Time out - for you
Looking back it might seem difficult to remember, but before you had children you did have a life. You had a job, a social life, a personality. And now that you have children you still have those three things - but they all revolve around your children. Your job IS your social life, some days you might not even get to have a single adult conversation until daddy walks in the door, and by this stage, you're probably too exhausted to even contemplate conversation. Sometimes it can seem that having children is all consuming, and it is, but it is important to set aside time for you, time to look after your own wellbeing and just chill out.
Women who regularly take time out from their family commitments to focus on their own needs report a lower rate of postnatal depression, and a greater feeling of satisfaction with their new role as a parent, and it can also give the kids an opportunity to have quality time with dad or another family member.
Some suggestions for 'ME' time are:
- Have a bath. Indulge in some bubble bath or bath oils, a few candles and even a good book (if you can manage to keep the pages dry!). It does wonders for the spirit, and is great for soaking away stress.
- Go for a walk. You know, the real kind, the kind where you're not stopping every few metres to ties shoelaces or admire the neighbors' cat. The fresh air can be invigorating and it's a great chance to just get away from everything.
- Have a girly night in. Get together a group of friends for coffee and a girly goss. You'll probably spend the whole time discussing hubby and the kids but it's a guaranteed laugh, and you'll all feel better for it. Even more beneficial when you include copious quantities of chocolate or cheesecake!
- See a movie. Whether it's a rented DVD after the kids are in bed, or a night out at the movies it'll be a relief to see something that isn't a cartoon and doesn't star The Wiggles.
- Go shopping! Go on, you know you want to! And it's a chance to update your wardrobe with clothes that fit your new post-baby shape and don't look like something your grandmother might wear.
- Host a demonstration evening or afternoon. Whether it be Tupperware, Nutrimetics, Prenzel or one of the many other "shop at home" companies, you're almost guaranteed some great host thank you goodies, and it's a chance to invite friends who you might not see very often. There may be a little stress involved, but at least it's not the same kind of stress as realizing you've forgotten to put breast pads on and you're half way round Pak 'N Save.
- Get a job. OK, so it doesn't exactly sound like stress relief, but a few hours a week away from the kids doing something that exercises your brain can't be all bad. Plus the extra income means you can go shopping!
- Get a massage. Many of the bigger shopping malls now have Chinese massage clinics set up where you can get a fantastic, reasonably-priced massage that really revitalizes you.
- Get your hair done. Or your nails. Or even your eyebrows. Anything to make you feel just that little bit special.
Got any other great 'ME' time suggestions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll include them!