How Parents stay sane , yes it is possible sort off
All parents have moments, or even whole days, when they feel they cannot wash one more sticky hand, pick up one more pile of dirty clothes, or summon the energy for one more rendition of Old MacDonald.
You may think that the only answer is a one-way ticket to somewhere far, far away. However, it’s probably more realistic to acknowledge that you’re simply suffering from burnout. You need to take a real break, and do something just for yourself.
To restore your sanity, here are some tips from other BabyCentre mums on what they do to relax and recharge their batteries.
A warm soak
A long bubble bath with candles, music, and a good book is a great way to escape. The warmth of the water, and the soft lights and sounds, can really help you to unwind. For many mums, this small pleasure is a favourite form of escapism.
“I tell the kids, ‘Mum’s having a bit of peace and quiet, so if you need something, tell Daddy.’ I close and lock the door. I turn the radio to my favourite station, pour in in my favourite bubble or bath oil, and make the water nice and warm. Sometimes, I have a cup of tea or wine to sip, but I usually just grab my favourite magazine or a novel, and slide in.”
A bath break can have other romantic benefits:
“Now that I’ve had my second child, it seems like sex is on the back burner – it’s sleep that’s in high demand. However, I find that if I take 20 minutes before bedtime to soak in a bubble bath with some candles lit, it helps me relax and I am more in the mood.”
Some form of body pampering is always a good thing. Many BabyCentre mums recommend a manicure, a pedicure, a massage, a facial, or a new haircut. The benefits are many; not only will you look and feel better, but for a brief moment you can enjoy having someone take care of you.
“I usually have a massage every month. It’s not really an indulgence – it always feels great, helps me relax, and gets my mind off the weekly grind. I’d go bananas without some time to switch off.”
A night on the town
A “date” with your partner will give you both a break and a chance to get to know each other all over again! But try not to spend the whole evening talking about the kids. Reminisce about how you met, your first date, or your favourite memory of life before children. It will help you reconnect at a time when you both really need each other.
“Don’t feel guilty for leaving your baby at home sometimes. Remember that taking a break and spending time with your partner is actually helping your baby because you are nourishing your relationship as a couple.”
Dinner or an outing with a friend provides a change of pace, a new perspective, a fresh experience and adult conversation.
“My husband and I take turns to go out. He’ll go out and play his guitar with friends. I will have dinner, or go out with a friend. Sometimes, I go to see a band I enjoy that my partner doesn’t. Occasionally, I’ll have an all-day outing with some close friends. It’s nice to be able to get away and do grown-up things.”
A walk in the fresh air, a bike ride on a deserted street, a run on the beach: these are a few of our BabyCentre parents’ healthy indulgences. Choose a favourite activity that blows away the cobwebs and gets you out of your everyday routine.
“I love karate. I take three classes a week, which includes strength exercises, stretching, and lots of hard work. It is an excellent way to work off stress and frustration during the week.”
Any kind of extra sleep is something of a miracle when you’re a parent. A lie-in or an afternoon nap are especially prized. It may not always be possible, but occasionally finding some time to have a bit of extra sleep will really help to boost your mood.
“If my partner takes our baby out in the morning, I can go back to sleep after the first breastfeed of the day and know I won’t be disturbed for a few hours. I don’t feel guilty. I’m up and about every other morning and, to be honest, I need the rest!”
A shopping spree and a new outfit can do wonders for the spirit. Like a mini-makeover, it will help you feel renewed.
“When I finally got round to having my hair done, I felt so much better. I’d looked like a wreck and felt like a wreck for so long. Once I looked a bit better, I started to feel a bit better, too.”
Things that grow
Gardening nurtures not only plants but people. The fresh air, exercise, and rewards of watching your garden flourish are especially refreshing. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment when the rest of your life seems to be mired in piles of washing and dirty dishes.
If you haven’t got a garden, pot up a few herbs or flowering plants for a window box. The scents and colours will give you a boost each time you notice them.
“I planted a couple of dozen plants on Saturday and this was quite relaxing. Gardening was my ‘thing’ before becoming pregnant and I hope to get my garden back in order now that my daughter is a little older.”
A solitary swim, a solo walk, or a similar outing provides a simple break that many parents say they depend on. Just being alone can give you time to stock up on some sanity.
“My favourite way to indulge myself is to take the day off work, then go shopping and to lunch by myself. After lunch, if I feel up to more shopping, I go. If not, I go home to have a rest and maybe watch a DVD. I feel great that evening and have a lot of fun with the children when they get in from nursery.”
Time alone to read a book or a magazine is a major feat when you’re a parent. Snatch the time when you can, and you’ll find that reading provides a world of escape when your own life feels fragmented. It also gives you time with people who won’t throw temper tantrum or demand your constant attention!
“My favourite way to rejuvenate myself is to wait for my baby to settle for his morning sleep. Then I pull out my latest magazine, close the door, flop on my bed, and slowly read each and every article. It’s a small but very luxurious way to spend some time by myself.”
Whichever indulgence you choose, enjoy it!