How to be a more relaxed parent…

How to be a more relaxed parent…

If you’re after ways to help be a more calm, relaxed and chilled parent, you’re in the right place. The school holidays have prompted me to have to find my inner Zen to be able to get through the bickering, arguing, fighting, and loudness of my three kiddos.

kids bridge

So I’ve asked my tribe of mums what helps them, and here are some popular suggestions to help you be a more calm and relaxed Mumma or Daddy. Enjoy!

  1. Take time out for yourself
    This is a universally agreed way to help you relax. Being a parent is stressful even when it’s not and the constant putting someone else’s needs before your own can increase your stress levels. Some regular time out for yourself, even if it’s just a 20 minute bath or read a book for an hour in silence, can help you feel recharged and connected back to yourself. If you can have time outside your home to yourself too, then great, but if not then grab those important quiet times where you can. Housework will still be there after your time out but you’ll feel better for it.
  2. A wise woman told me not to intervene in sibling fights unless there’s blood or broken limbs/items
    I VERY much need to implement this, as my older 2 argue a lot at the moment. I don’t blame them, they are 15 months apart in age and have been together pretty much non-stop for the 6 weeks they’ve been off school. They’ve had I think a total of 2 days in the 6 weeks away from each other. I always end up getting sucked into trying to help them deal with their arguments but from now on, my policy is for them to sort it themselves. BOOM! Also I need to remember I am here to help them figure out a solution, not give them a solution.
  3. Stop comparing!
    Social media lives aren’t real and a snapshot of your friend’s lives don’t always tell the full story. Do not compare, everyone’s different and your life is yours and yours alone. Motherhood and childhood is not a race or competition.
  4. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken! 
    With my first baby I remember being so caught up in what I was supposed to be doing. He co-slept unintentionally and I spent many months trying to get him to settle in his cot. Looking back I wish I’d just gone with it and thought – it works for us so why change it?! Instead I remember thinking everyone else’s baby is asleep in their cot so mine should be too! If it works for you – go with it! I’m glad that in the last 8 years things are changing and there is more out there to help support parents in whatever choices they make.
  5. Fresh Air! 
    One of the most underrated ways to relax for me is to just GET OUT. Go for a walk with the kids, I personally love the beach, it makes me feel so happy inside. Also country parks, and anywhere that you can breathe in a big lungful of fresh air and clear your head. Also the kids can run riot and burn some energy. Win/win.
  6. Tell people that you’re meeting up with that you’ll be late.
    I’ve just implemented this in life. I’m always late, someone is always needing the loo, time flies, and it’s just life with 3 kids. I’m not stressing about it. I’ll get there (In the end!) Tell your friends and family that you WILL be late. Or, tell them to tell you a time half an hour earlier than the actual meeting time! šŸ™‚
  7. Mum friends
    It’s important to have others that you can talk to who are going through the same things you are at the same time – it makes you feel less alone and reassured that your crazy days are happening to others too! Reach out to other mums and dads, even if it’s a chat in the park or a parenting forum online.
  8. Pick your battles
    You can’t win every battle, and you don’t need to make everything a battle. Kids are unreasonable and fickle and changeable and sometimes you gotta let it wash over you. I struggle with this!
  9. Running (or any exercise!)
    Similar to fresh air – exercise increases the endorphin flow to your brain and helps with your mental health. Anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you feel good is a winner!
  10. Lower your expectations
    Life with children is crazy, messy, loud, hard, frustrating, rewarding, emotional, draining, tiring. Expect it to be like this and you won’t feel so frustrated! But it’s also fun, wonderful, loving, exciting, fulfilling and downright amazing. Embrace the crazy, because before you know it you will long for those crazy days again. I already miss my older 2 being babies but I remember when I was living in that time, and the mayhem of them being 15 months apart, it felt HARD. I’d give anything to go back now, it was so amazing!
  11. Breathe and evaluate before reacting / interacting
    It’s so easy to react to something on a whim and afterwards think that you over reacted or handled it wrongly. I am the QUEEN of this. But if you can remember to just take a few seconds to really think and breathe before reacting, it can completely change a situation for the better. I read once that if you’re feeling like you are losing your patience, say to yourself “THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY” or similar “NO NEED TO PANIC” to just remind yourself to take a breather.
  12. You control your own actions
    Similarly, for those mums who feel like they lose their temper quickly, remember that you cannot change or control your child’s actions – but you CAN control and change your own reaction to it. Your reaction is what’s important, not the child’s actions.

Now I know if I can implement some of these my own life would be much less stressful and I’d be a better mum for it. But it’s easier said than done!

And if the above fails, some mumma’s have also said….

