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Looking after myself

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This sweet corner is my little space where I can go to have a little bit of time out to be creative, take some photos, potter and be inspired for five minutes. Being a mother to four little children all under seven is pretty full-on to say the least and one of the most important thing I have learnt about being a mother is to look after myself and give myself a little bit of space each day.  

Little Rudi is just 5 weeks old but I can rarely enjoy the things I used to do to take care of myself when my first little one was 5 weeks old, like napping when she does, enjoying a film while I feed her in the afternoon or popping out to a cafe for a relaxing tea and cake while she snoozes. Oh those were the days!

But I do make sure that I am looking after myself in other ways, so that I can be the best mother I can be. When I feel good, the whole house feels good. When mummy is happy and relaxed the children are definitely happier and more relaxed too. 

At the moment I am giving myself little treats each day like a slice of cake from my favourite deli or a new plant for the garden. Or perhaps an extra few minutes in the shower before the craziness of the day begins or reading a magazine while I feed Rudi. I am also making sure that I do some yoga stretches each day to energise myself. I have time for about two minutes at the moment but even that is a beautiful thing.   

I know that I am still blogging, taking photographs, working on the Crafty Fox Boxes and the new Paper Fox Boxes etc. and from the outside I probably look like I am doing far too much. And yes, I probably am. But I have worked much harder when my other three were little babies and I have now created the right working space for myself that I can enjoy and love, while taking time off whenever I need it. If I don't write a blog post, or Instagram as much as usual I know that nothing terrible is going to happen. I am allowing myself to stop when I need to but to also keep going when I want to.

It's not always easy. While I feed Rudi my other children create chaos around me. They are happy and don't make a fuss but wow they can make some mess! It's oh so easy to get cross and grumpy, and waste precious energy but I know if I don't over-react, if I accept that this is how things are right now and it really doesn't matter, then I feel better and calmer. In order to look after myself I am really working on not over-reacting. Does it really matter if some food gets dropped or a drink gets spilt? I need to keep rereading this book and keep practicing because who needs all that anger? And it always shocks the children when I don't over-react and they are far more likely to help fix whatever has happened when I smile and say "oh don't worry!" 

Sleep is the one tricky thing in all of this though but at the rate that time is flying by this crazy first few months stage will be over before I know it and I will miss it like crazy. Not miss the lack of sleep of course but miss Rudi being this little. So, I'm applying the eye cream, drinking plenty of water, eating plenty of cake and trying my best to not worry about it! Fortunately I've got pretty used to not having much sleep over the past 6 years, so my body isn't in such a state of shock as it was when I had my first baby.

Finally, I have completely given up trying to be a perfectionist in any way! This doesn't mean I don't care about what I do, how my home looks etc. but it means that I don't put crazy pressure on myself. I do what I can in the time that I have. If I can't do it well enough and it's going to upset me, then I leave it until another day when I will have more time, energy, patience etc. But if I can do it well enough than I do it. Letting go is such a good way to look after myself and be kind to myself. I think it's a great model for my children to learn from too. 

As Rudi grows I will be looking after myself in other ways, like getting back to the gym, treating myself to the occasional spa trip, having date nights, seeing friends or even just a lovely, long relaxing bath!

How do you look after yourself? Do you manage to find time for yourself each day? I'd love to hear from you. Take care, keep smiling and have a slice of cake! x

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