Up until a few months ago, I used to see myself as a really lazy person.
And then a lovely lady pointed out something to me. She said “Amelia, you a busy Mum of two young children. You are far from lazy.”
I am a mother. I am a wife and a freelance social media editor too, but the job that takes up most of my time is that of Mum.
And in the scope of that role, I am also a cook, a cleaner, a mediator, a nurse, a personal shopper, a nutritionist, a “wiper”, a singer, a bather, a dancer, an artist, a washer woman, an audience member, a confidant, a companion, a friend, a driver and a cheer leader.
The days are full and sometimes they are long. And while most of the time I manage to do all these roles with a big smile and a spring in my step, some days – I struggle.
Some days, it is exhausting. And some days it feels like it’s completely on top of me.
I’ve been having a couple of days like that.
Days where I wish that I was able to get a full 8 hours sleep each night but in reality, I can count the number of 8 hour sleeps I’ve had in the past 4 years on one hand. Or days where I wish I could wake up in the morning and meditate, do a bit of yoga, then shower in peace – all before the children wake. But in real life we are up before the sun to the sound of a chatty young man (which is actually quite cute).
Morning rituals don’t happen when you have young children. Most days I’m lucky if I shower before 10am. But that’s ok, and I accept that.
Unfortunately, along with wishing I were able to have time to myself, comes “Mummy Guilt”. That feeling that mother’s get which tells us we should devote every waking hour to our children and that wanting time on our own is selfish.
Mummy guilt sucks.
But a huge part of my journey to self-love and acceptance has come with the realisation that Mummy guilt is actually a load of bullshit. The feelings will still be there; in fact I think they’re probably embedded in us on the day we first hold our baby in our arms. But I don’t have to listen to them.
Because wanting time to myself doesn’t make me a bad mother. Time on my own to recharge and reflect actually makes me a better mother. In fact, it makes me the best mother I can be.
On days where I feel like it’s all getting on top of me and I find myself getting frustrated, I have started to take a step back. This generally happens when they are having their sleep/quiet time (when I can actually think).
I step back and ask myself what am I really frustrated at. And 9 times out of 10, I’m not actually frustrated at the children, I’m frustrated at myself and the lack of time I’ve had for ME.
And these days usually fall after it’s been a while since I’ve had any “Mummy Time”.
As mothers, we spend our days trying to be everything to everyone. But it can come to a point that we aren’t looking after number one.
How can we be everything we need to be for these little people when we are drained and exhausted ourselves?
Mummy time doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. I can be a walk along the beach with your iPod. Or a cheeky coffee/juice and journaling session at your favourite local café. Or a night at the movies with the girls. Or you could really splash out and get a massage or some acupuncture. In my experience though, it’s best to have this time completely away from your home.
Don’t think of what could be happening back home. Be in the present moment, enjoy your solitude and completely bliss out.
Whatever it is you do, it should feed your soul and have you feeling strong and recharged. Ready to give your children the love and attention they need. And all it took was an hour or two on your own, doing something that you deserve.
Don’t feel guilty for taking that time. I’m talking to myself here as much as I’m talking to you. You deserve it. Your children will be fine. There won’t be much of a change to their day. But there will be a HUGE change in you.
Do you struggle with “mummy guilt”? Are you prioritising time for YOU?