Mums, it’s time to banish the word “selfish” from your vocabulary and treat yourself, because (as flight attendants always remind us) when you apply your own oxygen mask first, you’re much better equipped to help the rest of your family.
As delightful as our children can be, they can be time-sucking little critters, constantly requiring entertainment and wholesome food and ferrying to-and-from activities – it’s little wonder so many busy mums feel there’s no time left for themselves. It’s true that parenting can be intensive, but that doesn’t mean mums should feel selfish for taking time out. Psychologists and coaches insist that you can’t “pour from an empty cup”, so if you think about it, it’s actually selfish if you don’t take time to do the things that make you happy.
Here are some of our favourite activities that every mum ought to prioritise so you can lead by example, showing your kids the importance of self-care.
1 Absolutely nothing
When you’re a busy mum, you might consider yourself lucky to squeeze in 10-minute workout, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Whether it’s getting up an hour before the kids, calling on friends or family for a weekend babysitting stint or recruiting your partner to take over for a spell, consider allocating a weekly window to see where the winds take you.
Just an hour of alone time can be incredibly rejuvenating, giving you a small sample of the freedom you probably once regularly enjoyed. Use it to get into a good book in a local café, go for a nature walk by yourself or sign up to a spontaneous yoga class. You’ll be amazed how rejuvenated you’ll feel when you come back to your fam.
2 Catch up with friends
When it comes to living a long, healthy life, many people don’t realise that having an active social life is actually as important as getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy diet and not smoking.
So going out with your friends is actually the opposite of selfish – it’s ensuring you are around to watch your children enter adulthood and beyond!
3 Go on a date night
Often our romantic relationship can fall into the “I’ll revisit that later” basket as busy mums bend to the demands of our adorable/demanding offspring, but with research showing that kids whose parents demonstrate love are happier and more secure, and that children of hostile parents tend to blame themselves for the fighting and do worse at school, it’s clear that it’s actually in your kids’ best interest to set time aside for your romantic partner.
Whether you call on a relative or trusted babysitter to head out for a meal, or you simply make a point of a candlelit dinner with the TV off one night a week after the kids have gone down, the whole family will benefit from you and your partner having some special adult time.