Remember! You are not just Mammy!!!
It’s so hard sometimes to not lose your grip on sanity, and feel totally overwhelmed – I know that some days I forget what my actual name is, and think I am really called ‘Mam’. Indeed my 2.5-year-old laughed at me and called me silly when I suggested that my actual name was Laura – “no it’s not, it’s Mam!”
So with that in mind, here are 5 things that I do that only need to take 10 or 20 minutes to ground me a little, and I remember that there are facets to me that don’t include being a Mam. Your kids can join in too, but this is all about you (if you’re my age, you’re now humming McFly and as I’m writing this I’m now playing their back catalogue on Spotify 😉 )
1. Read a chapter of your book!
I’m not talking about bloody Biff, Chip, and Kipper here (or Dick and Jane if I go back to my school days) – but very much a book of YOUR choice! Sit down before your kids get up, after they’ve gone to bed, or while they’re occupied with their never-ending snacking – hide in the shed if you have to (though not the bathroom, as they always find you when you nip to the loo) and enjoy a chapter in the knowledge that you’re absolutely allowed to read a chapter of your choice. Magazines, newspapers and audiobooks also work, just as long as there is no Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol!
2. Enjoy a hot drink!
Not just reheated, but warm the first time ’round!
If you can combine this with reading your chapter – you’ve got this all under control and I commend you heartily! I can’t yet manage both while my kids are awake, but when they’re asleep, I relish in both a hot cup of (fruity, thanks for asking) tea and a chapter. Even if I have loads of work to get on with – it helps me to recharge and shake off the remnants of kids’ activities ready to be a working adult.
3. Bath or a nice long shower
This is a real treat for me, and rarely happens. But on those special days when the boys go to bed at a reasonable hour, I’m not too worn out from convincing them to go to bed, and I’ve not fallen asleep with them from sheer exhaustion – a bath is a huge luxury. Add in a book – ooh,and a cuppa as well, and I’m hitting 3/5- and I’ve definitely remembered my name is Laura!
4. Dance around the kitchen
Yes – I absolutely dance around the kitchen like an idiot and sing at the top of my voice to shake off any pressure that I have. Too much time in the house – dance! Sick of being shouted at constantly – dance! Fed up of Chuggington, Transformers, and Paw Patrol (insert your personal kids’ favourites here _ _ _ _ _ ) – dance! Weary of searching for snacks every two minutes, and trying to ensure they get a mix of healthy ones in there too – dance! My boys think I’m crazy but I couldn’t give a Castlemaine 4X, it helps me feel like me again.
5. Go for a run
I’ve done tonnes of walking with the boys since March, but that can obviously be hugely stressful with whinging children, the usual constant demands for snacks and drink (it’s not just my children is it?), and children who take no notice of anything I say (it’s not just my children is it?) A 20 minute run around the block does wonders for soothing my soul, helping me sort through all the crap going on in my head, and I come home happy, revived, and ready to be the best Mam I can be.
Hopefully, you already do some of these, and if not then give them a try! 10-20 minutes out is so important, the kids honestly won’t hold it against you. Let me know what you do for that all-important time out, to help your feelings of overwhelm. We’re all getting through this together.
Laura Forsyth (AKA Mam)