I’m Natalie mum of two boys aged one and three. I’m a Social Worker by trade and owner of Little Magpies which has been my side hustle for the last two years.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m an only child and while I had a happy childhood I always knew I wanted more than one child. I love that my boys are quite close in age and hope they will be good friends as they grow up. I’m originally from Lancashire but I left when was 18 to go to University in Liverpool and afterwards to travel with my now husband. We eventually settled in Leeds. I love the city and have no plans to leave.
If you were to choose one word to describe your daily life, what would it be?
Chaos! I was never the most organised person before I had children but now I constantly feel behind. There literally aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I need to and it’s usually the housework that gets cut from my to-do list. We’ve lived in our house for six years and are still renovating it. It’s a struggle with two little boys tearing around and no family nearby. I’m not sure it will ever be finished.
Describe the last time you did something that made your soul happy? How often do you do this thing?
Oh this is a good question. After I had my first baby it took well over a year for me to feel like I was myself again. I thought it would be quicker second time around but it’s been much harder to find any time for myself. He’s 14 months and I’ve just recently left him overnight to go away. Actually, I had two consecutive weekends away and it was amazing to be on my own. I went to Manchester to visit an old friend over night, got 8 hours sleep and had a lazy Sunday morning in my PJs. The following weekend I went down to London to Blogtacular. I met some really inspiring women, learned so much and had a hotel room all to myself!
How do you feel when you are regularly carving out time for yourself compared to not?
I feel my best when I am exercising regularly and getting some time on my own. I’m better able to cope with the chaos of being at home with the boys and juggling work and business. At the moment I’m not managing to fit it in. When I had a weekend away I realised that I need to plan more time for me as I came back calmer and happier having missed my boys.
What is your definition of me-time now that you are a mum?
An empty (tidy) house to do my own thing or getting out to see friends or exercise.
What are your 3 favourite ways to practice self-care?
If I’m honest I’m not very good at making time for myself. My business is my hobby and I enjoy working. I escape to my attic office, shut the door and put a podcast on while I work. I find this a little retreat from the daily routine. I like to go out for a walk on my own, listen to music and switch off.
In your opinion, why is prioritising self-care in your day-to-day important?
It’s important to look after ourselves so we can look after other people. It’s easy to say this and we all now it’s true but many mums don’t do it, myself included.
What are your top tips to cut yourself some slack and make time for you that could benefit another mother?