Me Time for Mums – How to Take Time for Yourself

Me Time for mums, or the lack thereof, is something discussed in my circle of mum friends almost daily. Is it the same for you?

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Not just mums of course, but for all parents. Our lives are getting busier and fuller by the day – which is great for the whole “live life to the full” thing but not so great for our health. You know what though, as time goes on I realise that I don’t want to “have it all”. I would prefer to have just enough and enjoy what I already have.

Last year for me was amazing and exhausting. I rushed from place to place, person to person, capitalising on every opportunity to do more, see more, achieve more. I’m grateful to be here and I’m told to make “every second count”. Only that came at the expense of my health and I didn’t have the work and life balance I thought I had.

I ended last year happy but oh-so-tired. Then, after a break from work at Christmas, I started this year with different priorities. To keep things Simple. To stop and think before saying Yes to anything or anyone. Which is super hard by the way as I’m a people-pleaser.

Something had to give, particularly at work. For years I’ve measured my success with how much I could achieve, how many plates I could juggle or targets I could thrash.

Becoming a mum changed that in many ways as my priorities shifted. I no longer wanted to work every hour possible, I wanted to be home with my babies. Nights out certainly reduced to a monthly occurrence rather than multiple times per week!

Mim Jenkinson at Love from Mim

I’ve struggled in the past with my health and had some wake-up calls for sure.

Yes, life is short and yes, we should make every moment count. BUT – sometimes, having a moment of doing absolutely nothing counts the most. Or a moment laughing, participating in a hobby or watching the waves.

When was the last time you felt truly relaxed?

For me it was six years ago. Just before I jumped on the motherhood treadmill. Then came the cycles of TTC and AF before an eventual, elated BFP. Pregnancy, as amazing as it was at times, certainly wasn’t always.

Then came the babies and, well let’s just say I can’t remember a time in the past six years when I’ve slept for more than two hours straight let alone felt relaxed.

I’m not complaining, I love my life. I’m grateful for every person in it and I wouldn’t change any of it.

But our health is important.

Our family needs us to be strong, healthy and here for them. Plus, as hard as it can be to say, our kids wants shouldn’t always come before our needs. We want quality time with family, but we need time for us too and it doesn’t mean we lose at being mum of the year by doing so.

So, if you’re looking for ideas on how to make time for yourself, here are some of the ways I do. I hope they work for you too.

Me Time for Mums – How to Take Time Out for Yourself

1. Reduce your busy-ness

Are you the kind of person who hates to say No or feel like you’re letting people down if you do?

It’s just not possible to do everything and to be everywhere. Especially when it comes at the expense of your health.

And sometimes the person you need to say No to is you.

When faced with a request, or a task to complete, ask yourself if it’s essential. Is it essential that you are the one to do it? Can they find someone else? Can it wait?

Or, do you really want to do it?

There are a lot of elements of my job that I love to do – but I’m slowly figuring out that I can’t do everything myself. The time has come for me to outsource work to others to free up time for me to focus on other things. Top of that list is self-care – taking time to myself to read, to relax and to unwind.

2. Prioritise your health

How is your general health and wellbeing right now?

If you have any concerns about your health, even minor, get them checked out. Consider booking in for a check-up with your GP, chiro, dentist, massage therapist, acupuncturist or whoever is right for you and your current needs.

Book the appointment, schedule it in your planner and make it a non-negotiable. Make looking after your health a priority, not a “nice To Do”.

Now that’s out of the way, there are little daily rituals we can perform to help support our general wellbeing. We care for those we love best when we look after ourselves first and one of the smaller things that I do to look after myself is to take Life-Space Double Strength Probiotic.

Life-Space Double Strength Probiotic - Love from Mim

Let me introduce you to Life-Space, a brand that is passionate about supporting the everyday health and wellbeing of busy mums and their families with its range of specialist probiotics.

In recent years I’ve been learning about the benefits of probiotics and how they can help support my family’s health. Life-Space Double Strength Probiotic can help support a healthy microbiome and immune system health.

I take probiotics daily and to support their general health, I also keep Life-Space Probiotic Powder for Children and Probiotic Powder for Baby in the kitchen cupboard for the kids. There’s no need for them to be refrigerated, so you can even carry them in your bag, which makes life a lot easier, especially when we travel.

You can find out more about Life-Space here.

3. Be less social

I say less social rather than anti-social!

It’s all too easy to be constantly in the presence of others, on- and off-line. Whilst socialising is beneficial, we can have too much of it.

Step away from your devices occasionally and don’t feel obliged to accept every social invite that comes your way.

Schedule in a coffee date just for you, enjoy your own company and have an internal conversation with yourself. Actually, I don’t like coffee but having a glass of wine by myself doesn’t fit the healthy theme I’m going with here!

How are you feeling? What have you been doing lately? What do you love about your life now? What challenges are you facing?

