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Being a parent can be exhausting at times. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be a parent, and I love my daughter. However, at times it can feel like ALL of my time goes into being a parent, working or just general house maintenance. The last few months, now my daughter is no longer a baby, I have been working on taking care of myself more. For me, I’ve been working on self-care as a parent more and I want to share 5 ways I’m achieving this recently. I’ve written about my first year as a parent previously and I’ve been making more effort to take care of myself too.
While there are lots of ways that I practice self-care as a parent but these are some of the smaller ones, that I do regularly throughout the week.
Doing my hair and makeup
This often means I have to wake up earlier in the morning, or I have to stop working earlier to get ready to go out for the day. However, I have found that it increases my mood drastically. No longer do I look through my camera roll and feel depressed that I look so sleep deprived, or that my hair is that frizzy ALL the time! By having my shower in the evening, instead of in the morning, I tend to let my hair dry naturally while I work or relax after Daisy’s bedtime routine has been completed. Then I only need to brush my hair and I can go to sleep. In the morning this means my hair is already dry, cutting the time I need to spend, and I can just brush it through and straighten or style it. I’m able to straighten my hair in under 10 minutes, or 5 minutes if I’ve bothered to blow-dry it before bed.
Enjoying a face mask
Any sort of mask really but I love a face mask. At Christmas time Champneys had a lovely kit of face, hand and feet masks for £10. I asked for a couple of these, so I have the masks already there. I also love buying a bulk load of *Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea mud masks. These work out under £1 with 6 usually costing £4.75-£5 typically. This means I always have a nice supply in my bathroom cabinet whenever I can find the time for a treat. I’m a big fan of masks in general. Hair masks, face masks, hand masks, all sorts really. A mask usually takes just 10 minutes and if I’m having a really, really stressful day I can do one at my desk or even while I clean my kitchen. The relaxation isn’t quite as strong but it helps me stay sane through the busy/stressful days and means my skin looks miles better too. People have noticed!
Making the most of my evening
At least once a week I make the most of my evening. By that I mean I don’t work, I avoid being on social media much (which would lead to me working) and I make time to relax. How I achieve this is when Daisy first goes off to bed and is not quite asleep yet, I get my chores completed. Assuming I’m home alone that night of course. If Thomas is home then we share the bedtime routine and the completion of chores. Then we can both sit down to relax at the same time. Once the chores are completed I relax for most of the evening. Usually, this will be 6:30-10:00pm. During this time I read, watch television, spend time with Thomas, pamper myself, have a soak in the tub, drink wine or whatever else I fancy really. Just in case you are wondering – we often eat dinner with Daisy before she goes to bed.
Since Daisy was born the money and time that I spend on myself has really dwindled. For me, this hasn’t really been out of necessity, not the money part at least! As Daisy became diagnosed with FPIES most of my evenings were taken up with trying to comfort her when she was ill or spent at the hospital with her, and so the time I had for myself rapidly declined. Daisy first became ill at 10 days old and so we never really enjoyed that newborn phase where babies sleep a lot and there is time to actually have a nice bath while the other parent does the parenting. Instead, we were a tag-team just trying to sleep, clean up sick and comfort our poorly child.
Now I make the effort to treat myself. I get my hair cut regularly, treat myself to quality makeup and I have now started buying clothes again. No longer do I balk at spending £30-£40 on myself every week or two, on a new jumper, a haircut or a foundation. I deserve to treat myself, and financially we are in a good place so why shouldn’t I?! I do have to make a conscious effort, but something I have been trying to do recently is supporting smaller businesses when I treat myself. This way I get some that is often unique AND I help a fellow businessperson!
Having a day or night out
This isn’t weekly, or even monthly some months, but we have been going out a little more. Daisy has two mornings in nursery per week and goes to my in-laws every Thursday. This is great as it means we can go to the cinema, go out for lunch or even enjoy a spa day if we choose to. We’ve been making more of an effort recently and I’m planning for us to complete a few items from our 2018 bucket list on Thursdays too while Daisy is having a great day with our in-laws. We went for a hotel stay at Manor of Groves last year and since then I’ve realised just how important it is for us to have a little bit of time together, as a couple, where we don’t have to parent at the same time.