Something I hadn’t thought about before having a baby was that I would have very little time on my own. Wherever I go, I have a human accessory. Usually heavier and noisier than a pair of earrings. It’s fine most of the time but every now and again I feel l need some space. I do find that unless I leave the house I’m not really getting that break because something will always come up that needs to be done. A change of scenery is in order. Sometimes I go to the library to read (another thing dropped to the bottom of the priority list since having a baby), and more recently I’ve used the time for a walk. Dad is self-employed and sometimes around during the day which means I can leave the house when little one is having a nap.
We are lucky to live close to the Bristol-Bath cycle path, a disused railway flanked by lots of tall trees making it a quiet, pleasant place to walk. I try and get out for an hour if I can but even 20 minutes is enough.
Sometimes I listen to a podcast but if my head is too busy to concentrate, I take out the ear buds and bring my thoughts to the present. Having pain is certainly a motivation for thinking about how you are using your body. If I’m feeling an ache I try not to correct what I think I’m doing to cause it. Instead I focus on my breath and then observe if I can release tension anywhere in my body. Starting around the neck area…a classic Alexander Technique move! If I can release there, I find the rest of my spine lets go a little bit and maybe other parts of my body in turn. It’s really hard not to keep correcting but I remind myself that I don’t really know what’s going on inside or what I’m doing ‘wrong’ so how can I know what to do make it ‘right’. Sure my mind wanders to other thoughts and that’s ok. I let them come and go and it really clears out my head.
The walk is good for my healing back and of course good exercise in general. Often I don’t even realise that I need the emotional break away until I come back feeling happier and it lifts the whole family. I’m reminded that each person’s mood affects the other and even more so if you are around each other all day. I come back a little kinder and more forgiving and I think this effect is cumulative not just immediate. It takes planning to get that time away, and it is rarely spontaneous so I do hope I can continue to schedule it into my week even when nap time disappears.
To receive these posts and other updates in your inbox, sign up to the mailing list.