Motherhood is stressful. It's hard when they're small and very dependent on you to do EVERYTHING for them. We're going through a "I need you now" phase at the moment and it's not easy. I can't pee on my own. They're both there on my lap, one on each knee. The constant whinging and moaning wears me down and when you get worn down, your patience is thin and you start to snap. That's not good for anyone, least of all me! It's so hard to carve time out for yourself as a mother. When you're too tired after your day, collapse on the couch and then you look at your nails, The varnish half off and nails chipped. You feel even worse.

 

There's always something else to do. Feeding the family instead of taking time for myself. Cleaning instead of relaxing. Spending quality time with the kids instead of time on my own. Spending time with my fiancé instead of chilling out and looking after myself. And then there's the blog, so when I do have time to myself I spend it on the blog - planning and writing. Not exactly relaxing. Bills to pay and appointments to make. I could go on forever, but you get the gist and chances are you can relate to everything I've just said.

 

Why I need to add self care to my routine I spoke about in my last blog post?

 

Well, by the time my fiancé gets home I've been on my own for at least 11 hours caring for the two kids and cleaning the house. I've wiped their bums and battled to get nappies and clothes back on them more times than I care to think about. I've swept the floor at least 4 times and it's still dirty when he walks in. I've cooked at least 3 times and cleaned a dozen spillages.

 

 

So I made a promise to myself that I would take a night a week to myself to begin with. But what is me time? Well let's get one thing straight, nap time isn't me time. No way no how. Nap time is my lunch break, laundry time, write a blog time, or recovery time. Recovery time I hear you say. Yes. Somedays, I feel as though I've been hit by a car. Like yesterday for example, my kids made me cry on 3 separate occasions. He jumped on my neck and definitely put my neck out. He threw a few hard objects at me and the baby cried everytime I put her down. Recovery time is a thing. Every time I leave my fiancé on his own with the kids, he looks rather dishevelled by the time I get back. He meets me at the door and says with tears in his eyes "I don't know how you do this everyday". So I know it's justified.

 

So the minute 'dad' gets home, I hand them over for a few minutes while I recover and gather my thoughts. The time that works best for us is after dinner. I sneak upstairs. Do I feel guilty? Not a bit. You will have discussed this with your partner and you'll both have decided what time and days suit your family best. Set small goals. If you're like me and never take time for yourself, aiming for 5 days a week is probably not realistic. So what do I do for me time? Reading, skincare, general maintenance like painting nails, plucking the stray eyebrow hair. Simply writing down everything that's in my head into a journal or simply taking 10 or 15 minutes to meditate using headspace. I signed up to Mama Moments. It's an Irish self care subscription box to encourage you to take time out for you. Us mammies don't like spending money on our selves but I've made a conscious desicion to keep this subscription going. It's a little something for me every 2 months that I'm finding myself looking forward to, especially after the week I've had. Check it out here.

 

You can do any number of things, exercise if you're that way inclined, listening to music, going shopping, or meeting with a friend. Find what works for you and do that. Yes we're mammies and we have responsibilities but we're also only human and have needs. We have to take care of those needs. 

Jessica O’Neill

Jessica O’Neill, 26 year old Mama to two under two and author of My Moo and Roo Blog. Currently on maternity leave, winging motherhood everyday.

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