Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Welcome to episode one of our new series of guest blogs, focusing on self-care habits other mums use. This episode is written by Nicola Asuncion from the blog A Kettering Mum
Being a new mum can be pretty isolating. As a new mum in a completely new area even more so. With the exception of a midweek Mum & Baby club, any adult interaction I have is with my husband – amongst all of the baby chaos – when he comes home from work.
Like most mums on Maternity leave, I have days when my cabin fever levels are high. Bringing up my little boy is the most rewarding thing I’ll ever do but sometimes I just need time for me. It’s not a big thing, but sometimes I just need to get out, move and breathe.
I simply go for a walk.
I’m not alone. The baby sits nicely in the pram and takes in the scenery. He’s fascinated by the blue sky, green grass and the rustling sound of the wind blowing through the trees. It makes me happy to see his curious nature thrive, so whilst he’s watching the world go by I have my moment of peace. Technically it’s not exactly ‘me time’ as my son is with me, but it is my moment in time. A moment when I’m not chasing around after a mischievous little human about to tip over a plant pot or sitting on the couch watching mind numbing day time TV whilst he naps. This is my time to think about whatever I want. I can plan, reflect, or just simply have a break. Whatever thoughts enter my head, it’s so good to be out, moving and breathing.
I try to get out most days, and I’ve made the most of the weather this Autumn. For me going out for a walk is a necessity which helps me survive those inevitable low moods and feelings of isolation. Whilst I don’t count the steps taken and calories burned, walking is a great form of exercise with proven health benefits. More importantly, I always come home and say “I’m glad I did that.” It really helps to keep my mental health in check.
Taking this time out for myself is hardly self-indulgent but I guess ‘me’ time comes in all forms as does the mum guilt that comes along with it. For me however, it’s less ‘mum’ guilt and more ‘not getting stuff done’ guilt. The more time I spend outside the more things are not getting done inside. And when you have a baby causing destruction wherever he goes, plus the general mess that day to day living brings, there is always stuff to be done.
In order to avoid feeling completely bogged down, I think I’ve found a balance. . I try to spread the ‘things to be done’ out over a couple of days and work it around the baby’s feed time, nap time, play time and our little outings. I do this to stay sane and it’s a way of me avoiding that guilty, ‘things are getting on top of me/I’m rubbish at being a mum and running a house’ feeling.
As I write this, I wonder what other mums do when they need to take a time out. Perhaps they get go nails done, have coffee with friends or read the latest Jilly Cooper. I also wonder what different levels of ‘mum’ guilt they feel and how they overcome it, but most of all I hope that they don’t really feel it. We all need a little ‘me’ moment from time to time and there should be no shame in it.
Even Super Woman needs a break, and we are all super women after all!
Twitter @aketteringmum / Instagram @nicola.asuncion
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