Steph is the founder here at Don’t Buy Her Flowers, mum of three, wife to Doug (no he’s not called Doug Douglas) and lover of naps. And sleep. And sleepy naps.
Sometimes, when it all gets too much, I long to sit very very still with no thoughts. Alone.
No washing pile staring at me, no Whatsapp messages pinging at me, no emails waiting for an answer, no already-late forms to fill in, no one expecting anything of me.
The other day, when trying to be spontaneous mum, I got in the bath with my two year old. He was delighted, bouncing on my belly, making the squealy sounds that a happy two year old makes. One of the big kids strolled in to the bathroom, sat on the toilet to have a poo and said ‘urgh gross, you’re so hairy’ while looking directly at my area.
I’m often not fun by bathtime. I feel like I’ve been on a hamster wheel by 7pm. There is no spare time in the day, and if there is I feel guilty because there’s definitely no point where I’m up together with everything I’m meant to have done. I don’t think I’ve been ‘up together’ since 2013. So at 7pm it’s in my sights – an evening where I can finally get on top of everything. If I can just get them to bed, I can put that wash on, I can find some dinner, I can answer those messages, and (more realistically) I can sit mute staring at the TV because my brain is all used up.
And in return they point out my moles. They point out my grey hairs. They love to let me know I have REALLY big bags under my eyes. I’ve had a ‘your boobs hang weird’. Hang? HANG?! At some point I want to throw my head back and yell ‘for the love of god, will you all please LEAVE’.
At nine, seven and two, we’re a while off the days when they’re not under my roof. I know where they all are at all times. And I’m generally nearby. And I love them so so much that often when they are all asleep, I look at pictures of them or go and stroke the sweaty hair out of their sleeping faces and wish I’d had more patience, made more eye contact, wasn’t trying to answer an email and chuck something in the oven for tea while nodding along to their very loooong tale about something that happened on the bus four weeks ago.
But this isn’t a time for guilt.
So my #onemumswish is for time with nothing to do, specifically without any guilt. I actually did it recently – I was given a spa voucher for Christmas and I decided to go ON MY OWN. We had a slight false start where the day I’d booked it for fell in a week when all three kids came down with a bug and Doug was away, which that meant we didn’t leave the house for four days and instead of lying down while someone massaged my shoulders, I was sicked and snotted on and woken on the hour through the night.
Still, when the rearranged day finally came it was every bit as glorious as I hoped it would be. The wait for it meant that I really felt ready for it, and the guilt was gone. In fact, I felt tearful when I pulled up, knowing that I was moments away from being horizontal. When I lay on the little warm bed for a massage, I felt my eyes prick again. It was the feeling of being touched with no expectation. Noone pulling at me, noone asking something of me. In that moment I’d put myself first. It just made me think that as mums and partners, we do a lot of giving.
Obviously the spa day was very nice, but just giving myself permission to not be trying to ‘do’ something else for that day, that felt good. My aim is to give myself permission to not always be trying to ‘do’. One thing at a time is ok, including time for myself.
Ahead of Mother’s Day, we’d love you to share your ‘one mum’s wish’ – it could be something life-altering or something simple, it could be funny or poignant. It’s completely up to you. We just know that it is always good to share, to celebrate how some things make us feel empathy, some less alone, and some make us laugh.
If you share your #onemumswish on instagram you will be entered into a prize draw to WIN one of THREE Bestsellers Packages with five of our most popular products.
To enter the giveaway, what you have to do is:
1. Post to your *own account* on instagram with your #onemumswish. It can be light-hearted or serious, an image or a video – the choice is yours.
2. Include the following sentence in your caption ‘I am posting my #onemumswish to enter a @dontbuyherflowers giveaway’
(if your account is private just DM us and we will request to follow you so that we can see your entry). Find out more on our Instagram.
Win a £250 Spabreaks Voucher for your someone special
Because we know Steph won’t be the only one wanting some time alone, we’ve teamed up with Spabreaks.com and over the next week will be randomly placing two Golden Tickets into Mother’s Day Packages which will entitle the recipient to a £250 spabreaks voucher. See here for more info.