I’ve not had the greatest week. Mummying is tough!
Being an only child, I need alone time to recharge. The only time I’ve actually had time to myself (i.e. without a little person attached to me, or without any adults talking to me) is when I went for a job interview during maternity leave (there’s a post coming up about that). I was also fairly independent pre-baby – regularly jetting off half way around the world for a holiday by myself, trotting around the country for business, having regular days out without anyone there and able to do anything at the drop of a hat.
Also, I’ve had few social blunders over the past week. I’ve felt very excluded from a group of mums, unsure of where I stand in certain friendships and I hosted a coffee morning for a random group of mums where only one person turned up (and that doesn’t count because I knew her!). Converserly to needing my own space, I am also a very socialable person. When things like this happen it puts me out.
It’s always a challenge for me to admit when I’m struggling as I am adamant I can do everything by myself but it has been hard to look after a little person and not have any time to myself. After 7 and a half months of this and the social blunders it finally hit me.
So if you find yourself in the same situation, there are many ways you can pick yourself up and get back on track again. Remember you’re not in this alone.
Speak to someone
First and foremost – speak to someone about how you’re feeling. One it will make you feel better to get it off your chest, and two if you’re speaking to another mum they can sympathise and empathise with you. We’re in this together. Like they say a problem shared is a problem halved, you can problem solve how to pick yourself up again.
Speaking to my mum, friends and big dude about how I was feeling was invaluable. I got some tips from friends on what I could do to reenergize, big dude immediately booked me on a massage, and my mum came round to look after little dude to give me a break! All which made me feel tons better and like a new person. If I hadn’t told anyone, none of the above would have happened.
Ask for help
I’ll admit I’m really bad at asking for help. Most people who say they want to help, actually want to help and are not doing out of politeness. Take them up on the offer. Whether it’s bringing round a meal for you, watching your kid or helping do chores around the house – let them help you. Parenting takes a community and you need all the help you can get.
Schedule in some me-time
Take some time out. I’m not just saying for an hour, if you can get it take half a day to yourself. Not with anyone else, but just you alone and do something you want. While it is great to spend time with other people, when you’re alone you don’t have to factor anyone else into the decision-making process and you can concentrate solely on yourself which is now a rare luxury being a mum!
I went to get my haircut, had some wine, shopped and wandered around Boxpark. It was amazing just spending a few hours by myself again and just mooching around.
If you need some ideas on how to spend your me-time read my other post – HOW TO: Self-care is not selfish – the importance of self-care for mums
Have time out not only reengrised me but I find it makes me be a better mum to little dude. I found when I came back I was less arg and more woo. Parenting is full of ups and downs (as is life in general) but having a strategy to pick yourself up from the downs can do wonders in the long run.