This Mummy is pretty busy (understatement!). Recently I’ve seen lots of posts pop up in my Facebook newsfeed and my inbox about looking after yourself as a busy mum and how important it is.
This week I hit another of my now pretty regular walls of exhaustion. With three little people I’m often woken up a crazy amount of times a night – for feeds, bathroom visits, nose wiping, drink fetching, cuddles and re-settling usually – so by the morning I’m super tired. I’ve had moments where I’ve nearly fallen over with dizziness and it can make me feel nauseous, achey and pretty run down. I work hard too and enjoy my business, but I struggle to find the balance sometimes, and I don’t like the person it causes me to be.
As Mums we spend the majority of our time caring for others – children, partners, pets, etc. Add in work maybe. Then there’s the housework and shopping. There’s literally not enough hours in the day! It’s very easy to feel undervalued. So I thought to myself what can I do to be more relaxed, organised and stress free? So whether you’ve got one little person or many here are some thoughts…
- Get organised the night before. I have the change bag ready to go at all times-as soon as we get home from a day out it gets restocked. Make the lunches, clean up and get the washing on. That way, in the morning you won’t feel rushed
- Don’t do too much just before bed – take some time to relax, even if it’s just half an hour – for me that’s switching off the computer!
- Go to bed an hour earlier, then if you need to catch up on stuff, maybe get up a little earlier
- Make an effort to put on some nice clothes, do your make up and hair – it’ll make you feel ready to face the day
- Have a good breakfast. If you’re not a cereal kinda girl maybe have a smoothie?
- Put the kettle on – have a break for 10 minutes
- Spread out the housework and chores through out the week so they don’t seem so daunting – tackle one job a day – Monday’s ironing, Tuesday’s bathroom cleaning, etc! I get mine done when T is at preschool and the twins are napping in the morning so it’s all done and, literally, dusted!
- Don’t stress if it doesn’t get done – ultimately in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter
- Spend time with the kids just being silly – it puts the whole world into perspective to see things as they do
- Eat healthily and drink plenty
- I work from home in the evenings so fitting in exercise is tricky, but when I have the time I pop down to the pool for a swim for half an hour and I feel immensely better – my muscles relax and it lets my mind empty
- Meet up with friends, especially those in a similar situation to you. Meeting other mums with multiples or children of different ages and chatting about the joys and challenges makes me feel like I’m not alone
- Do something just for you. I enjoy getting out somewhere busy – I occasionally go into the city for some shopping or a coffee
- Don’t let the kids stop you from doing things – I take all three with me everywhere during the week. We go on days out, for lunch, shopping, coffee, walks, playgroups, etc. Yeah, it’s really really hard work sometimes but it benefits all of us to get out of the house. In the early weeks I found taking them out and being stopped by strangers to talk about them (the world loves twins!) really made me feel proud. True there will be times where people will tut and huff when you take too long or the kids are too messy or noisy but there’ll be others who will pat you on the back and tell you how wonderful they are, what a blessing, and how great you’re doing
- Don’t dwell on how little sleep you’ve had – in the early days with the twins I slept for 30 minute blocks between feeds if I was lucky but found if I thought too much about it I felt even more tired and worried. Honestly mums you are amazing – we can survive on the tiniest amount without it affecting much of our day! Fellow breastfeeding mums – you have the most amazing hormone swirling around your body which will help no end, the glorious oxytocin-enjoy it!
- Having kids there’ll be good times and tough times. My mum said something to me the other day when we were chatting about our respective crazy days and it really hit home – she told me to ’embrace the season you find yourself in’. You can’t change it. I can’t stop a toddler from having tantrums or a baby from waking in the night. It’s ultimately just a phase and before you know it, you’ll be onto the next and the worries from the last will be forgotten.
Hope maybe that helps a little – now…time to take my own advice! Let me know if you have any tips to add!