I found out I was expecting my first baby aged twenty. It was a complete surprise, and a lot to take in. For a long time, I felt that I lost my identity, forgetting who I was as my life got turned upside down and nights out with friends were swapped for night feeds. As the years passed, and I went on to have two more children, it worried me how little of me there seemed to be left so, over the past few years, I have made a conscious effort to make time for myself as a mom, and here are some of the ways that I do this.
I have always loved to write, and I started up my first blog just after my eldest was born, finding solace in an online world whilst my friends all seemed to be living different lives to me. Although I actually make an income from blogging these days, I still also see it as a hobby, and enjoy taking time out from being a mom to write blog posts, take photos and update my social media pages. I also get the chance to go out for review meals and social events through blogging, which gives me a bit of time away from being a mom, where I can regain my own identity. Alongside blogging, I also take time to go for long walks, although sometimes with the children, and I try to fit in a swim as often as possible. Find something you love doing, or rediscover a hobby you left behind when you had the kids, and dedicate time to it. You deserve a passion in life outside of raising children.
There’s no denying it, motherhood can be tough. I try and take at least one night a week to have a proper pamper. I’m talking a bath full of bubbles complete with candlelight, a large glass of wine and a good book followed by a good face mask, all the body butter and an early night. It is essential to take care of yourself first and foremost, as hard as that can be as a mom, because you can’t look after your children if you are running on empty.
Time with Friends
It can be difficult to schedule time with friends, especially those who also have children. Life gets in the way and that catch up you’ve been talking about since the kids went back to school in September, somehow hasn’t happened by the new year. Fortunately, I have made a lot of local friends through blogging and this means I get to see them at events we attend together. With friends, I can be myself. Sure, when I am among those who have kids too, often our conversations inevitably fall back to motherhood, but we also talk about things outside of being a mom, and it is so freeing. Make time for friends, as it is ultimately making time for you.
Returning to Work
Not for everyone, but personally I feel I needed to go back to a work environment. Having worked from home for a couple of years around my youngest child, I became lonely and agitated, unable to completely focus on either motherhood or my work on a daily basis. I now work part-time, alongside my freelance work and being a mom, and it is the best of both worlds for me, and for my family. I am still able to take the children to and from school, my three-year-old is thriving in pre-school, and I get to have proper adult conversations during the day.
As a mom, I feel I am programmed to spend every penny on the children, but I have been making a conscious effort to also budget in some money for myself. I love beauty treatments and spa days, and so this is what I spend money on when I have it to spare. I have gel nails on a semi-regular basis, as well as having my eyebrows waxed and tinted, and blonde highlights at the salon. It gives me a chance to take some time out just for me, and helps me to feel a little more like me.
It can be hard prioritizing yourself as a mom, but trust me, it is worth it. I feel 100% better as a mom when I give myself a little time to breathe, to find myself and to recharge.