Keep Mum; From One Mother to All You Magical Mothers

To 'Keep Mum' is to remain silent, quiet and to not to spill a secret. I am going to spill this secret though, I highly believe that 'Keeping Mum' has an entirely different meaning in Motherhood. For me to 'Keep Mum', it is about finding that balance of not losing myself, my inner self, in order not to lose my 'Mum-ness'. 

That sounds totally baffling and probably isn't making much sense to you.... That is the whole point. Being a Mother is all consuming, tiring and confusing. You can never spend another day solely thinking of yourself; you can't even sleep without the worries of your children and household on your mind. It is overwhelming and at times overbearing. It is inescapable, despite being joyous. It is life changing, but of course a time of magic. I think the key though, to being the best Mum imaginable is not just to keep Mum, but to keep yourself. I believe that if you keep yourself, not just ticking over but embracing it all with a smile on your face, than you are able to take Motherhood as an exciting adventure, not the daunting nightmare it becomes sometimes. You can do this, but you need to make sure you treat yourself right, too. I think by doing this, it gives you the best chance of 'Keeping Mum' about all sorts of things. Here's my guide to 'Keeping Mum' and not losing yourself in the madness of being a Mum. 

1. I'm not saying to put yourself first; not at all, as I know I will never be number 1 in my own life again. My boys come first, with everything. But I am saying put yourself above quite a few other things; sometimes that pile of ironing can wait another 5 minutes while you make that cuppa. It's amazing how just securing a little bit of time just for you, even if the children are in your presence, can refresh you. When you are refreshed, things don't seem so daunting, the crayon on the wall suddenly doesn't make you want to cry. It's like a quick booster of your day or week and it refreshes and revitalises the Mum in you. 

2. By recharging those all important 'Mum batteries', I believe it keeps you going stronger for longer. There's been plenty of times over the past few parenting years where I have crumbled and broken down crying. These break downs are keen to happen just when my children bring home sickness bugs. I often wonder, in those few days before this break down happened, did I have 5 minutes to myself? The answer is usually no. If I had of, maybe that strength would have been there, and instead of seeing their mother break down over a bowl of sick, maybe they would have seen a super mum taking it in her stride. Of course, I'm not saying its a failure to break down from being strong for so long, its not at all. I have done it many a times but I wonder now, if I can prevent it, I'd love that. 

3. I often wonder about the days in the future, when they are at school all week, or even further than that- when they've flown the nest! I worry that I will consume myself with so much Mum-ness, that the former me would be nothing but a long lost memory. That would be terrifying. More so than just leaving the washing up pile up a bit. It would be horrible. I don't want to lose myself, not yet, at least. That's why I want to keep me, the new self with kids but still got a slice of the old, me. A regenerated version of my old self, then a regenerated version of the Mum I have become, a balance.... even if I can't always get it right. 

4. I think having our own unique personalities shine through our Mummy-selves is quite 'cool' for the kids. And it is great for your relationship. Instead of being "boring" Mummy, I want to be a brilliant, interesting one. 

So, how can you achieve these you question, as you break up another fight while juggling a baby on your hips? It's hard, very hard, but here's some tips. 

1. Talk to your partner/ Mum/ best friend/ sister about how over-whelming parenthood can be, play it up a bit if you have to, take a video of the children in full meltdown mode. Let them know that all you can dream of is to have one blissful bath every so often. I mean the baths where there are no children's toys, there are just bubbles, a bit of bubbly maybe and sweet scents. If they still don't get the hint and give you a half hour, then if and when you know your kids are settled for a solid half an hour, leave whatever washing you were about to fold, or paperwork.... it will get done. Instead indulge in the bath time bliss. Wash away your worries. 

2. If you are in a  relationship and can have someone babysit for you, even if it is only for an hour or so, date nights are so important. I can't stress this enough. I have a whole post on date nights.... HERE

3. Make a coffee date with a friend. Take the kids, or if they are able to be left with a partner or are at pre school, even better. An hour out at the weekends or mid week having a gossip is brilliant. If this seems totally impractical, is there a park near your coffee shop? Can you grab a drink to go this springtime then drink it while having a gossip and watching your kids in the park? It's amazing how much this can perk up your day. Even if the toddlers are being terrors, at least a nice mocha lets it all go down nicely. 



4. Try a family meal out. No, it doesn't take the madness or mayhem away from you, but at least you don't have to cook or clean up. Or if you have a brilliant partner who is willing to stay at home on the xbox while the kids sleep, then go for a girly meal out. Go nuts; get that starter or pudding too. Re-live what it was like pre kids. If this only happens once in a blue moon, at least its happened and I bet for a while it will keep you up on cloud 9. 

5. I never feel ready or confident without my make up on. I admire so much those that do, I wish I had that confidence. The fact is, this is different for everyone, but for me, whenever I have time to experiment with my make up, or put a nice face on, or do my nails, I feel 10 times happier and more satisfied and ready to embrace the day. I've had a newborn and terrible 2 at the same time, they never whinged or become a problem in the morning and I never neglected them, however I have always managed to do my make up. Ok, we never had time limits to start with, but we still get ready quickly. Its about finding the perfect routine, but if you can squeeze in even just time for some nice eyeliner, or slick of lipstick, it may make you feel a whole lot different in the morning. Nails I have to do in the evening, and don't get me wrong, they have smudged plenty, but when I have a nice colour on my nails, it really boosts my self esteem. 

6. New clothes are a brilliant but rare one. I find myself constantly getting things for the boys as I genuinely get more enjoyment doing that than getting clothes for myself. I do notice though, that even a £4 bargain summer top from Primark really lifts my spirits, right until I get the snot snail trail from my kids down it. A treat for yourself, even a cheap or little treat like some new fluffy socks, allows you to feel good about yourself, like you deserve it. You certainly do from running around after all the tiny toes! If new clothes doesn't do it for you, maybe even try some new make up or something for your beautiful kid filled home. 

7. Have you got a hobby? I love doing crafts and cross stitch, or my nails. I don't get to do them that often, maybe once a week but its something I can even do while sitting with the kids on the sofa, or while they are doing drawings or puzzles. It'll be so lovely sitting in the garden doing my hobby while the kids play in the sun. Is there something you can take up? By keeping an interest in other things that don't involve housework or children, it means when they do go to school, round friends houses, university, then at least you have things to occupy yourself that you enjoy. If a hobby seems impossible to take up, have you tried the adult colouring in books? They are fab. Even if you only get 5 minutes to do a quick bit of colouring, they are a brilliant stress reliever. Perhaps the kids can sit down with you and their colouring books? 

8. Home is definitely where the heart is, family is home. I love to talk to the kids about what I enjoy, or if I see something on my phone or in the shops I like, I explain this to the boys. They then become aware that I am not just 'Mummy', I am interesting, I have a personality with likes and dislikes and its so important for them to know this, not just for when it comes down to Mother's Day presents. 

I'm sure many of you will agree with what I have written, I am sure many of you don't. I am emphasising that I am not saying put yourself first, but give yourself a break. Looking after little people is a hard job, whether you also work or don't. Life is stressful, life is hectic. Just take 5 minutes, with or without the kids, to treat and indulge in yourself. It's important and you do deserve it. 

What do you like to do for a hobby? For me time? Pop a comment below, I'd love to hear from you. 

For more daily doses of parenting highs and lows, follow me on FacebookTwitter or Instagram
Post a Comment

Popular Posts