“Maintaining the basic day-to-day with no extraordinary circumstances, keeping all those balls in the air, is a really demanding endeavour, and it leaves very little time for mums to be able to have fun, relax, rest and have downtime,” says Aimee Danielson, director of the Women’s Mental Health Program.
Relax. This is an advice every mum hear a few million times during raising her kids. It is however easier said than done. I have 3 kids on my own and relaxing is hard most of the times, but I’ve learned the importance of it and now sticking too few restful routines daily.
To be ready for our children and family demands all the times can quickly burn us out and everything we should enjoy becomes a chore. That is why it is essential to plan times off parent duty. At end of the day a relaxed mum is an example of how to handle situations, how to enjoy life no matter what and how to give and receive love.
Some quick examples of the benefits of rest and relax:
- relaxed mum is happy, content and healthy
- kids are prone to share more with a relaxed parent
- children grow up feeling happy, secure and loved
- children raised in relaxed atmosphere are less likely to have ADHD or anxiety
- relaxed mum raises children better settled in routine and having less tantrums
It is often so easy to overlook your own wellbeing and you just can’t get around doing it. So what can you do.
I’ve made a brief list of things which are achievable and should be fairly easy to implement in your family life.
- SLEEP – a hard one, especially with a new baby or a toddler waking up a few times at night. Solution – don’t stay late at night. Leave the house as is and don’t bother too much. Snuggle with a book or a favourite magazine for a few minutes if you wish and go to sleep. Set up a reminder to push you out of the kitchen and go to bed.
- HELP – surely someone had offered to help you out at certain times, but you refused right? “I am fine” is the typical answer. Be glad you have people caring for you and don’t refuse help
- MUSIC – if you love music don’t stop listening just because you are a mum and time is scarce. Put headphone and dance while cooking, lay in the park and connect with the ground and music at same time. 10 minutes should be enough. By the way if kids see you dancing they will jump with joy
- BATH – put kids to bed and ask you partner to prepare the bath for you. Than get a book and jump right into it.
- SCHEDULE DAYS OFF – once a month is not enough but is something. Talk to you partner to agree on a day when he can take care of kids for the entire day. Or another family member, mum, granny, auntie or just drop them to a friend. Go drive out of town, get a pack of popcorn and go to watch a comedy, go to a galley, book a massage, go fishing. Whatever you used to do and enjoyed before the kids. Don’t skip these days off.
- COFFEE or TEA – make a fresh cup and get out in the garden. Look at the birds, observe the tree bending on the wind and the forms rain drops make on the ground. Again 10 minutes would do wonders. Caffeine is not good if used too much but if you love coffee one a day shouldn’t hurt.
- VITAMINS – take vitamin supplements and introduce lots of fruits and veggies into your family diet. More energy and less sugar for everyone
- EXERCISE – start with a few simple yoga poses for a couple of minutes and gradually increase. No need to spend long time or go to the gym. Just do it at home in your pyjamas for as long as you wish. You can also jog with a pram if your baby is little or simply take a long walk and try to spot details around you haven’t paid attention to before. If you set a goal here, you’ll something to work on for and be more motivated.
- DATES – meet with your partner for lunch and enjoy being just 2 of you for a short while again. If you can, schedule a weekend break
- AVOID people that stress you out. It is contagious to be around stressed negative influence.
- LAUGH - Laughing releases endorphins to fight that stress and help you relax.
- PLAN your day by priorities. If time runs out at least you do your most important things first
- BREATH – take deep breaths regularly throughout the day. Inhale through your nose and exhale through mouth. Slowly and deeply. Make it 10 times
- HOBBY – if you have one, don’t neglect it. If you don’t start one. I joined a knitting group every Thursday. Sewing, Karate, Cooking, Puppets making and so on.
- SAY NO to things that drain you out. You don’t have to volunteer at every school activity.
Danielson says : “The question I ask mums is, ‘If you were choosing a child-care provider, and you had a choice between someone who seemed stressed, tired and overwhelmed versus someone who seemed rested, contented, happy and healthy, who would you want for your kids?’ ” and also “If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids.”
A relaxed mum is the BEST MUM. Mum kids want to see, friends want to visit, and everyone will love to be around you.
You’ve got to-dos to do, I have mine too. But let’s see how much fun you had today, what memories you made and leave the house to clean on its own.
Take care mums and dads if you read. Your kids need it, and you need it. The world needs happy kids, happy parents.
Enjoy great weekend and please pin and share this post if you think a friend might enjoy it!