Filling Your Cup: Self-care isn't Selfish
We're all different, and we all parent in different ways. Our to do lists are unique (although I bet they all include some form of calming a baby/toddler/child/teenager down). But the one thing we have in common is our need to do our best for our kids. And we can only do that if we are feeling tip top ourselves. You can’t drink from an empty cup, after all. You don't need me to tell you this, I'm preaching to the choir, I know. But sometimes we let it slide, and this list is a good reminder of all the things that might make you feel like you again. These are some of the best things to do when your cup is in need of filling:
get some childcare. I shit you not. It sounds obvious, but how many times have you said 'I can't leave him/her/it because...'?
get out of the house. The garden is not far enough, go down the street, get on a bus, find a quite doorway to snuggle down in.
organise something specific. Meet a friend, book a beauty appointment, go to a film. Whatever it is, have a purpose and something to take your mind off your little ones, otherwise your mind won't have a break anyway.
do some exercise. I know, I know, hard to motivate yourself, but trust me, you'll thank yourself afterwards - endorphins a-go-go!
take a break from screens. Even if work is not what you're trying to escape, your eyes and brain will thank you for it.
downward dog it. If cardio isn't your thing, slow it down and work up a sweat with yoga instead. Great for the mind and body.
buy something you don't need. Treat yourself. If you feel massively guilty about it/really can't afford it, you can always take it back.
get a massage. Winning.
get a haircut. Refresh your look and take some weight off your neck. Just make sure you go to someone you trust; anger around scissors is not a good combo.
10. go on hols. Retreat. I appreciate this isn't an immediate win, but the power of something to look forward to cannot be underestimated.
11. make it a kid-friendly holiday. If they have all the baby gear/stuff to entertain the kids AND take care of you, you're on to a winner
12. eat some chocolate. Go on, you know you want to.
13. eat something healthy. Yes, you're right it is the best thing in the long-run. And there is such a thing as a healthy version of pudding.
14. invest in some earplugs. If you're not sleeping because you're hearing the baby all night long (real or imagined), block it out and let your hubby deal with it instead, even if it's just once in a while; if you can afford it, a maternity nurse or night nanny is nothing to be sniffed at.
15. talk to your mates, of if you haven't got any mum-mates, steamroller some local mums into being your friends - at least one of them will like you - and you'll realise that whatever you're going through, someone else has definitely been there.
16. if you're really struggling, reach out for professional help (therapist, PANDAS, temporary nannies). There's no shame in it. At all.