Being a Divorced Super Mum has infinite benefits as I have already mentioned. But I am not going to lie to you: you will have some days that feel like a cake eating rhinoceros is sitting on your chest. The burden of managing a household on your own, working, driving kids around and attempting to remember who needs to be where at what time, trying to figure out which bill to pay this week, and who will eat what for dinner, does occasionally take its toll on you.
You’re not alone. Sometimes I still have panic attacks when I wake up in the morning and think about what my day will involve.
We may be Divorced Super Mums, but we are also human and need to take care of ourselves for the benefit of our children, those we work with, those who drive on the roads next to us, and for our neighbours who will have to listen to our screaming banshee breakdown when it all gets too much.
Our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health is continually drained by the necessities of life, but how often do we take time out for ourselves?
Below are 5 strategies I have used to get some time to myself, so I can be a better ME and a better Mum ( work colleague, neighbour, daughter, sister, road-user, customer) :
- Get locks on your bathroom and/or bedroom doors. These will be your saviour! You need ONE private spot in the house where kids and animals cannot get to you. They need to learn that you require time out, AND they need to discover that they WILL survive without your attention every 2 minutes. Even if you do this for 5 minutes at a time, sit and just breathe. Or lie down for a brief spell. Any time you can turn off from being Mum for a few minutes, is a bonus. That big wound up spring inside you, has a chance to loosen just a bit. Big tip: USE THE LOCKS, don’t be a wimp!
- Bath time is bliss. When the kids are (finally) asleep, run yourself a bath, light your favourite candles, pour a glass of wine, and just soak in the day. Lie back and let the water float away your stress. If you’re not into candles and wine, take a book. I have been known to read an entire novel in one bath session. Just let out some water and refill to warm it up. Water is soothing to our souls. It’s also a chance to unwind before you try to catch some ZZZ’s. A restful sleep makes all the difference to approaching the day with positivity.
- Get up half an hour early. Yes I can hear the groans. Even LESS sleep? I have discovered that sacrificing just 30 minutes of snooze time before everyone else is up, can make a difference to your sanity. It’s amazing how fresh you feel beginning the day with some quiet time. Use it to shower and get ready in peace. No knocking at the door, or faces peering through the shower glass to see what you’re doing in there without them. Maybe a few stretches or a few minutes on the treadmill to get the blood flowing and brain wires connecting. You’ll quickly look forward to getting up each morning for that 30 minutes of YOU time.
- Don’t be a martyr. If you’re fortunate enough to have friends or relatives offering some kid free time so you can do some shopping, get your hair cut so you can see again, or see the doctor for your pap smear…SAY YES!!! Drop the kids off and RUN. Fast. For some reason we wonderful women think we have to do it all. I have been guilty of this ridiculous notion in the past too. But believe me when I tell you, you’re going to be no good for your family if you’re curled up in a ball, exhausted and having a nervous breakdown. You may be an incredible Divorced Super Mum, but you’re also human and need a break. You’ll be revived and ready to take on the world after some time away from your demanding munchkins.
- Turn off the radio! When you’re in the car, turn off the constant noise and input to your brain. Just enjoy the rare silence. If you’re on your way home from work and have a long commute like I do, work through the day’s issues and then leave them in the car when you get out. DO NOT drag them out of the car with your handbag, they’ll only overload your circuits. Home time is for you and your family. OK, this could be a problem if you work from home, but the theory can still remain. Have a work space, and leave the worries at the desk. If you’re in the car with teenagers, the same thing can apply, though they’ll most likely have music blaring out of their headphones that you’ll have to bear anyway!
Being a Divorced Super Mum is liberating, challenging, incredibly rewarding, and at times exhausting. BUT you cannot do and be all, without looking after yourself, and your sanity.
Be SMART, steal some YOU time.
The world will keep revolving if you do!