If you have children you know how quickly time gets swalled up. Our house seems to function on an almost Groundhog Day like routine:
- 7.20am Alarm goes off
- 7.35am get out of bed. Wake Finlay. Shower Finlay. Dress Finlay.
- 7.50(ish)am take twins and Finlay downstairs. Make twins bottles. Make Finlay’s cereal. Feed kids.
- 8.20am beg Finlay to put his shoes on. End up putting said shoes on myself.
- 8.30am David takes Finlay to nursery. I carry on with twins routine: porridge, clothes, remaining bottle and morning nap
By about 9.30am most of the household chores are complete (load of washing and tumble drying on and dishes from breakfast soaking) and I would normally flop onto the couch with my yoghurt and catch up on my Sky planner. But these last few weeks I have been pushing past my exhaustion and going to the gym. The reasons for this are simple – I want to be healthier and look better!
As frustrating as it can be having to pick myself up, put on my gym clothes and drive 10 minutes down the road, the sense of achievement I get after a workout is amazing. I find that it truly lifts my mood and helps me to stay more positive.
In my previous post I spoke about the lack of support network we now have around us since moving house. This has meant that weekly date nights have become a thing of the past as we don’t have the pool of babysitters we used to. They was definitely something I took for granted. I am only now seeing the benefits that those date night brought. They would give David and I a space to switch off parent mode and remember why we fell in love in the first place. To rekindle our friendship, spend time talking and making future plans together. It was a space to clear your head of the baby fog.
Reflecting back it made me a better parent. The time I spent away from my children, even if it was for 2 hours made me love them more and appreciate the little gifts I have been blessed with.
So you can imagine how I was feeling three weeks into the new move when I didn’t know anyone, was not getting out as much as I was used to and did not have my mum or sister popping in during the day to break it up. The walls were caving in. I was finding myself shouting more, losing my temper a lot quicker and the slightest little thing was annoying me – like dirty washing being left on the bathroom floor! I took time one morning, while the twins were napping, to sit and reflect. Why was I like this? Apart from the obvious what had changed in me? Then it hit me I wasn’t getting anytime to myself. There was no window in the week when I would get a few hours break, that all important time to recharge.
So I researched and visited about four gyms before settling on one. I signed up for a monthly membership in the hope it would force me to go more. And I also braved my fears and got a Personal Trainer. She was lovely and set me a workout programme to work through on my own with my progress being reviewed every six weeks.
Not only did I join a gym I decided it was about time I treated myself once in a while and made a pact with myself to start getting my nails done every few weeks. As someone who can’t leave the house without my finger nails painted I thought it was about time I converted to Shellac and save myself the daily hassle of reapplying nail varnish to my chipped nails.
With my fringe nearly hitting my nostrils I took the plunge and got my hair cut. This was a massive step for me as I have had the same hairdresser (who I miss dearly) cut my hair for the last three years! It was less frightening than I had thought and I walked away with a great cut and another appointment for colour in eight weeks time (I know I’m going mad!)
Part of me thinks all this “me” time is a bit excessive, that I should be focusing on the children and serving them and my husband. But then I step back and realise in order to be the best mother and wife I need to take time to recharge, do something for myself, whatever that maybe. For me it’s treating myself to a manicure and visiting the gym three times a week. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s ok to be selfish every once in a while because if we don’t look after ourselves we are no use to our families!