September has been a busy month; getting back into blogging, trying to be healthy (we’re doing the Clean & Lean Diet, which requires A LOT of preparation!), and working out how to be a good mum to Reuben.

I have also had more massages and facials than I have in the past 5 years combined! Firstly, I had a voucher to use up from the kids for my Birthday (in March!) – it was just about to expire so I had to use it and decided to have a facial. Then I had a massage as part of Mike and my date to Kielder. Finally, Hannah from BE.Holistic, who offers holistic massage, asked if I would like a course of massages. Would I ever?

HOWEVER, finding time to have all these massages was difficult! Hannah had to literally chase me to give ME a massage!! And, when I turned up for my facial, I felt like it was the last thing I wanted to be doing. I know it seems like a ridiculous problem to have but ultimately I felt guilty. There were hundreds of other things I should be doing with my baby-free time to make life slightly easier and smoother for my family.

Taking this time off to effectively have an expensive nap (I woke myself up snoring during the facial) seemed at best extravagant and at worse a piss take. I should be at home cooking (or in my case making food for Reuben to turn his nose up to) and cleaning and tidying. For example, last week Mike said to me at 7 am as he was trying to rush out the door, “I don’t understand why my socks aren’t making it back upstairs.” That was a fairly simple one, both of our washing baskets were overloaded with washing – all of his socks were at the beginning of a 4-step process and still needed to be washed, dried, paired and carried back to the drawer where they came from.

When things like that happen I feel guilty that I’m not keeping my end of the bargain and questioning how to be a good mum and wife.

But being the dedicated blogger I am, I made time for my massages! Then it dawned on me, if I have to force myself to have some Mum Time for free (in exchange for this blog post, which is no real hardship as I like writing blogs!), the chances are there aren’t many mums out there who make sure they make time for themselves to have a pamper.

You might be thinking making time to have a massage is extravagant and taking the piss. But having a quick google of ‘how to be a good mum’ will soon turn up a host of posts about making time for yourself, looking after yourself, doing things that make you feel good.

Let me fill you in on the BE.Holistic massage series I had and see if I can help change your mind!

How to be a Good Mum with BE.Holistic Massage

When I first met Hannah (here’s her instagram for a little insight into her life!), I was knackered. I’d had a bad night with Reuben, was feeling stressed, I’d had a wardrobe malfunction coupling some stripy leggings with a denim shirt, and I was generally rough and in need of some massage love. Hannah hopped out of her car full of energy, with wild, curly hair (the kind I would kill for) and her sports kit on. Maybe she was working out after our massage because this was going to be a relaxing massage…right?

The minute Hannah apologetically handed me a pen with a fluffy glitter ball attached to fill in my consultation form, I knew this wasn’t going to be your average massage. I explained where all my aches and pains were, finally someone was actually listening, and how I would normally have a massage that focused on my back and shoulders because a) that’s where my aches and pains are and b) because I hate my legs and always saw leg massages as a bit of a waste of time.

how to be a good mum

A fluffy, glitter-ball pen? This can only be good.

Hannah suggested for this first session she should do a full body massage so I could see what that was like (minus the head massage because I had actually managed to wash my hair that morning – not a very regular occurrence because even washing is seen as more of a luxury and is fairly low on my priorities list). In a word, amazing. She started with my back, pressure points, easing out the sore bits, etc., then moved down to my legs. This was when the necessity for a gym kit became obvious, she was fully ‘working out’ on my aches and pains. But it wasn’t all pain and no pleasure. I turned over for the leg, arm and neck massage, and there may have been some snoring. I don’t know as I was asleep. I left feeling relaxed and well oiled.

how to be a good mum

Well oiled…

For the next session, Hannah did a stimulating legs and back massage (so glad I’d shaved my legs) – as the name suggests, this was a much more rigorous massage (again with the gym kit), complete with karate chops to the legs and bum. She did a little lymphatic draining too, which is exactly what my cubby legs needed and I felt positively revitalised afterwards! My legs and bum felt like they had had a workout – the muscles even ached the next day. I am WELL in favour of lying down whilst working out (not like that. Filth!).

For the final session, Hannah wanted to demonstrate the head massage (along with a bit of back of course!). Now, this was definitely not what I would call relaxing – lots of hair pulling, which I thought was quite brave since my hair normally comes out by the handful. It sure did feel good though and also gave me some much needed volume. It some how seemed to help clear my mind of the endless to-do list building and helped me focus on the important stuff.

how to be a good mum

The Important Stuff – How to be a Good Mum by Getting a Massage!

So, that was the massage and here is how to be a good mum by getting one:

  1. Clear you head – Each time I arrived feeling shattered, run ragged, and thinking about washing socks (and all the other equivalent house-hold tasks I should be doing). The kind of ‘run ragged’ I always am, though, is a totally un-productive run ragged. I start one task, think of something else I need to do and start that, then remember the previous task and go back to that. And so on. Can you imagine? [There will be someone organised out there who has nearly passed out reading that.] And, so despite feeling busy, when people say to me, “what have you been up to?” I can never think of anything. In which case, there is literally no need to feel stressed! Which I guess is the conclusion I came to after each massage, and I would leave feeling clear, energised and relaxed. When you have a full hour, just with the thoughts in your head and enjoying getting your legs pummelled, it kind of makes sense that you would find clarity. When else do you have that much alone with your thoughts and without the distraction of starting but not finishing tasks?! I also think there was something about Hannah’s technique that seemed to aid the head clearing; the pummelling combined with the pressure points and hair pulling, all seemed to work beautifully together to relax and revive my weary brain!
  2. Improve Your Body Image – The other thing about massage is that it is supposed to really help improve your body image, making it the ideal present for a new mum. Well, any mum really. Let’s face it which mum, big or small, doesn’t need a boost in the body image department? I was concerned about my wobbly thighs and having a full body massage but after having my legs worked on, I do feel better about them. I just need them looked at every week! (btw having a better body image improves your sex life. Fact. So your partner needs to get you a monthly massage)
  3. Feel Good – I think it’s as simple as this… when you feel good you are nicer to the people around you! I know myself that the morning after the night before (i.e. when I haven’t been looking after myself and drinking too much!), I am horrible and grumpy. The same goes for when I’m stressed. That doesn’t make me a good mum and doing something for myself for as little as an hour here and there has a huge impact on making me feel good.

See? You’re practically doing your family a favour by going for a massage! Here are Hannah’s details, should you wish to make use of her amazing mind clearing, workout massage: 07929337392 or email butterflies.and.elephants@outlook.com. Hannah is based in Newcastle so if you’re down south, you’ll just have to make that trip!

 

So making time for yourself is essential and I am urging EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU to get your diary out and put something in that is just for you – a date with yourself, if you will. Be it a trip out to the local vintage fair with your bestie (for you Lucy over on the Facebook page!) or going for a massage. Here’s is my 4 to 6-week ‘how to be a good mum’ to-do list…

‘How to be a Good Mum’ Mum Time Essentials List

  • at least 1 massage (but preferably 2!)
  • 1 hair cut (or at least my fringe!)
  • 1 eye brow and bikini wax
  • 2 outings of dinner/movie/something/anything with my mum friends (who I hardly get to see now they’ve gone back to work)
  • An Epsom Bath-salts bath 3 times a week (Cath, who took the Mickey out of this saying it was Mum’s Days not Grandma’s, so rude) followed by taking off and reapplying nail varnish (I’m terrible for leaving it to chip off)

 

Hmmmm, now I’m getting into it, this seems like a very short list! What’s on your Mum Time Essentials List? Please do comment below!