|Courtesy Flickr/Creative Commons|
For the past few months this poster has never been so apt for me. As my masseuse says I need grounding. And to take a few deep breaths to calm down when I'm feeling a little fraught. This is good advice.
I was talking to my friend the other day who is due in September. She has planned the whole thing and is adamant about what she is going to do. It reminded me of how I felt when I was pregnant with Kate. I had it all planned. I was confident I knew what to and when to do it. After spending time looking after other people's children and studying all about it I should know what to do and when. BUT as it turned it out nothing has been as I expected. I've even changed as a person - for better or for worse.
It made me think. Nothing can prepare you for what's ahead. And you would not believe how this tiny person could turn your ENTIRE life upside down. All logic and reason seems to go out the window. You forget the most basic of principles and start to worry about the simplest things that you would never have thought of before!
When my sister Nan had her first baby, I was studying for my Montessori Diploma. When Chas was about a year old I went to London to be a Nanny. The little boy I had charge of was about Chas's age and so Nan was always asking me for child-rearing tips. It is interesting to see how the tables have turned. After raising 3 boys consecutively, Nan is more qualified to give me advice and reassurance, which has to be said is a real life saver. And I would like to take this moment to extend my etneral gratitude to you, Nan! You have kept me sane, even over the most simpliest things that afterwards I realised I knew already, but had forgotten in the heat of the moment. (Ed: It's repayment for when I was pregnant with Max, running a thriving business and had two toddlers, and YOU rescued ME, a hundred different bedtimes and bathtimes!)
And so without much further ado. I would like to share some of the extra-special things I have done in order to Keep Calm and Carry On, just for me. So I can feel good and be a good Mama.
- Find a good beautician in your area that is able to come to you. I get my eyebrows waxed and have a pedicure. Having painted toenails is like having flowers in your home. It lifts your spirits.
- Take time to relax. I have a massage every month and this is heaven. At the end of it I feel so relaxed that I don't even want to move.
- Always remember that it is not as bad as you think it is. And you are not alone. There is help out there. It is hard to remember this at 3am when all you want to do is sleep but the little dear thinks it's time to play!
- And you don't have to do it all! I took the plunge and employed a cleaner for 2 hours a week. It is a life saver, especially if you have a very active child who does not believe in sleeping much. Having a clean house keeps me calm too.
We all have our own ways to keep calm. It has become apparent to me in recent months that this is the key to my healthy and happy household... Well, I say "recent months" but I think I knew this already - I just forgot again!
Readers, what do you splurge on, to help give yourself a lift and carry on calmly? If your kids are older, what advice do you have for mums with babies? Do you meet other mum friends for a regular cafe break? Get your hair done? Nap when baby naps? Give us a shout in comments!