The last week has been the most stressful, tiring, yet rewarding week of my life so far - nothing can quite prepare you for life as a mum, and I can only imagine that from here, my stress levels aren't going to decrease any. Everyone told me to make the most of the end of my maternity leave, to sleep when I can, to make the most of the last few hours I had binge watching box sets in bed by myself, even having a spare half hour to have a bath in peace, as I wouldn't have it when Harrison arrived. They weren't wrong. Finding time to shower at the minute is a struggle never mind have a relaxing bath, so the time I've been able to amass to relax I've used wisely. Unwinding as a parent is a different experience, that is for sure, but you definitely appreciate it so much more. With a newborn, they are asleep A LOT, but aren't exactly independent, so your never really relaxed. Rattan Direct are in the midst of conducting a survey about how parents unwind around the home, and whilst I was filling this out it really got me thinking about the various things I've done in the past week or so to try and still feel remotely human. If you have a spare minute, fill out the survey - it's quick and it really gets you thinking about the different ways you actually spend your time...
Unwinding At Home
In the past week alone, these have been top of the list for actually making me feel human. As I've said, I don't exactly have much time to myself, but a newborn sleeps a lot, and as such, there's a few ways I can multi-task and still feel like I'm unwinding (although, let's face it, as a new mum, I'm scared of any little noise he makes, I'm never really unwinding).
1. The Blogging World
By blogging, I mean not so much my own blog, or the social aspect of running that, but reading other people's blogs. If anything, since monetising my own, it feels like a lot much more of a job and less of something fun to do, but I've taken great pleasure in sitting down and catching up on everyone's else's lives whilst I escape from mine from a few minutes. I love reading other people's writing, and I always end up so much more motivated and refreshed after trawling everyone else's corner of the internet.
2. Cuppa and a Cake
Pregnancy = little caffeine. I never quite realised how much I missed it until I was able to have it again properly - there's something so relaxing about sitting down with a cup of hot coffee with your feet up, even just for a few minutes. Also, lets remember how much more alive you can feel after caffeine boost on no sleep. I've included cake, because who doesn't unwind with cake?
3. Absolutely Shocking TV
Geordie Shore, The Great British Bake Off, Ex On The Beach, X Factor. You name it I've watched it in the past week. I can't tell you what I like about these, I honestly can't, but I'd hate to miss them. Knowing that at 8pm on a Saturday you've got crappy singers and annoying judges to look forward to is an amazing well earned reward at the end of the week, and I honestly feel like I've taken a load off when I sit down to watch this crap - even if I do still have a baby in my arms. The worse the program, the more relaxed I am, even if I am losing brain cells with every half hour I waste on them.
Unwinding On A Budget?
We're lucky enough that Brexit won't effect our budget while parenting as such - we didn't become parents until after - we've never known any different. That doesn't mean budgeting is any less of a priority though. Prior to becoming a parent - I wouldn't have thought twice about spending £60 getting my hair done, or indulging in the over-priced monthly subscription beauty boxes, or getting my nails done. Now though, the £100 I'd have spent in mere minutes could do Harrisons' milk for the next three months, 50 baby grows, or a family trip we'd all remember, it's not worth it any more to drop it on pointless luxuries. That doesn't mean I won't be unwinding as a parent - it's easy enough to do on the cheap, if you look at any of the things I now do to relax, none break the bank. I've made a point of not indulging in things I don't have to, at this point, even the simplest of things is appreciated, I don't need to overspend just to relax.
Unwinding At ChristmasI've mentioned budget already, and with good reason - babies are expensive, even more-so in the run up to Christmas time. We won't be doing Christmas presents as such with Harrison this year - I'm no scrooge, I'm x-mas daft, but we can't justify spending ridiculous amounts on an 8 week old - we'll be doing various activities - most of which are hopefully relaxing and involve a bit of downtime, but that will still make it a memorable first Christmas. Christmas will well and truly be a family affair - unwinding shouldn't be difficult here, it'll be a fight between the Aunties, Uncles, Grans and Strangers for Harrison time... My feet will be up permanently on the couch. My plans are as follows....
1. Movies Movies MoviesI don't know about anyone else, but one of the best things about Christmas for me, and the most relaxing also, is movies. There is something amazing about having your feet up on the couch, snuggled up with Elf and a cosy blanket, it really is unlike nothing else. Not that Harrison would appreciate it all too much at 2 months, but I know I will, unwind time like no other. Top of the list has to be Elf, The Santa Clause, The Grinch and Eloise at Christmas.. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about them.
2. Hot ChocolateTalk about budget eh? I'm a big coffee person - but there is absolutely nothing like a warm hot chocolate with marshmallows in the winter time. If that's not relaxing, then I don't know what is. I will be the first to admit now though that my hot chocolate making skills are just not up to scratch - Pinterest here I come!
Am I the only one that finds decorating so so relaxing? Can't say I find housework all that relaxing, but decorating is a completely different story. I take such enjoyment in going a bit stir crazy on the tree, and the stockings, and the ornaments - anything Christmas related, I love. This year will be even worse as a parent - that's more excuse for more baubles, more ornaments, more stockings... And all the more decorating. Roll on December 12th.
Unwinding is completely different - but if anything it is better than it was before. Even 5 minutes of time to yourself is now much more appreciated now than before. Being a parent is already amazing, but it is a big adjustment, and those 5 minutes do make it so much easier. If your a parent, what do you do to unwind? And do you do it on a budget - or indulge? Let me know in the comments! If you do happen to have a spare 5 minutes, fill out the Rattan Direct survey - it'll be interesting to see what comes out of it with more information from more people. In the mean time, if your a parent - enjoy your few and far between down-time! If your not, make the most of it....
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored, however opinions are entirely my own, as they always are.