Parenting is tiring and stressful. Sometimes we just need a bit of time to ourselves to rest and recuperate. But with a never ending to do list and hoards of people clawing for your attention, how on earth is a mum supposed to relax?
Here a re a few ideas…
1. A long soak in the tub.
Dig out the Boots Christmas gift sets, run a warm bubble bath, light some candles and maybe even pour yourself a glass of cold, white wine. Mmm. Why not go the whole hog and cue up some new age, hippy dippy, plinky plonky relaxation music on YouTube? No one could fail to wind down in that environment…
Though it is a little disconcerting to be soaking your troubles away under the watchful eye of three rubber ducks and and a wind up fish. Lean the wrong way and you’ll accidentally set off a cacophony of squeaks, tunes and bubbles.
Never mind, you can always distract yourself with a good book, and that new Thomas the Tank Engine potty chair is the perfect height to rest it on while you reach for your wine.
2. Beautify yourself
Beauty is only skin deep, but sometimes a little bit of skin deep pampering is all you need to feel human again. Put the little one to bed, lay out your cosmetics bag and get those claws looking beautiful again.
The problem is doing your nails is no longer a simple absent minded, in front of the telly job. These days it’s more like mission impossible. You don’t have the luxury of choosing a colour – it’s been so long since you used them they’ve all either turned into glue or curdled like last week’s milk. Even when you finally find a colour that works (sparkling gold is suitable for middle aged mums, right?), it’s a race against time to apply it and manically blow it dry as you live in constant fear of an inexplicable roar from upstairs, crashing into your peace and quiet like an explosion: ‘MAMAAAAAAAA,’
3. Time off
Sometimes you just need to book a babysitter and get away from it all. Go the whole hog and head out on a date. Get a bit of some romance in your life.
Of course, between giving the babysitter a monumental list of instructions and saying goodnight, it’ll take you ages to get out the door. Then you’ll probably spend the first half an hour of dinner checking your phone, wondering if bedtime went smoothly without you there: desperately hoping it did, but also secretly hoping it didn’t because that might mean you’re not sufficiently missed. Plus, what’s the point in having a break if that’s the day the little one decides to behave like an angel? Little git – probably does it on purpose!
Eventually you’ll get over the worry and settle into a real grown up night out. You’ll talk about work, about current affairs, about…about…no, wait, you’ve run out of things to talk about. You’ll have to resort to talking about the kids. Ah, well. At least wanting to talk about them reminds you how much you like them, and why you gave up all this going out stuff in the first place, and that’s a good thing to remember in itself. I think.
4. A girls’ night out
Slap on the slap, squeeze on the heels and head out for a night on the town. It might not be ‘relaxing’ so to speak, but it’s a bloody good way to let you hair down. Just ignore the thought of a hangover the next day, and the fact that it’ll be 10 times worse than it used to be because you’re tolerance now is about the same level as a field mouse who’s been taking part in dry January.
Also, try not to be offended when the rest of the girls keep referring to you like you’re their grandmother – suddenly the old and sensible one who they assume will be unable to talk about anything but children, when in fact the whole reason you’ve come out is to escape all that! You can always take comfort when at the end of the night they’re crying into their vodkas about their latest relationship mini-drama or the fact that they couldn’t get the bar man to give them his number (presumably they didn’t notice you’re in a gay bar), safe in the knowledge that while life may be quiet, at least you don’t have all that crap to deal with anymore!
5. Culinary indulgence.
Sod it. Nothing else seems to be working. Stick with what’s simple: crack open the wine and pass me a creme egg.