Putting Mommy as a Priority is something I have never been able to achieve.
Towards the end of last year I wrote 2 blogs that were immensely popular and the topics are obviously things that are things that are a struggle for all moms: my body after birth and time to get my sexy back! I am tired of being this washed out, exhausted mom that cannot find the time or energy to do anything for myself. I’m not talking about extremes here, I am talking about all the basic ways of taking care of myself like washing my hair and blow drying it!
Last week I put a few things into action and the results have been incredible! I am not going to try and move mountains here, I am going to add in a few things each month and concentrate on maintaining them.
1 Getting up ½ hour earlier every day
This small change has changed every day in big ways. I manage to sit alone and have a cup of coffee. No kids, no husband, just peace and quiet. I have a chance to think about the day ahead with no distractions.
2 Weaned my 1 yr old
Oh wow my body is now my own again now that my son is weaned. I knew the breastfeeding was draining on my body and my time, but I can really feel it now. 1 week on and I am a new person. The biggest change here is that my husband is now on night duty and I have slept through for 7 nights in a row!
I am bipolar and supposed to be on mood stabilizing medication. In the last 4 years I have given birth to my 2 children and breastfed them both so I couldn’t take my meds. Out of 48 months I have been pregnant for 18 months and spent a total of 18 months breastfeeding = 36 months without meds.
I also suffer from insomnia which my meds helped with. Lack of sleep does not go down well with bipolar disorder so it has been a rocky 4 years for me. If you take the mix of a recovering alcoholic addict, bipolar, insomniac, breastfeeding mom, hormonal crazy pregnant woman, this just ends up with one big mess.
3 My appearance
For the last few years I have looked terrible. After the birth of my 1st baby I suffered from PND, from then on I have never managed to look presentable. I have tried on a few occasions but it has never lasted more than 24 hours!
The first thing I did with this is get rid of all my old underwear. The big ugly bras for breastfeeding have been replaced with pretty, lacy underwire bras and my old granny panties (the big comfy ones I bought soon after the birth of my 1st baby over 3 years ago) have been replaced with matching pretty knickers.
This might seem strange, but it has made me feel great.
I dug in my cupboard and pulled out all my heels… ok not all, some are seriously high and I can’t run around in them or carry a child without us being in serious danger. Those heels will have to wait for another 5 years or so.
I rearranged my cupboard and pulled out all my pretty dresses. Every night (while my 3 yr old is in the bath) I have given myself a facial, plucked my eyebrows (serious caterpillar problems here), filed my nails or done some basic care that pre-kids I took for granted.
Every morning while my kids are distracted with eating their breakfast I run and grab a pretty dress and a pair of heels and dash into the bathroom to put some make up on and check my hair. I have a total of about 10 minutes if I am lucky to get this done. Everywhere I go now people compliment me on how good I look. It’s not that I look like a model, but people are noticing that I am doing some basic care here.
Towards the end of last year I hired a maid to come in once a week. I was worried about the extra expense but it has made such a difference I might even pay for her to come more often.
Since last week I decided that every night after supper is tidy up time. All the dishes (including kids lunch boxes) must be washed and packed away, all kitchen and dining room surfaces wiped and the kitchen and dining room floor swept.
The clothes are put in the washing machine to be hung up in the morning.
Meat is taken out the freezer to defrost for the next day’s meal.
My 3 year old daughter is in charge of all toys and packing away school bags.
This way the house is in a reasonable state by the time we bath the kids and put them to bed: the rest of the evening I have a clean house and no chores to do.
In the morning after my 5 minutes of peaceful coffee I get started with lunches for the kids and hubby. I purchased a slow cooker last week because one of the daily difficulties I have is leaving work at 4pm, fetching the kids and getting home at 4h45pm and trying to cook a meal by 6h30pm with the kids harassing me for attention. It is enough to put even the most patient person in the loony bin.
Now every morning I chuck food in the slow cooker and by the time I get home it is ready. I made a huge pot of rice, divided it up into meal portions and froze it. The most I have to do now is defrost some rice and dish the food up in the evenings. Instead of all the rushing and tension I now come home and spend some time with my children. It is lovely for the whole family. I am still trying to figure out the slow cooker, a few of the meals have been very bland!
I will be spending time searching for recipes and playing around. If anyone has any good recipes for slow cookers please pop them in the comment section below. I’m also planning on doubling up the food every night and freezing half so that I can stock up on suppers for those days, you as a mom know exactly what sort of day I mean.
5 Eating Healthily
I have not made such a start here except for the take-aways problem I have. It is not that I love take-aways, it is also not that I hate cooking. I just hate cooking under pressure with a 1 yr old and 3 yr old driving me crazy.
Towards the end of every day I start worrying about getting supper made and then decide to stop on the way home and just buy take-aways. This is a financial problem as well as a health issue. My post baby stomach certainly doesn’t need it, and it is not good for my kids. Taking a bit of time to think ahead about meals and using the slow cooker has made it so much easier to avoid buying take-aways.
I have cut down on the coke and drunk a lot more water. I have also cut out the nightly chocolate feasting.
I am working on what to change come February, the most urgent things are:
- Exercise, specifically this post baby tummy: yes I am still being congratulated on a daily basis on my apparent new pregnancy!
- Eating healthily: cutting down on all sugar (yes those many cups of coffee with 3 sugars), cutting down on carbs (good-bye chippies)
- Me time and pampering: My goal is to take some time off work and go for a massage then go home and do absolutely nothing. I deserve it!