Welcome to the wrecked mums club. Current population: everyone I know.
Doesn’t matter how old your kids are, or what you do for a living, being a mum is exhausting.
A woman on a Facebook business group I’m part of shared a post this week asking for help. She’d been working full time running her own business, and also running her family without the means to get a cleaner or any of their kind of expensive outsourcing.
“To the women that have been in my position hit me with all the advice, what do you wish you had done differently, what worked, what didn’t…? I don’t have a cleaner etc, I do everything myself.”
Read more about self-care:
- Have we got self-care wrong?
- Self-care for dads is also important
- 8 ways to take care of yourself when you really don’t have time
Getting your energy back
She was inundated with replies from women posting in empathy and with lots of practical suggestions.
Daytime Explorer host, Amy Taylor-Kabbaz is also feeling the exhaustion lately.
She posted this on Instagram the other night, saying she’d called her husband to make sure he was going to be home early so she could escape to her Kundalini yoga class. The one place – she said – where she can truly unwind and get her energy back.
View this post on Instagram
Sometimes, I’m so ‘in my head’ it’s overwhelming. I’m paralysed by my own inner mean mama voice. Even after all these years, there are days she takes over again. And I need to take big action. Today, this is my big action: Messaging my husband to see if he’ll be home early enough so I can come here. To yoga. To kundalini. Through these doors. I know when I’m there, I’ll silence that voice. I’ll breathe out. I’ll probably even cry. And that’s what we have to do sometimes. Yoga, friends, essential oils, exercise. It saves me over and over. X
Amy’s post got me thinking about all the different ways we mothers recharge after a really exhausting day/month/week. It’s so easy to read about things we “should” do but what are the things we actually get around to?
For me it’s sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. Be it in tiny power naps (20 minutes max) in the afternoon, or a couple of early nights in a row. Once I have two days of decent sleep under my belt, I feel the “power” coming back.
Here are some other ideas:
Book yourself a GP appointment
Okay, so book a long appointment. Yes, it may take an hour of your day but when you get there, ask to have all your vitals checked, and also get a round of blood tests. Even having a chat to your GP can lift your spirits a bit. Checking with yourself is just self-care.
For people who don’t like to write this can feel a bit strange but it’s so therapeutic. Getting those words out on paper will help you find out what’s stressing you or, making your eyes blink open in distress at 3am.
What does rest look like for you? Yes, I know how hard it is! For me, it’s about going to bed when my kids do (right now that’s about 8:30 pm … bring on autumn!). At least two nights in a row of early nights can be a gamechanger.
A soak in the ocean
This one is harder for many people, but Feed Play Love host, Shevonne Hunt swears nothing beats it. “Even 5 minutes in and out can do wonders for my soul!”
A day off
Again, not something that everyone can do, but a mental health day can sometimes be absolutely everything you need. Drop the kids off, lie on the lounge, snooze, read and Netflix the day away.
Invest in an eye pillow
I have a lavender one and it has changed everything for me. I lay it across my eyes, lie on the floor or put my legs up the wall. Even ten minutes with no light coming into my eyes makes me feel really rested, and quite quickly.
Ignore the chores for a night
That means the washing up and cooking dinner. Pick something up on your way home, or order pizza online. Or just have toast for a night. Get home, shoes off, sit on the floor with your kids and aim for an early night.