mom armour.

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I am exhausted. As I’m writing this, it’s 10:45pm, Beanie is fast asleep in his little bed, and I really should be making an attempt to close my laptop, take a shower, and settle in for the night. Instead, I’m browsing through the archives of coffee + crumbs, mentally running through my to-do list for tomorrow morning, and panicking at the possibility of not being able to get through it all. And I’m so. very. tired.

Why is it that, often, the very act of calling it a night and going to bed is the most difficult thing to do, even when it’s really the only thing you want to do? It’s a daily struggle for me. I rarely make it to bed before midnight, regardless of how exhausted I may be; I find that the only real time I have for me are the hours between Bean’s bedtime and when I eventually drift off, and I like to make the most of them. Recently, I found myself trying to remember what life was like before Bean – what did I do with my time? I know I was busy back then, but what did I do with all the time not spent bathing, dressing, feeding, playing and caring for a busy toddler? Back then, I had two hours to take a bath, apply self-tan and paint my nails, followed by an hour or two to watch TV while updating my blog, and possibly an hour to read before bed. Now? Well, now I have an hour – if I’m lucky –  to take a bath, apply self-tan, paint my nails, catch up with The Husband, update my blog, watch TV (hardly ever happens these days) and read (again, a rare occurrence). I think this explains why I usually put off going to bed until I can barely keep my eyes open; I’m trying to squeeze as much me-time into the few hours I have left for me as I possibly can! Yes, I know that simple beauty rituals like applying self-tan or painting my nails really aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, but what if I enjoy doing those things? What if it makes me feel better about me, makes me feel more put-together and ready to take on the world? Think of self-tan and a decent mani as my ‘mom armour’ – something I need in order to feel more stable and more whole, if that makes any sense?

As a mom, I often find myself counting down the hours until Bean’s bedtime so that I can have a moment to myself, but then as soon as he’s gone down for the night I miss him like mad and can’t wait for him to wake up. Now that Beanie is about to turn two, people have started asking us whether baby number two is in the works and as much as I’d love to have another baby (maybe. one day), I also can’t even begin to imagine it. How do people with two (or more!) babies cope? How do you find time for each child, for your partner, for your friends… for yourself? I finally feel as though I’m starting to carve out a little bit of time for myself, so to even contemplate bringing another baby into the mix terrifies me, if I’m being honest. This mama needs hour-long baths. Sometimes I feel guilty for requiring so much time for me, but I’ve come to realise that it’s essential for my wellbeing and it’s the one thing that I can do for myself to ensure that I’m a patient, loving, hands-on mama to Bean. Without some downtime, I become frazzled, grumpy, and snappy, and I’m an absolute nightmare to be around (just ask The Husband). I’m still working on finding a way to incorporate a bit more me-time into my day – without having to stay up all night and feeling tired and groggy the following day – but I’ve come to realise that there are a few, sure-fire ways to help fill my tank after a long day of working, wifing and momming and these include:

– Taking a long, hot bath (though I find that this is more appealing in winter)

– Attending yoga class on a Monday evening (an hour and a half to just breathe and be, and Beanie’s usually fast asleep by the time I get home so I can spend some time watching TV, reading, etc)

– Treating myself to a facial, manicure or massage (budget-allowing, of course!)

– Going for a coffee and catch up with good friends

– Buying my favourite glossy and curling up in bed with a cup of coffee and some chocolate

What are some of the ways that you like to unwind after a long day, or once your littlies are in bed? And what are some of your top tips for actually making it to bed before midnight? I really need to get onto that (she says as she’s about to close her laptop at 11:18pm…)

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