Check in with yourself, acknowledge what is going right and halt what isn’t working. Make changes.

4. Start a hobby

You might already have a hobby that you love but don’t have enough time for. If so, I encourage you to try to make the time – pursuing a hobby can be a proactive way to feel more like you – aside from being a tired mum, a wife or a worker.

Mim Jenkinson with Planner

If you don’t already have a hobby, think about the things you’re passionate about. Do you lose yourself in books? Are you a DIY and crafting pro? Does volunteering and helping others make you happy?

Could you merrily rewatch the seasons of Outlander on repeat for the rest of your life? That is a legit hobby, let me tell you!

5. Early to bed, early to rise

I’ve only embraced the “early night” quite recently and for a specific reason. I’m not a good sleeper, I wake often in the night and it takes me a long time to fall asleep sometimes. The outcome is that I struggle to get up the next day. I rarely feel well-rested.

Being short of time meant I was also struggling to find any time in my day for me and for self-care. I thought getting up earlier would be a good fix for that and even managed to get to a couple of 6am gym classes. It didn’t stick though.

So, I decided to set myself up for success by just going to bed earlier. I figured it was worth a go to see if I got to sleep sooner and felt better the next day.

A couple of times a week, I’ll go to bed after I put the kids to bed. Sometimes I’ll read for a bit and eventually I’ll fall asleep.

The next day, I wake up before my alarm. I have energy to work out or take my time getting up before the kids wake.

It was a revelation to me that early nights do work – despite being nearly 40 and despite telling my kids every day that they should “go to sleep because you’ll have more energy in the morning”.

It isn’t practical for everyone but if you get the opportunity for an early night, give it a go.

I’m hoping you can find some ways to make more time for yourself too, even just for a few minutes a day. Your health is so important.

Do you have any go-to Me Time for mums activities? Or any tips on balancing work and family as well as your own needs.

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54 Comments

  1. Eva Kiraly
    19th May 2018 / 10:08 pm

    I play my guitar and sing, sometimes it annoys the family but sometimes they join in!

  2. Jennifer B.
    18th May 2018 / 10:22 pm

    When life becomes hectic and the routine’s madcap,
    I retreat upstairs, not wanting to snap and
    Indulge myself (and my sanity) COMPLETELY… A read then a nap!

  3. Stacey Shailer
    18th May 2018 / 2:33 pm

    By simply making sure that I have a nutritious, healthy breakfast every day. It’s surprising just how often I’d miss it due to the school morning rush and making sure everyone else was fed before we head out the door.

  4. 18th May 2018 / 1:15 pm

    I think the best thing I do is not pollute my body with creams an makeup ec. riddled with toxins. I’m a natural girl, I love natural beauty!

  5. Emily Biviano
    18th May 2018 / 11:38 am

    I sit down with a coffee or glass of wine and don’t feel guilty about the laundry or dishes. I just leave them as is, until tomorrow. Some days you just need a time out and others you are motivated.

  6. Maggie Karner
    17th May 2018 / 9:27 pm

    Moisturise the entire body every night and spend as much time as possible with the grandkids every day.

  7. Michelle
    17th May 2018 / 7:22 pm

    I make sure I fit in ‘me’ time

  8. Sarah Light
    16th May 2018 / 9:42 pm

    I try and find time for a soak in the tub with a trash mag at the end of the day. Only thing is my mini me has taken to following me in as well with a magazine at the other end.

  9. Erin Duff
    16th May 2018 / 7:51 pm

    I make sure I have some /me/ time.
    Time strictly for me.
    My thoughts, my body and all the rest,
    In quiet solitary.
    In that moment, I am free.

  10. Jacky B
    16th May 2018 / 4:10 pm

    Combination of pilates, meditation and walking as well as hugging my kids and hubby as often as I can

  11. Amelia M
    16th May 2018 / 1:13 pm

    I’ve just started maternity leave and am awaiting baby #2. Part of waiting is planning, and I’m thinking about all the walks I’ll take once I’m more swagger and less waddle. In the interim though, I nourish my soul by spending time with Miss 3, reading books at bed time and having weekend naps together.

  12. Isabel
    15th May 2018 / 10:48 pm

    Practising yoga regularly to help clear my mind and rejuvenate myself ready for a new day.

  13. julesm
    15th May 2018 / 9:06 pm

    rest

  14. Jessie Chibber
    15th May 2018 / 6:12 pm

    A nice hot bubble bath and a candle, just a small relax time every few months does wanders.

  15. Laura S
    15th May 2018 / 4:36 pm

    A warm bath and a hot cup of tea!

