COF­FEE GROUP

How on earth do new mums find ‘me time’?

Little Treasures - - CONTENTS -

SHANNAN theo (15 weeks) Each week I set aside a night when my tod­dler is in bed and my hus­band is in charge of baby Theo for a cou­ple of hours. Dur­ing this time, I paint my nails. It makes me feel like a hu­man for a lit­tle while. My sis­ters come over every fort­night and we spend some time watch­ing TV, paint­ing our nails, eat­ing great food and chat­ting about non mum-re­lated stuff. Ini­tially, it was a strug­gle to find some alone-time with my first­born, but the sec­ond time round I feel like I’ve adapted. It wasn’t in­stant – it took a cou­ple of weeks to es­tab­lish a rou­tine, but now I don’t need to feed him all the time it’s def­i­nitely eas­ier. I try to plan my time wisely, mak­ing the most of the time when they are hav­ing a nap, even if it is just spent do­ing house­hold chores, on the sofa in front of the TV or catch­ing up with a friend. JESSIE kalani (16 weeks) Once a week when my part­ner gets home from work, he looks af­ter Kalani and I run a bub­ble bath. I love baths; they have a knack of re­ally help­ing me to calm and un­wind, even if it’s only for half an hour. It can be pretty tricky find­ing a hint of time to my­self though, so on a Tues­day my mother-in-law, who lives close by, comes over and looks af­ter Kalani whilst I head to the shops to stock up on gro­ceries or to pot­ter about. Find­ing ‘me time’ was hard at first, but now Kalani is a lit­tle older and has longer, more frequent naps, it’s eas­ier to catch my breath and fo­cus on my­self. Dur­ing nap­time, I’ll also do lit­tle, quick ac­tiv­i­ties that don’t take up much time. I’ll paint my nails or do my hair. I’ll catch up on my favourite TV show with a cof­fee or I’ll clean the house.

“NO TIME TO SHOWER? WHY NOT IN­CLUDE THE BABY IN THE SHOWER. WELL, NOT IN THE SHOWER ...IN THE BATH­ROOM. WHACK YOUR BABY IN A BOUNCER, FAC­ING YOU IN THE SHOWER, AND GO FOR IT. CLEANSE, SHAM­POO, CON­DI­TION – THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. YOU’LL EVEN HAVE TIME TO EX­FO­LI­ATE – FACE AND BODY. I WOULD DO THIS BE­FORE MY BA­BIES’ FIRST NAP IN THE MORN­ING.” – BEC JUDD, THE BABY BI­BLE

LOUISE Elara (17 weeks) ‘Me time’ is when my baby is sleep­ing. Dur­ing that time, I re­lax on the sofa with a cof­fee whilst catch­ing up on some TV, or I make a start on some house­work. I try not to do too much as Elara doesn’t go down for long. She is gen­er­ally a pretty chilled out baby. I can pop her down dur­ing the day and have some time, though re­cently she has started to roll over, so I have to keep dart­ing back. ‘Me time’ def­i­nitely has its lim­its. Ini­tially it was re­ally hard to find time alone, but now she is a bit older and loves her toys, it’s be­come a lot eas­ier. Join­ing a cof­fee group has re­ally helped. I can catch up with peo­ple who just ‘get it’. We’re all in the same boat, in the same mo­ment. The ba­bies, be­ing sim­i­lar ages, are also all at a stage where they are start­ing to ac­knowl­edge each other. They’re watch­ing us, watch­ing each other, keep­ing them­selves en­ter­tained, which means we can re­lax and have a chat. I would re­ally rec­om­mend find­ing your lo­cal cof­fee group and go­ing along to a meet­ing. You won’t re­gret it.

NI­COLE âlucy (15 weeks) To be hon­est, there’s not a lot of time with a new­born, es­pe­cially in those first three months. I also have a two year old so it can be lim­it­ing. As they get older and time be­comes more avail­able, I am able to find ‘me time’ in the lit­tle things. Every day I have a shower, be it quickly in the morn­ing or at night, or I go out for a walk to get some fresh air and ex­er­cise as Lucy sleeps soundly in the pram. It’s good for my men­tal health and great for Lucy, too. As time goes on, it gets eas­ier. I don’t need to breast­feed as of­ten so time be­tween feeds has in­creased. The other day I took my tod­dler to the movies, whereas a month or two ago this wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble. Lucy would have needed feed­ing. The best ad­vice I could give is to use your peo­ple, your fam­ily or your friends dur­ing this time. They are your vil­lage, your sup­port sys­tem if you’re feel­ing a lit­tle alien. What’s more, they will prob­a­bly only be more than happy to pitch in and help out if you’re hav­ing a bad day. MICHELLE âhud­son (16 weeks) I find ‘me time’ through Kanga train­ing. I’ve been go­ing to classes since my baby, Hud­son, was six weeks old. Es­sen­tially it’s a mum and bub fit­ness class where you wear baby in a car­rier and do a com­bi­na­tion of floor­work and car­dio. Hud­son is with me, so I guess it can’t re­ally be classed as ‘me time’, but the ba­bies gen­er­ally sleep through and I feel amaz­ing at the end of it. I would re­ally rec­om­mend find­ing some sort of fit­ness class where you can take bub along as per­son­ally it has re­ally helped clear my head. Be­ing part of a cof­fee group is also great to so­cialise with like­minded mums in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions whilst not feel­ing anx­ious about be­ing apart from baby. I also re­ally look for­ward to catch­ing up with ev­ery­one every week and have made some great, life-long friends as an out­come. But if you’re not into group classes or mee­tups just yet, I find a cup of cof­fee – while it’s still hot – a slab of Whit­taker’s choco­late and a sunny spot on the sofa does the trick. TA­TUM âcallan (17 weeks) Find­ing time for my­self is dif­fi­cult. My three-year-old is very phys­i­cally ac­tive and strong willed and my four-month-old has re­flux so doesn’t sleep too well. He’s up every 2-3 hours nightly, with mul­ti­ple 30-minute naps dur­ing the day. In a way, I was pre­pared as my first­born had a sim­i­lar body clock. As they are such hy­per­aware and sen­si­tive ba­bies, time for my­self is two min­utes for a cof­fee a few times a day with mu­sic on in the back­ground – non-baby-re­lated mu­sic! Or I lis­ten to the ra­dio in the car. Ev­ery­thing I do in­volves Cal­lan and once the house­work and tod­dler-re­lated jobs are done there’s not a lot of time left. Even get­ting time for a shower can be dif­fi­cult. Be­fore I had my two chil­dren, I used to re­ally en­joy run­ning and cy­cling, so I plan to do this again once my lit­tle one is older. For now, I try to go for a walk with him in the front pack, where he can sleep, and I find this is re­lax­ing. 

“The key to ‘me time’ is to be hon­est about what makes you feel re­ju­ve­nated and what drains your en­ergy. Mother­ing is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re there for the long haul, start in­vest­ing in your fu­ture health.” – Kathleen Ken­dall-tack­lett, The Hid­den Feel­ings of Mother­hood

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