The Family Beast’s Top 3: Ways to pamper yourself

It is widely acknowledged that mothers have one of the most demanding, underpaid, unappreciated and emotionally draining jobs on the planet. Hostage negotiators come close but they are highly paid, have access to therapy and are given holidays.

As a mother of small children anything you can do to make daily life run smoother will help your sanity, health and ability to be a good mother. As they say on the aeroplane, always attach your own oxygen mask before helping others.

This week we have consulted three experts on ways to spend some time and energy on yourself to make you feel better, look better, and still keep everyone well fed.

1) Massage
The stress of motherhood is an accumulative stress, and like a snowball rolling down a hill it gains momentum and volume – and usually crashes spectacularly at the bottom. Accumulated stress will start to seriously affect your wellbeing and can lead to serious long term problems. As the main structural support for your family, buckling under the pressure can be disastrous. A simple (and very nice) way to avoid this is to have if not frequent, then regular massage treatments.

As Rakhee Dodhia, remedial and holistic massage specialist from Sacred Space says “Managing stress and stopping its harmful effects are critical to your over all health and well-being.  We all know a massage session feels great, but did you know that it is also a great way to cope with these daily stresses and turn off your flight or fight mode?  Depending upon your needs, even as little as once a month can help to calm down the sympathetic nervous system and normalise your hormone levels.

Many massage therapists are covered by the health funds (here in Australia), so it’s almost more expensive not to go!

2) Wardrobe overhaul
An amazing outfit can make all the difference to how you feel, but after years of wearing track-suits and ugh boots, you find you have a wardrobe chock-a-block full of Nothing To Wear. But even though a new accessory can pop an outfit up from frumpy to fabulous, sometimes you need a little more than retail therapy and a little less expense.  Having a good wardrobe purge can be a good start, but sometimes a fresh set of eyes can really move your fashion forward. Andrea Koster from Icadoo offers a Wardrobe Makeover for less than the price of a new pair of shoes. She can show you how to make the most of your wardrobe and create new looks by combining items in ways you may never have thought of before. She can also help with a personalised photographic ‘look book’ for you so you will never have another ‘what am I going to wear’ moment again. And you can probably treat yourself to some new shoes as well.

3) Home cooked meals (just not by you)
At the end of the day, well for most of us, at the end of the day we have to cook, tidy the kitchen and do the dishes – but really at the end of the day we would really rather NOT. We would rather an amazing, nutritious meal appeared like magic on the table and everyone could enjoy food that is not sprinkled with a slight resentment or dollops of downright disgruntlement. While not actually magic, companies like Hungry Beaches will prepare food for your family and deliver it to your house. When all is said and done, outsourcing the cooking can be a far more efficient way to manage the kitchen. One of the most significant things it does is take away the ‘thinking’ part of cooking for a family.  Even if you only do it once a week – it’s like having a night off. If you can bribe someone else to clean up, it’s almost as good as a holiday!

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