My youngest is heading fast for 18 months, and as any of you who have/had a young child knows, that first period of time with a new person is pretty intense and all consuming. I am still breastfeeding, but considering stopping soon. He still isn't sleeping brilliantly, but the steps we are taking to address that are starting to see returns, we are taking it very slowly, but I feel hopeful that over the next few weeks we shall see gradual improvements, until we reach the point where our evenings are our own, and our bed may be for just the two of us, at least for the first part of the night! I have lost three quarters of my baby weight, and am on my way to shifting those last few pounds.
|Time for Me Time!|
Where I am going with this is, is that slowly I can see a little independence creeping in, a little reclamation of my body and mind, a tiny degree of separation as my baby becomes a little boy. As with both of my elder two I found the first year of his life we were almost inseparable, and this year will be about both me and him gaining our independence as people, whilst still maintaining that strong mother/son bond. So while I help him learn to do more for himself, I also need to give myself a little nurturing as an individual too.
So I am giving myself 6 things to do in six months. Not quite a bucket list, more a teacup sized one. One wholly selfish activity for each month until I hit 40, so that I hit a new decade running, and I know me me as well as mum me again. They are six treats, for different aspects of myself, not too expensive, but a little luxury nonetheless!
For My Body
For my body- which grew my baby well, and still feeds him now I prescribe learning to love it's shape which has been altered yet again by a third pregnancy, and I reward it with two challenges-
1) Have first ever massage. Yes, I have never had a massage, always thinking it was an expensive treat I couldn't afford, that I would rather spend the money on a night out, or a treat for the kids. But I think my poor, ageing, battle scarred, but actually still not too shabby for an old bird body deserves a little treat! Plus it's about time I got over the naked(ish) in public(ish) thing.....
2) Buy some posh matching undies as a reward when I hit my target weight. The period of time leading up to falling pregnant was probably the most body confident I have ever felt. I was a healthy, curvy size 12, and I felt sexy and comfortable in my skin. I think some hot new undies will help me look in the mirror and see that woman again!
For My Mind
For my mind, which I don't challenge enough these days, I prescribe the following two things:-
1) Visit a Gallery/Exhibition. I used to do this fairly regularly pre-parenthood, but have done it very rarely in the past 16 years. Ideally I would like to take my teenager to the Tate Modern, as I love it there, and as a keen photography student, I think she will too.
2) Write a piece of short fiction. And scarier still publish it on my blog where someone might actually read it. I like writing, but I haven't attempted fiction since school, it is time I stopped being scared of it. Just promise not to mock the results when I quietly post it here....
I could do with some fun that doesn't involve soft play areas. I would love to write 'play some music/do a gig' here, but actually I am not sure that will happen in the next 6 months- and as music is ALWAYS on my to do list anyway it would perhaps be cheating to include it on a list of things designed to stretch me slightly. Ditto for seeing some live music, I don't think there has ever been a 6 month period where I haven't been it to see at least a handful of gigs- so lets take it as read that I will see some noisy loud stuff in the next few months and add a couple of things that are a little further from the norm for me!
1) See a show. In a theatre. Play, musical, ballet - I don't mind what, we will see what comes up- but it must be in a theatre, and it must NOT be by Andrew Lloyd Webber. For taste reasons.
2) Go to a football match. I love watching football, and before moving to this town I went to see at least one match a year by my local team. And pre-baby I could often be found in the pub of a Sunday afternoon seeing what my beloved Arsenal were capable of. But toddlers and game watching do not really go hand in hand, and we don't have Sky Sports so my footie fix has been reduced to Match of the Day. So I would like to go see a game in person again. Probably can't afford the Arsenal, and tickets are like gold dust, (tho I do get to visit the stadium for a Green Day gig later in the year!), but seeing Dorchester Town or Bournemouth play is something we have been meaning to do for 3 years, and I am going to make sure we actually make it before the season is out!
Ta-Da! 6 things to do, in 6 months. It may work out at one a month, it may all happen in a two week period in May- we will see- but I will endeavour to do them all, there is nothing complicated on the list, it is just about finding time to put me first, and then I shall embrace a new decade with a renewed vigour and barely a backwards glance!