Taking Time for Yourself After Having Children

My children are now almost six and four and whilst they are no longer babies, I've felt like I've gotten myself into a rut. As soon as C was born almost six years ago, gone were the days where I could do what I liked, whenever I liked. All of my time and effort went into looking after him, making sure he was happy and entertained and my needs always came second. When E was born two years later, my workload was doubled and finding time for myself got very difficult - not that I'm complaining, being a mother is wonderful!

With the children becoming older and more independent, I've found that I do have a little extra "me time" and I've already started doing some things just for me to help keep my sanity and keep my mental health in check. Here are a few things that I am either currently doing or plan on doing when my darling daughter starts nursery next month and I've got a little extra time!

1. Self Care Sunday
This is something that I make sure I do every week. Things can get really busy throughout the week and I always feel like I'm spinning plates. Taking a little time at the end of the week after the children are in bed is so important to me. Usually my Self Care Sunday's consist of a long bath (LUSH bath bomb optional) with a candle, glass of wine and an episode of whatever show I'm currently binge watching on Netflix. It's a great way to wind down and prepare yourself for the week ahead. 

2. Cleaning
This might sound like a bit of a weird one to put under "taking time for yourself" but trust me! There is nothing I hate more than sitting in a messy and untidy house, it exacerbates my anxiety and I'm very much a believer of "tidy house, tidy mind". After a day indoors with the kids, my home will look like a bomb has hit it but I will never go to bed leaving it like that as I just don't feel like my mind will be relaxed. I feel a real sense of accomplishment seeing something go from dirty to sparkling.

3. Diet & Exercise
After having my second child, I put on a lot of weight and I am still carrying it now, four years later. We are eating the same things all of the time so I want to try and zhuzh up our diet and branch out, trying new meal plans and ensuring that we are all definitely getting our five a day because, admittedly, I don't feel like I am. Getting more regular exercise is top of my list for when both children are at school/nursery because I'll have that block of time to go to the gym or a run, clearing my mind and knowing that I am helping my body at the same time.

4. Teeth
This is a bad thing to admit but I shamefully haven't been to the dentist since I was pregnant with my first child. I had braces for a few years as a teen and since I got those off I've loved how straight they are and have always taken care of them. Obviously pregnancy takes its toll on your teeth and I am a little worried about having them checked over again as it's been so long. I am definitely going to make a point of booking in to somewhere like Docklands Dental and having regular checkups. Although I've been brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, they aren't really to the standard that I want them to be so I'll be looking into getting them whitened too.

5. Having my hair done
I don't know if this is just me or a regular mum thing, but I am so bad at keeping my hair in check. It's recommended that you get your hair cut every six weeks but I think I go about 12-18 months without so much as a trim because it's so hard to find the time when you have young children. One thing that I plan on doing when E is at nursery is having a reminder on my calendar to book in to the hairdressers regularly because when I've had a cut and blow dry I feel so much better!

6. Reading
In this digital age I do everything on my phone. Blogging, browsing and uploading to social media, making lists, filling in my calendar - everything is on a screen! I've now started making sure that I put my phone away at least an hour before I go to sleep and switching it for a good book. I used to read a lot before children and all that somehow fell by the wayside. Since I've started up again, it's become obsessive, I cannot wait to see how plots turn out and it's made me get a better sleep because I don't have the blue light from a screen in my face last thing at night.

Do you have any other tips/ideas to add? I'd love to hear them!

This is a collaborative post.

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