Being a Mama to one headstrong child is hard. But being a Mama to a headstrong child AND a Velcro baby who thinks sleep is for the weak? Well, I’ll be polite and call it a challenge.
The past 12 weeks have been a combination of magical and incredibly difficult. I have, at times, found myself wistfully gazing out of the window, dreaming of running away and finding a wine bar that serves copious amounts of cheese with a complimentary foot rub service… (Do such wonders exist?!) Especially during the particularly noisy moments; the eldest banging pots and pans from her toy kitchen singing her own, not-so tuneful, rendition of CBeebies Melody. Repeatedly. Or during another monotonous cluster feeding day, where the youngest spends the day suckling until I feel as though I’ve had the life kissed out of me by a Dementor.
During the day it’s tough to find time to let go and relax with my two beautiful, if slightly crazy, children permanently vying for my attention, and as soon as Busby is in bed I’m on the laptop, battling with the flailing limbs of a feeding baby, to try and reply to at least one email, or get a reasonable amount of words written for a deadline. It’s very difficult to switch off, especially when your home is also your place of work.
The bath is my sanctuary for letting go. I’m so lucky to have an amazingly supportive Husband who runs me a bath every night, takes the baby from me and tells me to relax. That 30 minutes alone with my Kindle helps to keep me sane, and also allows me to gather my thoughts in a quiet, non-distracting environment; immersing myself in a good book.
Sanctuary, the beautiful purveyors of heavenly bath goodies, have recently published a study about the pressures us ladies put ourselves under to keep up with the ideal that we are multi-tasking superwomen 24/7. Busy and stressed have somehow become inextricably linked with success, and 7/10 women feel under pressure to be the “perfect woman”.
As well as creating this wonderful (rather emotional!) video about letting go, Sanctuary have also been working with life coach Jenni Trent-Hughes, who has come up with four fantastically easy ways to #LetGo every day:
- Say what you are grateful for every day. First thing in the morning, before you say a word to anyone and start planning your day, ask yourself “what am I grateful for?” and whatever it is then say “thank you”. It doesn’t have to be anything wild or elaborate.
- Today’s Top 3 (TT3) – things that you want to accomplish. They could be small things, medium things or large things – but stick to just three. Write them on paper and cross them off when you’ve done them. At the end of the day rip the paper up into little pieces and throw it away. Remember to be reasonable with your TT3; grand gestures such as solving world peace probably aren’t achievable in a day!
- Turn Off Time (TOT). This is something I definitely need to start doing! Turn off your phone and/or tablet for 30 minutes per day. You can divide the time if you’d like, but nothing smaller than ten minutes each time and it must be off. Not on silent. Perhaps choose to do this while you’re preparing a meal, crafting with the children, or when you’re soaking in the bath. But always off.
- Use your commute as time for you. This doesn’t apply to me anymore, but I used to love my 40 minute commute into work after becoming a parent! I’d relax with a hot drink and a good book on the bus… Bliss! Jenni suggests: Read a frivolous book. Crochet a scarf. Look at holiday brochures. Meditate. Do NOT plan your next work day. Do NOT worry about the kids’ homework. Do NOT read celebrity gossip stories and worry why you’re not managing like Gwynnie.
How do you #LetGo?