Opinion - Melissa Grant
After having kids, there comes a point when it’s time to try and reclaim your life.
It’s no secret that mums struggle with their sense of identity after giving birth. All of a sudden your life revolves around your child. There’s also a never-ending list of things to do: washing, cleaning, nappy changes, making dinner, making snacks, food shopping, medical appointments, park dates, etc.
Have another kid (like I did) and the list gets even longer. My daughter is nearly four and my son is 16 months, so they can be pretty demanding at times (snacks, nappy changes, ‘play with me’, snacks, nappy changes).
I’ll admit that there are times when I miss just being me. There are even times when I wish I could go back in time to my child-free life (even just for a day … or a week).
Anyway, after I survived 2020 by drinking a lot of coffee and eating way too much sugar, I’ve decided that 2021 is my year. This is the year for me to try and reclaim my life.
I’m under no illusions that this may be easier said than done. But I have a plan. Here it is (in baby steps):
1. Sleep more: My youngest, aged 16 months, is finally sleeping through the night. Sadly both my kids are up at the crack of dawn, so to get those eight hours of sleep I’m going to bed early a couple of times a week to catch up on some zs. I will avoid the temptation to stay up half the night watching Netflix. This will make me feel more human and less zombie-like.
2. Go for more walks: Following my sugar-loaded 2020, I need to get fit! The aim is to go for one walk a day, even if the kids are with me. When they are in the pram you can sometimes pretend they aren’t there!
3. More time with hubby: My husband and I don’t really get any quality kid-free time together. Mostly, the only kid-free time we get is after the children go to bed and we are both too tired to do anything other than watch TV. So, we have both vowed to have some time off work when both kids are in daycare. And we have already followed through on that one – we just had two weeks of annual leave and there were a few days where it was just us! We had a movie date, a day of Netflix and took the dog to the beach.
4. More kid-free time with friends: When I catch up with friends, it’s always with the kids in tow. Often this means you catch up with a friend for two hours but feel like you’ve only spent 15 minutes talking to them! With that being said, I’m currently arranging a kid-free dinner with my mum group friends.
5. Have a day to myself: It’s going to happen. One day this year. I’m not even sure what I will do. Perhaps I will go get my nails done or see a movie. Perhaps I’ll do nothing! Remember those days when you actually did nothing? Sounds like a dream!