1) Make sure you get one evening off, even if it is only occasionally and do something “normal” like going to the cinema or for a simple meal with a friend. If you have a friend on the Orange network go on a Wednesday when Orange does a 2 for 1 deal.
2) I am not much of a bath person, but since having children, I am converted! Even if you can only get your other half/ friend/ neighbour to look after kids for 20min, take that time to relax. Shut the door. Leave the phone. Take a book. Light a candle. Relax.
3) Sometimes I have the choice, between tidying up or going to bed and read. I frequently choose the book. The toys will only get unpacked again in the morning. Do tidy, but don’t get frantic about it and once in a while JUST leave it!
4) It is ok to teach your children about “your time”. I have a friend who says her son knows that when her coffee cup is still full, he has to wait, once it is finished he can come and play. This way she has 20min a day for “ her break”. Mine understand when I say “mummy needs to work”. It works if you then keep your promise and DO go and play!
5) Teach your children to help tidy up – that way you a) do something together b) you have less to do and c) they learn about tidying. At first you will be doing more and they will be pretending, but eventually they will get the hang of it!
6) Let your children help you cook – that way you a) have a toddler activity struck off the list, b) you get the cooking done whilst they are around and c) they learn to cook. At first they may just pretend to do some stiring or they may end up just playing with the water in the sink, but eventually they will be more helpful.
7) Find another mum and do “babysitting” swaps. Either a weekly one hour exchange or with tokens. Get an hour or two off whilst your toddler plays. Make sure you do something for you in that hour.
…what do you do?