  16. Jenjen
    15th May 2018 / 9:17 am

    Getting as much sleep as i can with 2 little boys! A few hours to myself every so often to get a massage or get my hair done. Playgroup has been great too being able to make new friends and enjoy a coffee and a chat once a week

  17. Kylie Turner
    14th May 2018 / 5:57 pm

    I like to get an early night
    Have a positive outlook that’s bright
    Knowing there is always someone that cares
    Live with an open heart and share
    Artistic creativity is my path
    Beautiful essential oils in a bath!

  18. Elly C
    14th May 2018 / 8:50 am

    I love going for a 5km walk with my wonderful dog and bub (he sleeps in the pram)

  19. Careen P
    14th May 2018 / 8:37 am

    Notoriously bad at looking after me
    I struggle to prioritise myself you see
    So I’m trying to manage a goal a month
    I don’t beat myself up if I don’t hit it at once
    February was to rehydrate from the inside
    March was to rehydrate on the outside
    April was to moderate my chocolate intake
    May is to be kind to myself when I make a mistake
    I take each month at a time
    It is a slow and steady climb!

  20. Maggie
    13th May 2018 / 12:46 pm

    I’ve just started teaching myself how to restore old furniture and I have upholstery on my list to tackle too. having projects that aren’t connected to the kids and the chores is so important to sanity. I also exercise as much as I can, on my own!!

  21. Lesley
    12th May 2018 / 11:27 am

    Sleep! Early nights are a godsend and not averse to the odd nana nap ? in the afternoon….ultimate refresher and pick me up!

  22. Rachel K
    12th May 2018 / 2:08 am

    Laughter!
    I find that laughter and practical jokes are the best way to keep your sanity! For instance if your children are misbehaving and you can no longer take it put a medium sized garbage bin on the kitchen table and wait for one of them to ask what it’s for. Respond by saying that “Due to the economy we are going to have to let one of you go!” The perplexed look on their face is priceless – then hug them both and tell them you love them, and of course, that no one is going anywhere. Their past behaviour is forgotten because there’s nothing that a big group hug won’t fix!
    Another way to keep your sanity is to just escape! Pack the kids and a hairdryer into the car and drive to a street with medium to busy traffic. Sit in your parked car and point the hairdryer at passing cars. See if they slow down! The kids will find it hilarious!
    For pure amusement when you’re next at the bank and the money comes out of the ATM scream “I won!”, “I won!”, “Third time this week!”
    Finally if all else fails, pop some popcorn with the lid off and sit back and relax with a nice cold glass of diet water! lol!

  23. Sonia Chang
    11th May 2018 / 10:10 pm

    As a mum with two disabled daughters, I love to practice yoga exercise and meditation with my favourite classical music and scented candles for relaxation and rejuvenate. My body and mind feel relaxed and positive energy increased with these simple self-care steps. It’s very important to look after myself , so I can have more energy to take good care my family.

  24. Jean Lim
    11th May 2018 / 1:12 pm

    Organise my duties and plan ahead. Try to fit in moments for myself during the week and stick to them, as they are important times to reflect.

  25. Sallyann Silver
    10th May 2018 / 6:15 pm

    Once or twice a week, I look after my 7 month old grandson. It’s lovely having him at my place where we can giggle, play peekaboo, lay on the floor and not have to worry about housework or other jobs!

  26. REBEKAH BALLINGALL
    9th May 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Finding the fun in everything you do, a smile is simple but can make your day

  27. cleo
    9th May 2018 / 3:19 am

    Embrace the balance of tranquility and vitality.Think positively, exercise, eat healthy and stress less. Relax, love and live

  28. Maggie Karner
    8th May 2018 / 8:30 pm

    Eat healthy, exercise and always remain stress free. Life is to short as it is, so I make a conscious effort not to sweat the small stuff.

  29. Jessica West
    8th May 2018 / 8:47 am

    Getting to sleep in is the most amazing thing you could ask for! ?

  30. Karina Lee
    7th May 2018 / 10:43 pm

    I go for a nice fancy pants dinner with some friends to unwind and have some proper adult conversation.

  31. 7th May 2018 / 9:42 pm

    I make time for myself each day. Even if it is getting up early and reading my emails, watching the news or reading my book before the rest of the household. I always my make sure I have a book, comfy shoes and money for a coffee so I can read, walk or be caffeinated when I have a spare moment to myself.

  32. Ben travia
    7th May 2018 / 6:27 pm

    Yoga. I pretend like I’m an involuntary participant pulled along by my partner, but truthfully, once the mat is rolled out, the candle is burning and the relaxing music is playing, it’s my me time.

  33. Lea
    7th May 2018 / 2:14 pm

    I get up before the wild mob, and enjoy a cuppa on my own

  34. Susan Mitterman
    7th May 2018 / 2:02 pm

    As an introverted Mama, I need regular periods of QUIET! Hard to come by but so essential for my mind!

  35. Sharon Johnson
    7th May 2018 / 1:20 pm

    Love heading out to a movie, event, beach by myself or with my boys. Something that breathes relaxation is always welcome.