1. Wine! Gin! Alcohol
Highly rated in the list of ways to relax is alcohol! I think many parents find it helps to relax after a long day. Personally I’m more of a cup of tea kinda girl but whatever helps you relax, wine, chocolate, tea!

2. iPads/Tablets
Everyone has differing views on tablet/gadgets, but many parents agree that they have their uses. Long car journeys, to solve TV disagreements, YouTube (Obvs) plane rides, and general need for some quiet! Also you can download so many learning apps that they can be so useful at times, and help educate your kids too!

3.  Get a full time job!
The less time spent with your kid the less stressful life is right? RIGHT?
WRONG! I used to be a working mum and actually you cannot win. Working mums have guilt for being away from their kids, they have massive commitments to work and have the added stresses of work deadlines, commutes, being switched on at work when they may have had little sleep etc! There are massive pros and cons to being a mum who doesn’t work outside the home or one who does, and actually, both are hard, and sometimes a parent doesn’t have a choice in the matter, but one of the other might be the ONLY option for them.

Found this helpful? Please do share this post with your friends, and tell me what tips/tricks help YOU to relax/be more calm….

 

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A full and honest review of my experience at the Rural Retreat Beauty Salon in Shorne, KentĀ 

A full and honest review of my experience at the Rural Retreat Beauty Salon in Shorne, KentĀ 

Today I was treated to an ESPA Face, Back and Scalp Treatment at the Rural Retreat. I was so excited as I love having massages and haven’t had one for so long. Being a mum of 3 means I don’t get much me-time anymore so this was an ultimate treat for me.

There is customer parking to the front of the salon, but this was full when I arrived (on a Saturday), but I found there was lots and lots of spaces to park less than 30 seconds from the salon, I parked along the street about 15 steps from the doors.

Entering the salon, it’s such a lovely, beautifully decorated and calm space. The reception is gorgeous and has lots of products on display as well as some lovely crushed velvet chairs to relax whilst you wait, and straight away Ellie welcomed me and put me at ease. I used the toilet (as every mum does after a drive!) which smelt divine – to me a nice smelling toilet is important!

Ellie led me to the treatment room and it was lovely – cosy, comfortable, low lighting, low chilled music and the most important bit – a comfy treatment bed calling to me with a luxurious furry blanket on it. Even without any treatment, an hour and a half of laying on this bed is going to be a treat!

Ellie explained about the treatment and what order things would be done in, and told me how naked I’d need to be and what to do. She left whilst I undressed and I got in the bed very excited at the imminent pampering I was about to receive.

The back scrub and massage was first, which was amazing – Ellie asked what pressure I usually like and I like it HARD (haha) and she did not disappoint. First my back was brushed down with a spiky brush (nicely spiky!) and then a scrub rubbed all over it and taken off with a lovely hot towel. Then the massage with oils that I had selected at the beginning. It was incredible, I’m sure I was dribbling by the end of it. But this was just the start…

For the facial, I got to select which scents/oils were used and Ellie looked at my skin under a special light to see what type it was (I’ve never known what my skin type is!) and advised which products would be best for me – the facial was totally tailored to my needs.

I feel that the word facial isn’t really reflective of what the treatment is, it’s so much more than that, it’s like a face hydrating treatment and cleanse with a wonderful neck/shoulder and face massage with so many times of product application I felt like it lasted SO long, the use of different scrubs/cleansers/hot towels etc it was just divine. I think I fell asleep towards the end as I was so relaxed. It was perfection. For anyone who has never had one or has been thinking of having one – please do it!

After the facial ended, Ellie gave me the scalp treatment which involved a mask for your hair (which was optional if you didn’t want this bit!) and this was such a lovely ending to a completely relaxing experience.

After the treatment I had a lovely cold glass of water, and I was given an ESPA card with some of the products used on it, but no hard sell to buy the products. Ellie was really knowledgeable about what I could do to help my skin day to day and gave me a little sample to take away.  

I was so impressed with the entire treatment, impressed isn’t really the word, it surpassed all my expectations and I felt SO relaxed at the end, the most relaxed I’ve ever felt in my life. For a mum who doesn’t get out much (haha) it literally was the perfect treatment. I felt renewed, indulged, relaxed, pampered, rested, and the skin on my face is still glowing!

This treatment is honestly the perfect way to de-stress and indulge, or to treat someone who needs it. I can’t recommend it highly enough and will definitely be treating myself to one every now and then!

Thank you to Ellie and the Rural Retreat for being so welcoming and for making me feel properly relaxed for the first time in a long time!

*Disclaimer – I was not paid or asked to write this review and this is my own personal opinion of the ESPA Face, Back and Scalp Treatment, cost Ā£68.50

The Rural Retreat website is: http://www.theruralretreatsalon.co.uk/