We all need a bit of inspiration at the start of a new year, and why not garner some of that glorious inspiration on how to really Be Good to yourself from your fellow mums?
That's why in partnership with Brennans Be Good, we've collected some tips and tricks from our MummyPages parents about how to start off 2018 the right way to make life that bit easier.
We asked you why you think you need to be good to yourself over the year. What summed it up for you? Cooked Christmas dinner for twelve and organised a bake sale? Well done, you. Looked after your sick family while you were sick yourself? We salute you.
Here are the real top priorities for parents in 2018:
Grainne from Donegal:
"With the children grown up and flown the nest, I now ensure that as the New Year begins, we take time for a family meal together. Something which doesn't happen very often these days with everyone living in different counties. This meal allows us to look back on Christmas and to look forward to the year ahead. It's my treat to the family and it's my way of wishing them well in the year ahead. It's at these meals I look at my three grown men and realise I really do deserve a pat on the back. I'm hugely responsible for them doing so well out there in the world."
What a lovely idea!
Aisling from Wicklow:
"My top tip for getting back on track for the new year is gratitude. A little gratitude practice daily makes such a difference to my overall well-being! I try to write a list in the morning and in the evenings, myself and my hubby take some time to list things that we are grateful for. You feel silly at first but I swear it works miracles! "
Amanda from Dublin:
"I like to climb a mountain on New Years Day. I know it's strange and it really is only a big hill, but I love the feeling when I get to the top looking out over the world and feeling like I can do anything at all. The children have been too young up until now but I think this will be the first year we can drag them up with us and shake off those cobwebs."
Annika from Cork:
"I want this to be the year that I plan some really fun things to do with the entire family and to start doing something I really love doing. I am determined to inject some more exciting activities into our lives, make healthier choices and sleep a LOT more!"
Tracey from Athlone:
"Get up very early and achieve as much as you can before the children are up! And don't underestimate the power of a good bubble bath to keep you sane!"
Michelle from Galway:
"Food and sleep are key. My toddler is a very fussy eater and during the holidays treats are especially plentiful! So for me the main aim will be to get back into a routine of lots of healthier snacks to help keep the sugar away. I like to keep bedtime at the same time regardless of holidays but sometimes with travelling etc. this is hard to do. When I have an overtired toddler I let him nap or have some quiet time with a time-old favourite “bed on the couch”.
It is important to keep sight of the goal here - having a happy home with happy children. That's why we love the tips that incorporate things like stories.
Andrea from Dublin:
"My tips for starting 2018 well is to try to have a few minutes with each child one on one before bed, after the mayhem of homework and dinner. It might be a quick game of charades, a chat about the day, or reading for a child who is able to read alone but still likes a story!"
Rebecca from Kildare:
"Forget spring-cleaning, I like to fling-clean. I give away all my old clothes that I haven't worn that year, tidy out my drawers and rearrange my jewellery. I do the same for my children's rooms and toys and by Jan 2nd I feel AMAZING. There is something really nice about starting fresh in the New Year."
But it is also important to be good to yourself facing into 2018.
James from Limerick:
"Your Christmas diet of broken sleep, over eating and too much alcohol has made parenting even more difficult. If you want to get back on track then write down your goal with an end date and look at it every morning and evening until you achieve it. It has to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive."
Having goals for the New Year doesn't mean you have to sacrifice anything - just Be Good to Yourself. Simple. In 2018, we are prioritising catching up with friends, reading more and trying new recipes. Here at MummyPages, we are keen to help parents be good to themselves, to learn how to say no, to learn when to ask for help, and most of all to enjoy all that this crazy parenthood journey brings.