  36. 7th May 2018 / 12:44 pm

    Sending the kids to the park with their father for a picnic. I can play my relaxing music and get all my cleaning done which makes me feel great.

  37. Louise
    7th May 2018 / 12:10 pm

    I try to stay positive and optimistic. When all around is chaos, I remember that ‘this won’t last forever.’ :)

  38. Philippa
    7th May 2018 / 10:10 am

    I’ve just started having a fornightly 2 hours for me on a Saturday morning when my husband looks after the kids so I can have some me time ?

  39. Nicole Kent
    7th May 2018 / 9:46 am

    An early morning boot camp
    And my exercise is done
    With a great bunch of women
    That make it really fun!

  40. ross powell
    7th May 2018 / 9:42 am

    healthy diet

  41. meedee1
    7th May 2018 / 9:32 am

    For me I need my quiet alone time so I love to stay up after everyone else is in bed and I escape into a book. Even if its just one page it makes my mind go into the story and away from all the daily stresses. I find that recharges me and as i drift off to sleep I can ponder the story rather then stressing over something that might have happened during the day.
    I do agree with you that Probiotics are really wonderful. A couple of weeks ago I was rushed to hospital via ambulance and ended up spending a week in hospital and having a surprise surgery. I was given 4 different types of antibiotics via IV. As soon as i got home I got into the Lifeforce probiotics…they are amazing.

  42. Jordana Hodgetts
    7th May 2018 / 9:29 am

    I have a one month old newborn, and a 18 month old toddler so I am in survival mode!
    I try to get the kids out of the house for a bit of fresh air and a walk most afternoons.
    If two days in a row I accidentally waddle into IGA for an ice cream whilst the kids sleep soundly in the pram, then I’m okay with that!

  43. Fi
    6th May 2018 / 11:33 pm

    When i get stressed or no sleep my skin breaks out which affects my self confidence. I like to take the time every 2nd day or so to give myself a facial by putting on a face mask to help control these breakouts. The more confident i feel, the better my stress levels can be maintained.

  44. Gayle Vos
    6th May 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I look after myself best by starting from the inside out, eat well, drink well and love and respect yourself first

  45. Nikki
    6th May 2018 / 7:18 pm

    I like to surround myself with people that I feel comfortable around. Whether it be catching up with my beautiful aunties, mum, and sisters for a (loud!) lunch, taking a day trip with my husband and kids, or connecting with friends online or in person, I find these interactions make me feel happy and blessed.

  46. Samara McRae
    6th May 2018 / 10:18 am

    Once the kids are in bed I put my feet up, have some yummy food , maybe a glass of wine, and watch something that makes me laugh on tv.

  47. Kylie Embury
    6th May 2018 / 10:02 am

    For me, its swimming laps. It’s the only time I can totally switch off. The first few laps are always sorting things in my mind, then I get into ‘the zone’ clear my mind, count laps, and switch my mind off. I find I’m much more clear headed afterwards, and always sleep better!

  48. Lynsey W
    6th May 2018 / 9:40 am

    A soak in the bath with a nice glass of wine, is my way of washing away the stress of the day for a little me time!

  49. Andie Harrie
    6th May 2018 / 9:21 am

    Exercise and meditation
    Gives me a time out short vacation
    Working and family gets tiring
    So once a week go out and do my own thing
    Keeps me sane and better for the family
    Keeps life flowing happily

  50. 6th May 2018 / 12:26 am

    I free up time. Sometimes it means I race around like a chook with my head chopped off for a little bit, but once hubby is at work and the babe is in bed I have Netflix to myself and don’t have to share the chocolate!

  51. Steph
    5th May 2018 / 11:31 pm

    That moment when you shut the back door of the car with your child inside and you outside…. Always a leisurely stroll with some deep breaths around to the drivers door LOL!! But in all seriousness some meditative breathing each day keeps me going :)

  52. Sarah Middleton
    5th May 2018 / 11:28 pm

    Im still trying to work out some ultimate me time, I try to go to guided meditation, lunch with a friend. Even a quiet coffee before I start the groceries gives me some space. Coincidentally, I’ve also started taking life space probiotics for the past couple of months now and I’m a huge fan. I feel like it has actually helped me lose weight and feel less bloated, digestion benefits maybe? It’s been everywhere we look though nowadays. Gut health is everything, physically and emotionally. I’m actually really glad I started taking them.

  53. 5th May 2018 / 8:55 pm

    I keep connected with my friends- online or in real life- my friends are the greatest support and I’m so blessed to have them all!

  54. Carolyn King
    5th May 2018 / 8:26 pm

    I try to organise a lunch out with a friend at least once a month, go and have a relaxing massage or just go shopping by myself to maintain my sanity and feel more energised to keep up with my usual hectic life.

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