Whether you’re about to become a (first-time) mum whilst juggling a busy job or looking after an older sibling(s), chances are you are never able to find enough time for yourself.
There’s always something else that needs to be done – work, childcare, maybe even a house move before baby arrives involving numerous trips to B&Q, Homebase and John Lewis. You may also find yourself staring at dozens of paint samples on the baby’s bedroom wall and picking a different one as the right colour each time before changing your mind again once the sun has set and it all looks different again… And you have no idea where to even start looking for the ONE pram out of the choice of (what feels like) hundreds. Of course it must be safe, it must be functional and it kind of needs to match your handbag. No, let’s scrap that for a changing bag now – the question is just, which one?!
Just going through this list of thoughts makes me feel slightly stressed out again, and I’m not even pregnant anymore.
With all these thoughts going through your mind, plus the usual day to day life that needs to somehow keep happening, it is so easy to forget about yourself. And let’s face it, once baby arrives, there is very little time left of this! So try and find some Me-Time, just every now and then. To unwind, to recharge your batteries (you’ll need those..) and to find a moment to bond with that tiny person inside you.
Here are my recommendations:
- go for a walk – it does not need to be a hike, after all you may be huge, you may feel heavy, you may even have back ache, swollen feet or pelvic pain. Just go for a bit of fresh air outside. Enjoy the peace and quiet and put your phone away. Unless of course you are listening to some relaxing music (in which case I’d thoroughly recommend Enya).
- get a good book – and spend a few minutes every day relaxing on the sofa, feet up, with a good cup of tea (why not try a flowering tea: click here for an example?)
- Get a foot rub! It does not have to be the baby’s father, anyone will do. Yes, you can even try your toddler (from experience I can tell you this is less effective on a physical level but a real feel-good factor nonetheless!)
- Write a journal: write down your feelings, your worries and excitements. At the moment it may feel as though you’ll never forget this time… but then the baby arrives.
- Take a nice bath – not too hot, not too long, but treat yourself! Some lovely candles in the room, relaxing music or a nice book… you get the idea!
- Stay fit and healthy! Join a local pre-natal class – pregnancy yoga can do wonders to your energy level and flexibility and really helps staying mobile and active. You might also make new friends!
- If you like them – go for a pedicure/manicure. Especially in your third trimester when you’re unlikely to be able to reach for your shoes (let alone look after your own toes…) this can really lift your spirits and make you feel a million dollars.
- Have a date night. Yes, you’re big. Yes, you probably don’t want to get off the sofa, but you will spend plenty of time in your house feeling a little anti-social once the little one has arrived, and very little time with your partner. Make use of those last few weeks of just being you two (if it’s your first…, otherwise get a babysitter!): go for dinner, go to the cinema, enjoy a concert… Trialled and tested: Payl McCartney at 36 weeks pregnant is amazing!
- Get your favourite music out and dance/sing to it! First benefit: the baby may just enjoy your kind of music in the future.. secondly, you’ll feel a lot better (unlike your neighbours if your singing is anything like mine…), and you’re mobilising your body making sure baby moves into the right positions. Combine this with a bit of (safe) rocking on the gym ball, and you’re doing your body a world of good.
- If you’re good at art why not draw some pictures yourself to hang up in the baby’s room? No, there are no such drawings in our house.
- Catch up with friends! Get them round, order some food for delivery, put your favourite film on. Yes, they’ll still be around in the future, but next time you’ll see them you’ll be watching kids’ TV, explaining the different Thomas The Tank Engine characters to them, whilst wiping your baby’s snot/sick/food off your clothes…
- Go swimming – the weightlessness is amazing (not so amazing when you get out of the pool, but it’s all worth it!) and keeps you flexible.
- Enjoy a massage. I’m not just saying this as a massage therapist. The difference I see in women before and after a treatment is quite something. It’ll help you with aches and pains, it’ll help you with sleep, it will give you that time out and help you bond with your unborn baby. It will make you feel more energised. Just give it a try! (alternatively, explain to your partner that you are doing all the baby growing… he is responsible for daily back/foot rubs!)
Whatever it is, don’t let your Me-Time be a ‘must do this before baby arrives’ time. Make it something you want to do because you know it’ll make you feel good, not because it needs to be done.