We are all so caught up in the whirlwind of life with children that sometimes you genuinely forget to Be Good to Yourself. We all know those days when the only sign the days are passing is the opening and shutting of the curtains each day. Phew!
Where did 2017 go? How is your baby suddenly seven? And why have ALL your carefully laid plans for the year not panned out as you expected?
But the funny thing is - we are ALL the same. We all have goals we didn't reach or feel guilty about some of the things we should have done.
So, let's start flooding ourselves with positivity instead. Why are we so hard on ourselves, especially as mums, all of the time?
January and New Years is not about resolutions or giving up anything. It's about taking the time to rest yourself and the family and get set up for the year ahead.
Did you take enough time last year for yourself? Because it’s essential! Maybe take a day off from the hustle and bustle or even take a couple of minutes a day to yourself, we all need a break from the norm.
Check out our tips on how to make the most of life and realise that you are brilliant (and you don't need a new year to know this!)
1. We will ignore the voice in our heads that says 'I'm a bad mum'.
Your children may not always behave in public, but they are a happy bunch.
So, next time your three-year-old is lying face down in the supermarket shouting, 'help!' (true story) remember that it isn't because you are a bad mother. Nor is it because you are not doing your job right. Those other children who are sitting quietly in the shopping trolley also have their difficult moments at other stages of the day. Banish that feeling of being judged. It is not helping anyone. Take deep breaths and remember, you've got this.
2. Spark joy, every day.
There is a book that changed my life. Funnily, it is called 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Marie Kondo.
It talks you through how to organise your objects and to only retain things that spark joy. It got me thinking about all the things in my life, humans included - that don't exactly spark joy in my life. Now, we are not advising you to inform your boss that he doesn't spark joy in your life (as much as you would like to!) but it is a nice sentiment to start examining all the parts of your life that you want more of.
For example, I love horses. I realised recently that I have not indulged that part of my joy in a long time. This new year, I want to simply go see more horses. The same with music, I want to make more time to enjoy some of the songs I like - it always boosts my mood. I also want to be the one who sparks joy in others, I want to be that person that makes people delighted to be around. I want to hear my children laughing more, and I want to be responsible for those giggles. Life is complex, and often not always joyful, but it is about finding the joy around the corners. This is my plan for 2018.
3. Celebrate food
Enough with the counting of calories or worrying about how many carbs we have eaten. These are all so restrained and negative. Instead, embrace the joy of food - think creatively. Eat that cake, but go for a nice walk afterwards. Add some extra veggies to your Brennans Be Good cheese toastie. Let's all stop denying ourselves the things that we want, within reason. Just pivot slightly, and always look for a way to do things the healthier way but also the happier way.
4. Embrace it all
All these moments are rare, mamas.
Too soon, you will miss those 4 am snuggles and the 1,000 questions every five minutes. It feels like a struggle now, but the truth is that it's a privilege. To be responsible for shaping these little minds and sweetest of hearts is the greatest of roles.
Someday soon, we will wake up from this blur and wish we had been a little kinder to ourselves. We will realise that for a few short years, we weren't only the centre of their universe, we were their ENTIRE universe, and we did a damn good job.
So, bring on 2018 - the year where you should Be Good to Yourself, find your joys and hug those warm little squirmers a few moments longer.