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Relaxation = Yoga + Childcare

06 Mar

P1010929

Any parent with small children knows that finding time to yourself can be a challenge. 4 years ago I could pretty much do whatever I wanted; stay up late, go dancing or go to the gym. I didn’t have to worry about 6:00 am wakeup calls from bouncy toddlers or who’s going to watch the children if I want to have a night out.
Things are very different now; when we had our second child I became a full time mum, keeping our son in nursery for just one day a week. For a year and a half I was always responsible for at least 1 child and even when I could have gone out to the gym – for example in the evenings or if the grandparents baby sat for a few hours – I would struggle to find the energy to go out and would most likely spend the time curled up on the sofa watching bad TV shows.
Recently though things have been getting better. In January we became entitled to government help with our son’s pre-school hours, reducing the cost of his nursery fees and allowing us to send both our children to nursery one day a week. While I wouldn’t feel happy putting my children into nursery full time I was very glad to be able to start sending our daughter for this single day a week. My son was in nursery part-time from 9 months old when I returned to work, however circumstances meant that my daughter had never been cared for by anyone other than myself or a close relative. At 18 months she was very clingy and always needed her Mummy. This is endearing in many ways but it is also restrictive and if it continued would make it much harder for her when she had to begin school. By slowly introducing her to an environment where she is well cared for by non-family members we hope to increase her independence and reassure her that even though Mummy leaves her in the morning it is only until the end of the day. After the first couple of weeks of tears at drop-off and pick-up (from her not me) she now happily runs in to the toddler room to play and jumps for joy when I collect her at night.
Having both children in nursery has meant that I suddenly have a full day to myself with no-one to look after. Of course it’s very easy to fill that time with all the mundane chores I struggle to do during the week, the washing is always there and then there’s the garden and the dusting to do but in the last couple of weeks I’ve started managing to take a bit of time for myself. I’m finally managing to go to the gym for something other than lunch. Once upon a time I used to do a lot of yoga and dance, so I have started going to the Wednesday morning yoga class. You get to stretch and feel all lovely and achy, and you then get to relax for 15 minutes without feeling guilty. After that if I’m not rushing anywhere I sit in the jacuzzi for 10 minutes as well. It may not sound like much but it is making a surprising amount of difference to my quality of life. I feel more relaxed, I feel less guilty about paying for an underused gym membership, and I am noticing a definite improvement in my figure. Because I’m noticing how much better I feel after doing the Wednesday class I’m encouraged to also do the Sunday night class, meaning I feel even better and am getting something close to reasonable use from my gym membership. It’s good to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that as your children get older you do start to get a little bit of your old life back.

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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Parenting, Uncategorized, yoga

 

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