Being a parent is wonderful — but it occasionally feels like a thankless task with a never ending to-do list. Really, it’s not just being a parent that creates this, it’s life in general. Everyone is so busy all of the time with family, work and the general ‘stuff’ that has to be done everyday, that taking time for yourself can seem virtually impossible.
The demands on your time and energy are seemingly limitless and social media can magnify unrealistic expectations of being on top form all the time. Many people over-share those ‘perfect’ moments, when in reality, we all know that life just isn’t that perfect all of the time.
Did you know that nearly 90 per cent of mothers feel guilty at some point and one of the reasons is spending time doing things they enjoy — instead of dedicating every waking minute to childcare.
It’s something I certainly feel, there is always something ‘else’ that needs to be done, but I try to fit in that time for me once everyone is asleep. That means I’m often exercising or maybe taking a bath very late at night, but that’s just how life works.
How do you make time for yourself? Here are a few things that other parents I’ve spoken to have said they get up to.
When you’re changing dirty nappies or chasing a screaming child round the supermarket, quiet moments of self-reflection seem a million miles away.
Yoga aligns energies in your mind, body and spirit, resetting and refreshing your way of being.
Benefits: Breathing and meditation techniques that restore calm, movements for suppleness and agility.
Providers: Yoga Mums provides online tutorials, one-to-one lessons and lively workshops.
As a woman who might be balancing the challenges of motherhood with a career and relationship, you might have lots of pent-up energy just waiting to be released onto the page in sparkling prose or poetry.
So a creative writing class is the ideal safe space to express yourself in no uncertain terms.
Benefits: You might unearth a hidden talent that helps you pay the bills — writing groups can be stepping stones to getting paid for your passion.
Providers: Magi Gibson’s Wild Women Writing course helps budding female writers bond brilliantly and put pen to paper with dazzling results.
Many martial arts are popular with both sexes, but female practitioners have proven particularly adept in the graceful yet deadly discipline of Aikido.
Using balance, footwork and throws, experts can turn any size of opponent’s attacking energy back against them with amazing economy of movement.
Benefits: Training helps you develop physical fitness and mental composure that benefit every aspect of your life.
Providers: Find a convenient local club near you on the British Aikido Board website.
If you plan to restart a job you’ve paused to have children, or fancy switching careers to something more exciting or fulfilling, distance learning provides the flexibility to fit classes around childcare.
Courses in management or digital marketing can help you secure a promotion or start your own company.
Benefits: Upskilling enhances your career options and might boost your earnings — good news for the entire family.
Providers: Anglia Ruskin University’s online degree programme has a wide choice of accessible distance learning options.
We’d love to hear how you make time for ‘you’ – let us know in a comment below. How do you fit it in?