2016: putting the “Me” back in “Mummy”

Happy new year, all! 

2015 was such a whirlwind of activity.. Having Baby Boy, buying our first family home and all the work we had done to it before we moved in, and adjusting to life with two under-3’s. It’s true what they say: it’s not double the amount of work when you have your second child, it’s squared – definitely to the power of two!

I have an amazing support system so I really shouldn’t be complaining – I take my hat off to all the single parents out there, those with twins or multiples, or those who just don’t have anyone around to give them a helping hand. Parenting is tough! Like, emotionally, mentally and physically draining. Our New Years Eve evening was spent playing with the boys and then trying to convince them to sleep. Hubby and I had cereal for dinner because I was too tired to cook, and was holding Baby Boy who seemed to have developed insomnia, and he had his hands full with Toddler Boy. When my sister got locked out of Mum’s house and I had to drive over with spare keys, I picked up some McDonalds on the way home, and we ate our burger meals at 9.30pm once Toddler Boy had fallen asleep. Oh so healthy. (Don’t worry, Toddler Boy had a home cooked, healthy dinner hours earlier before bath time). Hubby and I then started watching a movie to kill time until midnight.

I fell asleep halfway through the movie. Hubby woke me up at 11.57 with a glass of bubbly. I fell asleep again at 11.59, glass propped up against me as I lay curled on the sofa. He tried a couple more times to wake me but I was just too shattered to stay awake. So much for our new year’s celebration.

Somehow I made it up to bed and got a couple of hours sleep before Baby Boy demanded feeding. He then proceeded to wake up every fifty minutes or so between 3am and 8am. I spent most of the night propped up while he fed, trying not to fall asleep holding him, waking up with a start after a few minutes before eventually settling him to bed in his cot. When Toddler Boy and Hubby woke up at 8, I was still shattered, and my back was killing me. It still is. 

So as I sit here contemplating the year that lies ahead, my one central thought is that I have to take care of myself. I have to invest in myself. These boys (Hubby included) need a lot from me. My body can’t cope with the carrying, lifting, rocking, feeding, walking, cooking, cleaning etc without a little TLC. I need to find time to prepare – and eat – proper meals for Hubby and I as well as the toddler friendly stuff that Toddler Boy deigns to eat. I need to prioritise a little time for my own maintenance too – too often it’s a struggle to get ten uninterrupted minutes in the shower, but really I do need to find a way to have that mini-break in my day to keep myself presentable. I will stop spending whole days in my pyjamas! I will moisturise! I will have a hair care regimen! I will start to feel like myself again. And find the ‘me’ in mummy.

So, watch this space .. I have a number of resolutions around this theme and I hope that by putting them out there on this blog it’ll be that little bit easier to find ways to stick to them. The main ones are:

Body: 

  • to be more organised about the cooking situation at home and try meal planning to make sure it’s easier to get my three square meals in, even during Baby Boy’s short naps. This will also help us not to waste so much food (usually salad/veg which doesn’t get eaten in time)
  • to find time once a week for a hair treatment, bubble bath, nails or some other form of ‘maintenance’
  • to drink more water
  • to exercise, even if it’s just a rugosa power walk with Baby Boy in his buggy
  • to build up strength in my back and improve my posture, maybe seeing a physiotherapist if necessary 

Spirit:

  • to make it to church, with the boys, at least once a month but ideally every other week
  • to spend time on Bible study at least once a fortnight
  • to try to develop myself as a Christian, to better understand my faith and implement it in my life

Mind:

  • to change my attitude of consumerism – I am a hopeless shopaholic, but recently I’ve really started to feel disgusted with myself at how much I shop, and how much I waste. I had a big wardrobe clear out of loads of clothes I’d never worn or taken the tags off, and loads of stuff around the house that I’d bought on a whim and never used
  • to buy no more than 13 items of clothing for myself this year (one per month, plus a bridesmaids dress for my best friend’s wedding)
  • to sew! And tailor my wardrobe to a carefully curated wardrobe of items that fit and suit me that I’ll be happy to wear for ages

Family:

  • to cherish and make the most of time spent with the boys – putting my phone away when I’m with them!
  • to accept offers of babysitting from my family in order to spend a bit of couple time with Hubby. Date night once a month?!
  • to spend more time with my mum and siblings 

It’s rather a lot when you write it all down! But at least I can refer back to it and see how I’m doing throughout the year πŸ™‚

What are your plans for the new year?

x Michelle

Penny for your thoughts: any tips on meal planning, carving time out of busy days at home with the kids, or managing to stick to date nights?

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