Hi Horlicks lovers! I am Sonia Constant, blogger at MummyConstant. I am a working mum with two children, three furbabies and a very active husband. Life in our house is always busy; weekends are a blur with activity and the weekdays just disappear. I have found it quite a struggle over the 9 years I have been a mummy to find time for myself. I remember when the children were younger, I felt really guilty for even thinking about taking time out for myself and therefore I never did. Everything I did was for everyone else, or I did things quickly so that I could then carry on doing something else. I went to bed late and I never had a full night’s sleep. Work was stressful to boot. I also spent a long time grieving my late Grandad, who was like my father growing up. I felt like I had a huge weight on my mind from all angles and subsequently, my mental health and physical health suffered.
It took some time, but I finally started to work out what was good for ME. That precious me time that all parents long for. My husband had his outlets; cycling, running, kayaking and climbing. I remember, at the beginning, I was so jealous of him being able to go away for a weekend and kayak with his friends. That envy wasn’t healthy, but I hadn’t taken the time to think that actually I can do something too. No one was stopping me from having some time to myself. No one, except me.
I had to let go of a lot of feelings; “I am allowed to have me time”, “It doesn’t mean you do not love your children”, “you will be a better mummy if you look after yourself” and the big one for me: “you must not feel guilty”.
“No one was stopping me from having some time to myself. No one but me.”
So, when I was at my breaking point, I made a decision to reduce my working hours. After having the children, I had gone back to work part-time, then (because we wanted to get a mortgage) I felt like I should work full-time. Working full-time was making me feel very tired, I didn’t get to stop at weekends and I never went to bed before midnight. It was not a good combination. So, I dropped a day of work. I now work 4 days a week, doing 30 hours and I gave myself a whole day off. It’s not exactly a day off as I have a blog to maintain, social media to schedule and a house to clean. But it does mean I get a little time, without anyone else, to do what I want to do. For me.
I have started to do things that I enjoy and try to do them more and more. Walking became a big thing for me. Walking and getting that fresh air allows me to process what has been going on throughout the week and the doggies love a good walk too. Win-win. It is also nice to get home, after a cold winter’s walk, to a nice hot cup of Horlicks. I love a puzzle, working out something not only exercises your brain but once complete makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. I don’t know about you, but sometimes this motherhood job can leave you feeling like you cannot win and that leads to frustration. So, I find completing a puzzle, Sudoku is my thing, really helps me to offload some of that frustration. I can complete a Sudoku puzzle in around 10 minutes, which is great as I can steal a 10-minute break here and there. It really helps.
I love being creative too; crochet and photography being 2 of my hobbies that I have picked up a lot more in the last year.
My top tip would be to think about what you really love doing and then bring it into your life little by little. It might be baking, running, singing… whatever it is, introduce it into your weekly routine somewhere. Start with a small time window and, if you want to, make it bigger. For example, I do not get a chance to get out for a run during the weeknights, so I take my runs on my lunch break at work. I sat down and worked out my usual routine and where I could squeeze a little me time in.
One of the main things I have started forcing upon myself is to get to bed earlier. I try to go to bed before 10:30pm, which isn’t always possible, but I try and of course: I take a cup of Horlicks with me.
You can find Sonia via the links below for more parenting inspiration.