Being a mum for 6 over years now, looking back, I have stopped or done less of many things that I used to do when days were just the 2 of us, me and Kel.
I have stopped watching news channel, read books, even going out for an old school gathering sounds guilty to me.
We all know that marriage is blissful and having kids with the one you love is the perfect scenario of how you define LOVE. But no one told me that life after kids is 24/7 physical (for stay home mum), 24/7 emotional, 24/7 thoughts revolving around your children! And, the best part is, I LOVE IT!!
Everyone knows that a mummy’s well-being is necessary and essential. If you take good care of your well-being, you will be happy and you will have positive emotions to pass on to your kids, and they will grow up happily! Hence, I plan to work on these 10 activities to find back my life and at the same time, teach my kids that parenting is fun so that they will not grow up with the naggy, tired, unhappy mum image and frighten them off parenthood!
(1) Read your favourite books in front of your kids!
When was the last time you dreamt of lounging back in your chair, with one good book in your hand and sipping a cup of hot coffee / tea (for me it’s hot milk)? Well, I imagined that many times in a week, especially when I am tired. Reading book is a good habit and what’s better model to show your kids yourself reading a book regularly?
(2) Catch up with the news!
Get back the TV remote control and switch from the cartoon network to news channel! Read the papers daily! Precisely, you are a mum, you should be well aware of what is happening and going on around you and in the world. Letting your kids see that you are interested in news channel and the newspapers, they will follow in your footsteps when they grow older. And you can help out in their homework which touch on social or political news. Not only that, you won’t be lost in news discussion during friends and family gatherings.
(3) Do some housework in front of your kids
To SAHM (stay at home mum) without domestic helpers, doing housework is a never-ending activity and bound to happen in front of the kids. But for those with domestic helpers, try to do some simple housework, like sewing a loose button, washing some dishes occasionally. This will send the message to your kids that since mummy is doing some housework, kids should do some simple chores too. Taking the domestic helper for granted is not the way in the house. For me, I have no domestic helper, and I am learning to delegate some simple tasks to my kids. Now is the best time to let them help out and learn simple household chores. Once they grow older, they will not help out as willingly and eager as small kids now!
(4) Eat a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner
You must be thinking how difficult is that?
It’s difficult to eat properly with kids around, that’s for me. I will busy to and fro the dining table, cleaning up some mess in the middle of the meal, be at the disposal of my kids who want a drink, next a tissue, another minute fetch a fallen chopstick and what’s next?
I haven’t started this one, but I will soon. I intend to set down rules at the dining table. No walking to the fridge mid-way. No getting off chair. No one leg on the chair. No hitting bowls with chopsticks. Have drinks ready on their placemats, have a piece of tissue beside them. Hopefully, this will allow me to have a peaceful and enjoyable meal at meal times. I can’t set a good example if I am always walking away from the table. No wonder my kids always walk about.
(5) Go out on a regular date with your hubby
This one is important and equally important to let your kids know.
You are married to your spouse and you do not have to give up lovey-dovey dates to spend every single minute and second with your kids. Trash out the guilt! Let your kids know that daddy and mummy have to spend time together without them. Only with a strong marriage, can you have a loving and strong family bond.
(6) Have your own “me-time”
Go out with your girl friends! Go out with your mum and sisters! Go out shopping! Let your kids know you are going out enjoying yourself with friends. They have to know that mummy’s life consists of her own mummy, sisters and friends. And 90% out of the shopping trip, you will buy something for your kids. I have been through that and still find shopping for my kids’ stuff is more enjoyable than buying mine. So, go ahead to indulge ourselves and show them the shopping bags.
(7) Exercise and keep fit
I go for regular gym workout and for times when I do not have the time, I do stretching in my kids’ room. They follow me and find the actions hilarious. Kids find everything hilarious. Exercise is a necessity, not a luxury. We must incorporate exercise regime even though we are busy raising kids. We need to keep fit, run after kids, and be fit enough when we are 60s or 70s, to enjoy overseas holidays with them.
(8) Don’t give up your hobby
Enjoy your hobby. Be it collecting buttons, reading, playing piano, writing blogs, let the kids be part of the enjoyment. Kids love to collect things. My XX and YH have been collecting coins. They are still learning about the value of money and now, they treat coins as collectibles more than saving up for the things they like. When we go to the Botanical Gardens, our kids collect fruits and leaves (those that have dropped) along the way. It is good to cultivate a hobby for adults and children alike.
(9) Go on holidays without your kids
This is provided if there are arrangements to put your kids with grandparents and baby-sitters. Kel and I try to plan for a holiday for the family and a holiday for just the 2 of us or with friends once a year. We need to re-kindle the passion in us to have a good couple well-being. We want to enjoy family holidays bringing kids and our parents around the world. So, it seems fair to have one holiday for each.
And once you are on the plane or cruise with just your spouse, forget about the kids totally. I know, I know, it’s extremely hard, you can think of them, but don’t let your guilt take over. And I never fail to get a gift for them from the holiday. (Sorry, I could not practice what I preach…I will still think of them.)
(10) Hug and kiss your hubby everyday!
Do this frequent and when the kids are around!
We are married and we are in courtship forever. There is no reason why showing spouse affection should stop or deem inappropriate in front of the kids. Remember to say “I love you” to your spouse, even though the frequency is out of proportion compared to saying to your kids. Your kids will be happy and feel blissful in a loving family where their daddy and mummy are radiating lots of love.
Having kids does not mean you have to give up your life essentials for them. That will most likely result in a more tired self and possible resentment towards the kids. We are kids’ best model. We should live our life around them and have them live their lives around us too.
How do you find ways of rejuvenating yourself?