Becoming a mama has been the most amazing experience, but I wasn’t prepared for the major shift that happens. I was so focused on pouring all my love, energy and attention into caring for my beautiful baby boy, that I completely neglected to also care for myself. I quickly began to feel stressed, frustrated, anxious and exhausted… But when I started to prioritise moments of me-time throughout my day to love and care for myself, everything changed.
“Mama’s gonna go have some me-time” is something I often say to my son whenever I need a moment to myself or I’m heading out the door. When I was choosing a name for my blog, Mama Go Me Time popped into my head and I ran with it. I do however know that the word me-time can for many have some negative associations, it’s somehow perceived as selfish. But me-time doesn’t mean me first, it means me also…
Life with kids can be busy, chaotic, stressful and exhausting at times, but I believe that it’s really all about how we care for and feel within ourselves that will determine how we experience and react in those stressful moments. When we take some me-time to tune-in, relax, nourish, nurture and re-charge (however that may be for you), we can experience feeling more relaxed, present and happy within ourselves, and in turn have more to give back to those we love. It’s like the best selling Lisa Nichols says;
“Fill your cup until it overflows, then serve the world from your saucer. That way you’ll never run out”Lisa Nichols
So we all know that me-time is important, but how do we make time for me-time in our very busy everyday lives, without the mama guilt we all know too well… Here are my top 3 tips:
1. Dealing with the mama guilt…
It isn’t always easy to walk out the door or spend some time doing something for yourself when your toddler is tugging at your leg, begging you to stay and play with him. So I think we first need to know what we need to do for ourselves to feel re-charged and happy, and then remind ourselves that it’s in everyones best interest that you do take some time to care for yourself (while your kids are in the safe hands of someone they love and trust).
I have personally really struggled with the mama guilt so my husband and I have had many talks on the importance of re-charging our batteries and that quality is always better than quantity. So reminding myself that spending 2 hours playing with my son, actually being present and relaxed, laughing and having fun, is much better for him (and me) than 3-4 hours where I’m constantly in my head, distracted and trying to multitask… Over time, the mama guilt subsides because you just know it’s in everyones best interest because a happy mama usually makes for a happy family.
2. Re-think what me-time means
Although some days the idea of escaping to a retreat in Bali or a spending a whole day at the spa is very tempting, I do believe that its much more about taking MOMENTS out of our day for me-time. Just waking up 15 minutes before you need to so that you can have a long shower and enjoy a cup of coffee in peace before the rest of your family wakes up, can do wonders. Also be mindful of how you spend your time. If you have 10 minutes to spare while you’re waiting for something or someone, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and connecting inwards, instead of automatically reaching for your phone to check emails or scroll mindlessly through social media. Shift your focus on what me-time is and take short moments to yourself throughout your day.
3. Prioritise and schedule time for me-time
Look at your schedule and all the things you’re saying yes to doing. In the end of the day, it’s all about prioritising and sometimes you need to say no to something else so that you can say yes to yourself.
Write a list of things you love to do and that helps you feel relaxed, happy and re-charged. Then schedule when you’re going to do these things, set aside time and commit to yourself. So often we down prioritise ourselves when life is busy and only care for ourselves when we are totally exhausted and finally have a moment to ourselves. But life is always going to be busy so we need to make me-time a priority in our daily lives.
I hope this inspires you to prioritise some much deserved me time moments throughout your day to breathe, relax and re-centre yourself. Hopefully when you do, you can experience feeling much more relaxed, present and happy, and that way have more to give back to those you love.