Monday, February 2, 2015

Taking time out

I took part in the Sustainababy "Take Time Out" eco challenge during January to be mindful about taking time out for myself. Before children, I used to think that I was much too selfish to be a mother. Give up travel? Work? Buying expensive things - shoes, clothes, gadgets - on a whim? Please! However, even before I felt those first Ellie kicks in my tummy I was dropped right down my priority list. When Jimmy was born, I dropped down again. There is nothing that I wouldn't do for my babies.

I gladly switched to part time work (no work right now as I'm still on maternity leave, ha!) to care for my children and family. I use cloth nappies with all the washing, folding and sorting that involves. I meal plan, cook, clean, and also manage to blog, all the while making sure my children are stimulated and adored. To make up for my reduced work hours and therefore income, I'm frugal and eco friendly where possible too.

Unfortunately, all that doing of things for them leaves precious little time for me. So this challenge was one that I gladly got on board with, eager to carve out some small pockets of time just to prioritise and focus on me and my 'needs'. I say needs in inverted commas because the older I get, the less I find I need, and really, I just have a lot of wants.

Carving out time alone though, I found especially hard to do, as Jimmy still feeds erratically after his tie revisions, and flat out refuses to take a bottle of my milk, so I had to plan quite precisely.

Here are some of the small things I did this month to take some time out and recharge my batteries.
  • When the children went to bed and the house was clean enough for me not to go crazy in the morning, I went to bed too and got some extra sleep in before the overnight feeds. Sure, I felt like a nana going to bed at 7pm, but I woke up a new woman and coped much better with the night time wake ups.
  • I consciously made an effort to make some tea during the day and actually take the time to sit down and drink it while it was hot! For extra points, I made it in a dainty little cup to make it extra special. Sometimes I even ate it with a lactation cookie on the side. I'm a wild one!
  • A few times, after a long night up feeding the nursing, I just couldn't face the day and all I was 'supposed' to get done. So I popped him into a wrap and promptly took us out for a piece of pecan pie (or something). Suddenly, all was right in the world again. Example of deliciousness consumed below.
  • I went to brunch with my mothers group. This was an exercise in military precision to line up with Jimmy's feeds and I actually had him on the boob right up until I left the house so he would be cheerful while I was out. It was worth it, a ladies brunch was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries. 
  • Baked bread. Sure, this benefits everyone, but there is nothing like taking a bit of time to feed the starter and take a bit of frustration out when working the dough... with the added benefit of delicious fresh bread smell wafting around the house!
  • I gave myself permission to take a 'day off'. So I didn't hustle to do laundry or clean or cook. I just stayed in bed with Jimmy and indulged in chatting to him and admiring those lovely chunky limbs of his!
How do you take time out for yourself to recharge your batteries?

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