In the last, nearly six months, since #ARWM came along, I have found ‘me time’ swapped from being a luxury, to a necessity. It became medicinal, and something essential to get through the week, and survive the chaos of life as a full time working mum of two. I have spoken before in the Perks of Work, how working has been a great source of ‘me time’. It gives me moments in the day to be alone, have a coffee and not be answering to the baby’s, or toddler’s, four thousand demands a minute. I have come to realise in the last few months, that I was aimlessly wondering, looking for something to take me down the path of post-partum recovery, and then seamlessly transitioned into something, that helped me spin all the required plates on a daily basis. The answer has come about, by putting myself on an unintentional “holistic wellness plan” of sorts. I’m struggling to find the right word to use to describe it, as I feel this could sound a little “hippy”, and I’m far too logical and practical for that. But I have happened across this ‘medicinal me time’, quite unconsciously consciously. I appreciate that’s a massive oxymoron, and what I mean is, while I didn’t intentionally look for it, clearly, I subconsciously knew I needed it.
I say “holistic”, because what I have found, covers my emotional, physical and mental well being, (I know, starting to sound hippy again!). Physiotherapy for the physical, Mindfulness for the mental and a journal for the emotional.
Physiotherapy – I had a full check up with a women’s health physio, after having #ARWM, to check me over. Obviously with the baby brain, I can’t remember the details of what she checked, but it was the normal offenders; bladder, stomach muscles, scar area (from my c section) and pelvic floor. I knew the pelvic floor was bad, as had been working on that throughout my pregnancy with her. My pelvic floor was, and still is, overactive and in spasm and I had a 4cm gap in my stomach muscles (diastasis recti) that needed to be closed (I have got this down to between 1 and 2cm now). A few years ago, a friend in Hong Kong who was pregnant, told me that pregnancy was changing her body in ways she never knew possible. At the time, I questioned her for more details, and she said “I’ll only tell you if it all goes back to normal!”. Having been pregnant twice, I totally get that now. But I have also come to know, with the right work you can get most things back to their pre-baby status, you don’t need to accept these weird, unpleasant even, body changes as normal. I have also realised, that I actually need to get them even better than pre-baby! I have a 25kg #SHJM, that still likes to be carried at times like he’s 3 months and not 3 years. I have a very legitimate requirement, to do daily heavy lifting of my man child. I think we put our postpartum battle wounds down as “normal” and while or course they are, it doesn’t mean we can’t fix them. I urge any mums who think something isn’t quite right to just get checked out, because the chances are, with the right help you can fix it. If you live in Singapore then Kelly at Ufit is the way to go. She is just awesome! It was her who was the trigger for the second part of my ‘medicinal me time’ plan.
Mindfulness. I was at the physio and having an emotional outburst and rant, that I was frustrated my recovery was not happening quick enough. This was after two months of physio. She quite rightly put me back in my box, that after nine months of pregnancy and three months of c-section recovery, I needed to give things a little more time. She asked if I did any yoga or meditation, as thought it may help. #MJM does and loves it. He swears by the Buddhify app, and while I liked the idea, just hadn’t got around to it. That night on the bus ride home, I downloaded the Headspace app and was a total convert. I aim to do ten minutes of guided meditation most days. More accurately, most days I work in the office. The days I work from home or am off, it rarely happens, but that’s life and I don’t beat myself up about that. My commute is now my meditation time. You probably aren’t really meant to do it on the bus, but beggars can’t be choosers. I really love it and come out of my ten minutes calm, collected, and ready to face either the office, or the kids, (depending on which journey I do it). The only downside is if #MJM is on the bus, he can’t resist but take Instagram or snapchat photos of me with weird filters, when I have my eyes shut.
Writing a journal – this is the part that most surprised me I got into. I have historically not really been a journal kind of person. However, the journal I discovered (this one), helps to give you a daily focus and reviews on a monthly basis, to look at what you might be neglecting. Physical, mental, emotional well being etc. It doesn’t require me to work out like a pro athlete, spend hours meditating or eat a perfect diet. It just wants me to have a moment each day where I do something for me. Go for a walk, have lunch with a friend, eat a slice of cake guilt free…I’m very good at that one! And it takes 10 minutes at the end of the day. It also helps me recap the highlights of the day and appreciate the little things in life.
Do I do all three of these things every day? No. Do I always do at least one every day? No. But I have really found, by building these three things into my week, I am feeling physically, emotionally and mentally so much fresher. I’m starting to feel in control of the chaos, and feel like I’m doing a better job at keeping those spinning plates in the air. I’m also less frustrated when I drop one.
Mummy Milne xx