It’s not always that easy to schedule in some time for yourself when you’re a mum with young children. As well as looking after the kids, you’ve also got to fit in work (whether it’s as an employee or freelance) and running the house, too. So, time to spend on yourself quite often seems in short supply.
However, it’s important that you try to create some ‘me time’ during your usual week’s routine, or you’ll end up feeling too frazzled to do anything well (or, at least, to do it well and with a willing heart). Instead, you’ll begin to resent the demands made on you by the kids, your partner, work, etc. So, even if you can only grab five minutes for yourself here and there, it’s still worth doing. It helps you to have a mental break from the daily routine and allows you to recharge your batteries – if only a little at a time.
What can you do in five minutes, though?
There are plenty of ways to wind down in short bursts. We’re lucky to have on tap entertainment at our fingertips via the internet today – just think how lucky we are compared with our mothers and grandmothers. Not only do we have the option of constant entertainment when we want it, we also have a whole host of labour-saving devices in the house such as dishwashers, slow cookers and washing machines that some of our grandmothers would never have dreamed of owning.
Games such as online versions of bingo are ideal for a few minutes of downtime. The games that you’ll find on sites such as 32red bingo or Cheeky Bingo are so easy to play and they only cost a few pennies at a time. You can even opt just to play the free games if you’re more interested in the entertainment of playing than winning the big cash prizes. As well as being fun, online bingo games are also a social outlet, as you can chat to other players in the bingo chat rooms. Often life at home with the kids can feel a little isolated, so being able to chat to someone online can break up the day, and, if you’ve got a shared interest such as playing the same bingo game, you’ll have a good starting point for a conversation.
Other online games such as the puzzlers you can download onto your phone are also great for a short break during the day. There are so many different gaming apps to download, you could play something different every day if you chose to.
Gaming isn’t the only way to take five, though. Little beauty routines such as filing and painting your nails do not take long, but the results will make you feel so much better than if you simply do not bother. Similarly, if you do not feel you have time to go to the gym, incorporate more physical activity into your day – parking further away from the kids’ school and walking to pick them up, or leaving the car at home and walking all the way. The kids will also probably benefit from the walk home, and you’ll have a chance to chat together before you get into the house.
As well as these little breaks, see if you can schedule in some longer ‘me time’ breaks. It’s not unreasonable to have one night a week where your partner takes over on the bedtime/bath-time routine, leaving you free to go to a class at the gym or to catch up with a friend without having the kids in tow. Or, if you’re an early bird, you could take advantage of early mornings to go for a run or a swim before the rest of the household gets up. However you do it, make it your business to work in some ‘me time’ to your busy schedule. You’ll feel better for doing so!