Now obviously I love my kids more than anything in the world, but I’m not going to lie, I also enjoy the occasional bit of spare time. This need for me-time and adult conversation – alongside the need to pee without an audience and eat all of my own lunch – is the reason that I work. I’m joking of course but the summer holidays with little ones is hard. Let’s look at it logically, it’s 1008 hours that I need to entertain my kids all by myself. It’s daunting, not to mention expensive.
Admittedly, trying to squeeze in a couple of hours of me-time out of those 1008 hours seems pretty difficult when it’s just me, them and a huge pile of laundry. But, I’m am eternal optimist and always strive to find me-time. Honestly, you should really see the lengths that I will go to in order to have half hour to myself. I’m determined because frankly, I don’t know about other mothers, but I find when I’ve had regular time to myself, I’m a better and much more patient mum. It’s clichéd but it’s true: happy mama = happy baby, or in my case happy pre-schoolers and 6 year olds who are going on 25.
I know as mums that we are internally programmed to put the needs of our cute little offspring before ourselves, but I implore you to try at least one item from my Mum’s Summer To-Do list and make sure that you recharge your batteries. Ideally you’d do them all but I can appreciate there are quite a lot of mamas out there juggling working throughout the holiday and juggling childcare. Mamas, I see you. I salute you. If you can squeeze in just one act of self-care over summer, I promise you that you’ll feel great for it!
Mum’s Summer Self-Care Checklist
Read, read and more reading.
Obviously, as a writer, I’m a huge reader. But I have to be honest, since going back to work full-time nearly 4 years ago, I haven’t read very much at all apart from other people’s blogs and whilst I love that, I also love the feel of a good book. I’m old-fashioned. I read for so many reasons, to escape into a fictional world, to help to educate myself and bizarrely to find out about as much about makeup as I can. However, regardless of the book I am reading, the outcome is the same. The quiet, alone time helps me to relax which in turn helps me to sleep and face the day with those energetic kids of mine wearing a smile.
This Summer, I’m Reading:
- Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes
- Mastering Your Inner Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I’ve had this book since it was packed in my hospital bag with Number 1 – she’s 6. I’m determined to read it before she turns 7!)
Try A New Beauty Product
You might be thinking, of course she’s going to say that, she blogs all about beauty. This is true but as much as I love painting my face, I truly believe that when you take the time to look after your appearance, you feel good. One of my favourite parts of the day is applying and removing makeup because it’s just me with my thoughts.
Because the summer holidays bring extra expense, I have been spending less and less on beauty products, *sobs sadly* but that doesn’t mean that I have given up my beauty hobby or given up spending time on myself. What I have done instead is look for bargains. I am the biggest fan of Superdrug (they usually have a 3 for 2 makeup offer over summer), Primark and believe it or not Poundland sell some amazing hand and foot masks*** for the bargain price, of you’ve guessed it – a quid!
*** And if you’ve got one of these on, you have no option but to sit and chill.
Take Yourself On A Date
I cannot stress the importance of having time for yourself away from the home. Why, I hear you ask? Well imagine this, you try to sit down to binge-watch your latest Netflix obsession when you notice the huge pile of laundry on the dining room table – tell me it’s not just me that does this? Will you be able to relax? I’m guessing not. Fear not, this isn’t a problem when you remove yourself from the situation and can no longer see the piles of laundry.
Taking yourself on a date doesn’t have to be a huge spa day or a weekend away (although those would be great!). It can be as simple as a walk around town by yourself, taking yourself out for a meal or even a gym session. Try it. I guarantee even an hour out of the house will make you feel relaxed.
This summer, my solo dates will include:
- Going to see Mamma Mia 2
- Afternoon Tea at a local boutique hotel
Talk To Other Mums
I cannot stress this enough. I’m quiet and definitely introverted so when I first became a mum, I struggled to make connections in mother and baby groups. I spent so much of my time worrying if what my kid was doing was normal that I forced myself to connect. Now, I have to say one of the best things that I ever did was spend time talking to other mums and arranging playdates. Why? Because it gives me peace of mind that my kids are not normal. None of them are. All kids are tiny, irrational megalomaniacs and knowing that other people’s kids are too keeps me sane during the school holidays.
Take a million photographs and make sure that you’re in some
Now I hate to get all soppy and sentimental on you, I’m really not that sort of mum. However, at the last count I had nearly 8,500 photos of my kids on my phone and so few of them have me in the frame. In years to come, my kids are seriously going to wonder if it was me who raised them. Part of the reason that I am not in many pictures is because I’m taking them and selfies are kinda hard with a wriggly toddler. (Not my 6 year old, that girl is ALWAYS photo-ready!) So, I’m tempted to invest in a cheap* camera and ask random people to capture my special memories.
*** I’m not ready to let anyone else touch my DSLR or iPhone yet.
The other half of the reason for my absence in photos is that I’m nearly always exhausted and I’m not sure that I want my dark circles preserved for posterity. However, I do want my girls to be able to remember the fun things we do together when I’m gone. Although at the moment, I would settle for them being able to tell their teacher in September about all of the exciting and not to mention expensive things that we have done this summer instead of only remembering visiting the supermarket. Does anyone else’s kids do that or is just mine?
How do you survive the summer holidays? Let me know in the comments as frankly I need all the help I can get!
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