It’s the most wonderful time of year apparently. But in reality, it’s a time when most Mums are a busy and frazzled mess – particularly if you are a school mum.
If you have a reception aged child you might currently be fooled into thinking that there is only a little added stress into your life with all things school and Christmas. Just you wait! This post from Hurrah For Gin pretty much sums it up but;
Two weeks ago – non uniform day if we took a bottle for the bottle tombola table at the school fayre (FYI the bottle tombola table on Christmas Fayre day is the equivalent to a popular store opening up on the morning of Black Friday when it was a one day only thing).
The following Tuesday – Christmas Fayre day
The following Friday – Christmas jumper day.
And then on Monday morning, I literally sent Zach into school with a huge amount of bags attached to his arms.
Bag 1 – His PE bag for his multi skills after school club.
Bag 2 – His book bag which had the 32 Christmas cards in that he had written out on Saturday.
Bag 3 – A change of clothes for the Christmas concert for the following two days (of which I attended on Tuesday).
Bag 4 – The three school projects that he has been working on over the last couple of weeks.
The only thing I forgot to hand him was his water bottle – quite impressive really (schools have taps right?!).
But on top of all of this, I hadn’t even gotten around to buying the teacher presents (hello Poundland), and I needed to remember to send in some tasty treats for his class party on Wednesday (it turns out they were so busy playing games, they didn’t get around to eating the food).
Oh and I needed to remember to pick him up at 1.45 on Thursday! Which did I mention was my Mum’s birthday? Gaaaaah!
So it got me thinking. Us frazzled Mums (and probably some Dads) are running around the houses up and down the Country. We don’t know what we are doing. We don’t know where we are going. And the little boxes to write into on our calendars are just not big enough to fit everything in that we need to remember.
Our children are in the right clothes (although there were a couple of fails at school on Monday morning by the parents who hadn’t read the letter properly and sent the kids into school in their clothes for the Christmas concert rather than in their uniform!). They have the right equipment on the right day. Their milk form for next term has been handed in on time, and they have done you the most proud at their Christmas concert.
But if you are as bad as me – you still have some family presents to buy, you sent any Christmas cards just in the nick of time, and you haven’t wrapped up anything yet. There is still so much to do right?
So in amongst all of this chaos, where do we fit in? How do we find time for us when there is so much other stuff to be done. Because we deserve to enjoy the build up to Christmas too right? Even if it’s just five small minutes at a time! So:
Pop into your local coffee shop
If you schedule in coffee time at home, you just know you’ll get distracted by something. So pick a day and pop to your nearest coffee shop and sit in peace whilst you enjoy whatever it is you drink (totes hot chocolate girl over here). Heck – treat yourself to a cake too. You’ll get bonus points if you can time it for a child nap time, but if you have to take a little one with you, make sure you take something to entertain them so that you get those five minutes of peace. And if you forget, you can always bribe them with cake!
Go for a walk
It doesn’t matter whether it’s round the block, or a little bit further. Can you get the other half to look after the kids whilst you go and just walk, alone and clear your mind. Again, can you time it for nap time and enjoy some peace and quiet outside? I always feel so much brighter after a fresh walk.
Write a to-do list
Ok, so this isn’t exactly the ideal ‘me time’, but getting down everything you need to do will really help your mind. The amount of times I have stuff swimming around my head and then I write it all down and I feel like a weight has been lifted. So grab that pen and paper, take a quiet five minutes, and get it all out.
Enjoy a nice relaxing bath
This is totally on my to-do list. A gorgeous bubble bath, a cup of tea on the side (or wine if you’d prefer!), and a magazine of choice. This is my perfect way to relax. Ideally when the kids are in bed (although if you have to deal with children who like to wake up frequently, it may be a risk), or get your other half to take the kids out whilst you indulge. Pretty much every time I’m in the bath when the kids are home, someone needs a wee or a poo!
Watch a movie
I so rarely watch movies. And at this time of year there is far more important stuff to be done in those precious evenings. But just sitting down alone or with your other half, and watching a film is bliss. We did it on last weekend and actually made it through a whole film without the smallest child waking up!
Paint your nails
It’s Christmas. Is there a better time to give those nails a file and polish. And if you can really treat yourself, go have someone do it for you in a salon!
Christmas is the time to catch up with people but so very rarely we actually manage to have a conversation. When the kids are in bed, napping, at school, or if you can escape for twenty minutes when you have back up there; go and phone someone. I love chatting to my Sister, but doing so when the kids are around is an absolute nightmare. They either want to talk to her as well, or they want my attention on whatever they are doing. Or – they are just making so much noise I can’t hear a ruddy thing. A peaceful chat is sometimes just what we need!
And if – if you are going to ignore all of that up there – all of those lovely little things that you can do to give yourself a bit of a break, and you insist on wrapping and sorting and buying and running around like a headless chicken, make sure you do it with a glass of wine in hand, or a box of chocolates nearby!
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