Wife. Mother. Book Lover. Blogger. Wannabe Photographer.
These are the words that are the very first to appear on my blog, A Study in Contradictions. They are contained within the header. I’ve been all 5, with the exception of ‘Mother’ for at least the last 4 years.
I’ve been a wife for almost 5 years. A book lover for as long as I can remember. A wannabe photographer for almost as long as a book lover. And while these things are the first that pop in to my mind when asked to describe myself I am so much more than that.
I’ve also been a partier. A raver. A dancer. A singer. A knitter. A movie lover. A spontaneous road-trip taker. A worker. A bookseller. A scrapbooker. As time has gone on I’ve been less of those things and more of others. But since becoming a Mother I must admit that the thing I became the most was boring.
It was so easy to get caught up in the fog of being a new Mum that everything else just became un-important. For a while I just wasn’t interested in those things, because, let’s be honest, what’s more interesting than our little cherubs?!
But after about 6-8 months of being a new Mum, about the time I went back to work part-time, I realised that I needed to be doing a bit more of those things I used to love. I guess it also coincided with the time that Punky really started to get mobile and more challenging. After spending days on end where I would do nothing but look after Punky, not even leaving the house or getting out of my PJ’s, my patience would become noticeably absent and my stress-levels noticeably high!
I realised that I hadn’t read a book since before she a born. I’d barely blogged. I hardly ever had any time to myself. I hadn’t had dinner with my girlfriends or gone to the hairdresser or even just spent an afternoon wandering around outside with my camera, being creative and taking photos of something or someone other than Punky.
That’s when I decided that things needed to change. I’d been given lots of vouchers for facials and massages for my birthday and I decided to book a facial. I spent a glorious hour and a half being pampered, and afterwards I got myself a coffee at my favourite café and just sat there, by myself, enjoying the time out.
When I got back home I felt rejuvenated. I felt relaxed. I was less stressed and way more patient in my dealings with Punky. And that’s when I realised that when I take time for myself, whether it be to have a facial, read a book, spend time with my camera, go out to dinner with girlfriends, or even just spend a few guilt-free hours in front of the computer blogging, doing things that I loved to do before Punky came along, I was a better Mother for it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the world of our kids, especially when they are babies, and forget to take time for ourselves. But I believe it’s essential to being better parents. You read the parenting and baby books and they all talk about taking time outside and going for walks or getting out of the house when the baby is having a bad day. But they never talk about doing the same for yourself. That getting away from the baby and kids, even just for an hour or two, and not just during nap-time, is often all you need to help clear your mind a little and allow you to function better, not just as a Mother, but as a human being! It might sound selfish to some, but by making time to do some of those things that I used to do before I became a Mum, makes me a better Mum. And you can’t argue with that!
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