switch off our distractions and focus on each other. Last Saturday night, it was as simple as having some takeout and wine and cuddling up watching a DVD.
I did limited housework
Doing a little less around the house gave me the extra time I needed for me. I found this particularly beneficial on the days the girls were out of sorts. While I would usually race around getting things done while they’re asleep, last week I used the time to recharge my batteries.
Last week was a great experiment for me.
It has taught me that my definition of me time has changed significantly since becoming a mum and that I’m cool with that. While I wouldn’t say no to a day of pampering at a day spa, these days I’m content with much less.
I also learned that me time doesn’t necessarily have to be alone time. Spending quality time with my girls and Dave makes me just as happy, if not more, as being on my own.
I learned that backing off a little on the housework and the things that have to be done won’t cause me to implode. Rather, it will give me the time I need to breathe and clear my head making it easier for me to be present with my loved ones and cherish what I have now in this moment of time.
How often do you take time out for yourself? Has me time changed for you over the years?