Like so many mums, I am rubbish at putting myself first.
I joke with my friends that ‘me time’ is going to the loo without an audience (doesn’t happen often!). Or a child-free trip to the supermarket (it is far easier with no little people, but in no way is grocery shopping me time). In fact, I wrote about all of that here and here.
I know I function better when I’ve had time to do something just for me.
But, like so many mums, I struggle to prioritise my own needs because my children, my husband, my work, general household management, fills up so much for my time.
And so, I’m starting the year by promising to make more time for me in 2017.
I know, I know… I’m a new year’s cliche, promising to do things better this year. But I think it’s only natural at this time of year to reflect on the year gone by and feel optimistic about the year ahead. And I want to get more balance in my life this year.
It’s like that aeroplane analogy we so often hear. In the event of an emergency, put your own safety gear on first, so that you can be in a better position to help those around you. Likewise, to be the best to those around you, you need to make sure your needs are being met too.
So here are my promises to myself this year.
1. I will get back to a daily yoga practice
Before I had children, I used to attend two or three classes a week and practice most days at home in between. In fact, even when I had two children, I used to fit in three or four sessions a week.
And then baby number three came along and it all went to pot.
I fit it in when I can, but I know I need more yoga in my life.
I’m a more patient, less stressed, calmer person when I practice regularly. It also gets rid of all the aches and pains in my back, neck and shoulders, which seems to come with being mum to three children. And it keeps me fit and healthy too.
Cardiff Daddy has been off work between Christmas and New Year, and so I’ve started every day with an hour of yoga every day. It’s been bliss!
That won’t be possible when he’s back in work and I have the school run to contend with, but I’m determined to get back to a daily practice.
I’m aiming for 20-30 minutes, either in the mornings before everyone’s awake, or in the evenings as soon as the kids are in bed. I think that’s manageable!
2. I will read at least one grown-up book a month
I used to be such a book worm before I had children.
I was in a book club and everything.
I never seem to find the time to read now though, with three kids occupying my days and a job that takes up a lot of evenings. I still read loads with my children… but I miss reading books for me. I’m starting with Hurrah For Gin: A Book for Perfectly Imperfect Parents by Katie Kirby, based on her wonderful blog.
I bought the book a little while ago but it so far remains unopened.
So, I’m turning off my laptop and the TV early and starting it tonight.
And then once that’s done, it’s The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I’ve started this book twice previously over the last six months, but never got past the first chapter because life has got in the way.
This year, I’m determined to finally see what all the fuss is about.
I’m not sure what will be next on the reading list… but perhaps I’ll even make it back to book club this year too.
3. I will see more grown-up theatre and cinema
I see a lot of family-friendly theatre performances with my children – but I cannot remember the last time I saw a grown-up musical or play. And I love the theatre! It’s been a big part of my life for such a long time, and I miss it.
It’s the same with the cinema. I saw Bad Moms a few months ago and it was the first grown-up film I’d seen in about four years.
Sadly I don’t have the available funds to see all the theatre shows I’d like to see, but I’ve made a short list and am determined to organise a few theatre trips over the coming year. Likewise with the cinema. Non-animated, non-U/PG films, here I come!
4. I will not feel guilty about doing nothing
I am not very good at just sitting down and doing nothing.
I never have been.
I find it hard to relax when I know there’s washing to put away or work emails to catch up on.
But I know I need to do more of it; I know I need to sit and veg out in front of the TV from time to time and watch all those shows I keep recording but never seem to find the chance to watch.
And not feel bad about it either.