How to keep the work from home mum home slump at bay…
I hate days when I am not feeling like my best self. You know those days when you just feel a little bit shitty in yourself. I feel like these days occur a lot more frequently now I am a work from home mum. My days don’t necessarily require me to be up and out, made up and dressed up like they did when I was working, but it was this that I actually loved about working. In fact, on a daily basis, there’s nobody really expecting or demanding anything from me apart from Allegra, so my day truly is what I make it. I am not very good at doing nothing and I feel that time is wasted if I am not feeling good at every second, which means that I can be pretty hard on myself when I have those down days or days when I don’t feel I have been particularly productive. There are things that I know that will instantly help me to feel better and more like myself, but for some reason these things aren’t second nature to me anymore, probably because they aren’t actually required of me. So here’s a list of the things I need to remember to do on my down days to battle the slump.
Get out of those PJs!
I spent the best half of my maternity in PJs. If I was at home, I can assure you I was wearing PJs. But, I started to feel sluggish and un-sexy. Although I was home taking care of a baby and would have a fresh pair of PJs on every day, I knew things had gone too far when I started to hang my PJs in my wardrobe like they were my actual clothes. I swapped out my PJs for workout gear and started sporting them long before I even considered working out! I just feel ten times better being at home dressed in gym gear than I do in PJs. Now we are experiencing a heatwave PJs are a thing of the past anyhow, but I try to put on something that makes me feel comfortable, but dressed and purposeful. Lounge wear and workout gear is just a little more flattering and puts me in a state of mind that says I am ready for the day, even if my day consists of being mostly at home.
In all honesty, I gained weight after I had Allegra. Nine months of carrying a baby and four months of breastfeeding means a total of 13 months of no drinking! The second I was able to drink again I was drinking and very quickly piled on the pounds, so I am no health freak. But I have always loved to workout and each and every time I do it, I immediately realise how much I miss it and how much better I feel for it. Even ten minutes completely clears my head and lifts any brain fog.
Lipstick and Earrings
I have always been a more is more person. The highest heels, the biggest earrings, the brightest lipstick kind of girl. Motherhood doesn’t really require any of that and I have had to get practical, I work from home Monday to Wednesday and days with Allegra involve parks, picnics and soft play. However, sometimes I don’t want to be practical and not being able to get dressed up can make me feel down. If I am feeling like I need a bit more of a pick me up, I will make the effort to get dressed up for the nursery run. (I use the term ‘dressed up’ lightly here!). I’ll put on some lipstick and a pair of statement earrings…It just helps.
Have a Drink
Obviously, I don’t do this before the nursery run! But once I’ve got home and I’ve made it through a day of no adult interaction, why not do the adult thing of pouring myself an adult drink. Once it hits six o clock, I pour myself a gin or a glass of wine and I enjoy it while I prepare dinner. Dinner time really is my favourite part of the day…it’s like my reward for making it through the day and that glass of wine makes it all the more special.
I follow Gary Vaynerchuk …when there’s no team, no manager, nobody or nothing to really measure your success and subsequently motivate you, entrepreneurs and occasionally even some motivational speakers or speeches on YouTube really do help. Again, I listen to my podcasts and audio books while I’m doing my makeup, getting dressed or cooking. I love to be stimulated and I feel like this isn’t so readily available when you don’t have a team or a partner to bounce ideas off on a daily basis.
I love blogging and consuming online content. I spend most of my time on Instagram and connecting with other women, especially mamas, has really helped to keep me sane. When I feel like I’ve not spoken enough throughout the day and need to off load or just relay my day, Insta Stories is my saviour. I love just jumping on Stories and chatting away! But nothing quite clears a dreary and foggy mind for me like writing. I don’t do it enough, but the second I do, I am at one with myself.
Mid-Week Social Gathering
I like to have some form of social gathering mid-week, just to break up the week a little. It gives a reason to get dressed up and have something to look forward to, as we all know, motherhood can get a little groundhog day like, especially when you work from home. I love going to a friends for dinner or having friends over in the week, it’s something chilled and I get to take Allegra with me.
To be honest Christian and I are awful at scheduling date night, more so Christian than me (because I am a social butterfly). But when we do have date night we both have so much fun that it’s crazy we don’t remember to do it as much as we possibly can. Last week we went to Bocca Social, a new bar that has opened up not too far from where we live. We went with friends and we dropped Allegra to my parents house beforehand. I could have easily arranged to do something with our friends that would have been suitable for Allegra, but I made the conscious decision not to. Christian and I arrived at the bar early, so we could get some one on one time in and we enjoyed our time completely baby free. We were only out for three and a bit hours, but it was exactly what we needed. Going out for something to eat with Allegra often means going to pubs or the likes of Pizza Express or Giraffe! Not places that would have been on the top of our lists before we had a baby. So doing something that reminded us of our former parenting selves massively changes things up.
A day without music for me really is a day spent in vain. I feel instantly better the second I put my music on. I generally have music playing throughout the day while I’m working at home, but if Allegra’s home I find myself cooking, cleaning and doing everything to Wheels on the Bus and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes. I need to make a conscious effort to get some REAL music on, even when Allegra’s home. She loves it and it helps to bring a bit of sanity to a day spent at home – because being home ALL day not only drives Allegra crazy, but makes mama crazy too.
This video by Mummy YouTuber Emily Norris always helps to brighten my day too.
Hopefully my list of pick me-ups will be of some help to you too. x
Bar location: Bocca Social, Beckenham, Kent