Success criteria for…a relaxing evening

Excuse the teacher language for the non-teacher types but after planning and failing to have a relaxing evening I started wondering what makes a relaxing evening for a busy, tired/exhausted, working mama?!  I mean, I know what relaxing is…I vaguely remember the feeling of not setting an alarm at the weekend… It was only 13 1/2 months ago. And I’m not counting, honestly. I know some people think I’m mad for setting an alarm at the weekend still but at the moment Sprog’s routine for nap times is absolutely spot on and I don’t want to mess with a winning formula which still gets me 2 day time naps in which I can sit and frantically mark exercise books.

So what makes good relaxation?! I think “relaxed” used to come about through sitting on the sofa doing sod all after work, eating a good dinner and going to bed as early as possible, after all the marking was done. In hindsight that’s not actually great relaxation. That’s not turning my busy mind off, or choosing to completely relax through every muscle in my body, or making sure that my brain is chilled and calm. That’s not preparing me mentally for the busy times ahead, or the tough moments with students. That’s not giving my mind, body and spirit a chance to heal.

How do we achieve this as busy mum’s?! My plan had been to have a shower with my delightful Beefayre Bath and Shower Milk that I’d been sent to review for http://www.onechicmom.com (it’s divine!), paint my nails (fingers and toes), watch a bit of TV in bed with a camomile tea and join in with the #pbloggers chat on Twitter. I’m not sure that all this would have worked but it at least sounded like a good idea.

Why do we build it up and then feel disappointed if we don’t achieve it?! I’m guessing because actually we’re blooming knackered and that’s the reason that we need the time, but also the reason why we snap if we don’t get the time exactly as we’d planned. Over on the lovely world of Twitter I was reminded that I should have less of a set routine in mind and then, hopefully, I can’t be too disappointed.

After feeling the disappointment of not achieving my plan, I actually feel like my rant here has given me a bit of the head space that I needed. As I’ve tapped away on my phone writing this in the pitch black, my body has begun to relax…my poor eyes however have not (bright lights are not their friends). Maybe I just need to readjust my expectations of what relaxation is…it’s not.always about the big gestures…and my nails aren’t normally painted so they won’t even know the difference!

If anyone has any tips of quick and easy ways that they use to relax thoroughly, please let me know…I’ll next get a chance to relax on Friday evening…after another 5 full on days of teaching mayhem.

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5 thoughts on “Success criteria for…a relaxing evening

  1. I think you’re right, the lack of sleep makes everything seem so much bigger. It’s important to remember to be kind to ourselves as Well! I have no tips and tricks on how to properly relax just yet but I have to say candles help. In the evenings I light a few around the house – especially in the bedroom. The scent and the glow help me decompress when getting ready for bed!

  2. I’ve learnt to be flexible. 5 minutes while daughter plays is cuppa and a flick through a mag, 10+ is meditation (get comfortable, close eyes and count breathing or have a mp3 of guided meditation). If I know she’s down for her long nap I have a quick shower and paint nails. I even find cleaning relaxed as it is a job less for me to worry about. We have to remember that we are not wonder woman.

  3. It’s been 18 months since little J came along and I don’t thing I have truly relaxed since then. Everything seems rushed. I shower now because it’s quicker than a bath and that was the one place I would truly relax. Hopefully it will get better #GoldenOldies

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