Mama talks... balance: simple pleasures

There’s been a theme to these blogs lately. Completely non-deliberately and from a whole gamut of different perspectives, we’re all talking about an ‘every little helps’ type of message which reminds us that there’s no perfect time to get started on that healthy promise to yourself. No right time to relax, or good moment to be mindful. No sense in waiting for the right time to look after yourself, because it won’t arrive.

It’s now. You can start right now to take better care of yourself, with a deep breath, or a quick stretch, or just a few seconds to look up from your screen and notice the world around you. It takes a lot of small steps to make up those journeys which can change our lives. For the better, for everyone’s sake. Start now, you won’t look back.

This week we’re hearing from Emily Gresty who runs the wonderful Munchkin Music classes in West London. She is working out how to balance working as a music therapist and running Munchkin Music, along with raising two spirited little rockets in the shape of her sons Arthur and Ferdie.

Simple pleasures

I really didn’t understand everyone’s obsession with ‘me’ time before I had children.  As parents we all know we need to practice good self-care, to fill our tank so that we can fill our kids’ ever expanding tanks. It’s not rocket science, but so hard to do.

Everyone has such different ways of looking after themselves and I’m going to share some musing I have been doing recently. It seems to me that the reason we need this time out is invisible. It’s just the mere existence of our kids on the planet that means we will be needing some time out for self care, and that can be so hard.  Oh dear, I’m getting a little frantic just thinking about that.  

I recently went away for a whole twenty-seven hours with a girlfriend for a night to a spa hotel. I booked a massage, went on a sunny walk, we had a pub lunch and the weather was just about bad enough that I could read a book, in the middle of the afternoon, on the amazing bed, while not feeling guilty about not being outside when it was sunny (that’s the British upbringing right there). We tried to not talk about our kids, and managed for a short while!

We had a very restorative time…and my friend and I rushed home after lunch the next day, even though my husband said ‘take your time, come back in the evening’.  I arrived home to a silent house, everyone asleep. I stared at my husband fast asleep on the sofa and went upstairs and gazed at my two children peacefully napping, and realised why I had rushed back.  Give me an inch and I’ll take….about three quarters of it!

Even if you don’t feel the benefits of a little bit of time to yourself – you may be straight back into the grind of tea/bath/bed/work time which can pull you straight out your calm – be sure that you did fill your tank a little. Sometimes I will now volunteer to go to the supermarket in person, alone, for an hour, rather than ordering the food on the laptop, because actually being able to see and touch and smell the fruit and veg (and pretend to be in a market in sunny Europe) without two children under three tugging at me is now a simple pleasure in life.  

When it’s so easy to feel shackled by your wee ones, it’s the simple pleasures that we have to cherish.

Emily’s training as a music therapist inspired her to set up Munchkin Music, providing live music classes for babies and toddlers. Munchkin Music is available both in public venues, and in the comfort of your own home, with live original music and plenty of instruments. Find out more at www.munchkinmusic.co.uk