Self Love Made Simple: Start Treating Yourself Today

We all lead increasingly hectic, constantly connected lives which can leave being kind to ourselves at the bottom of a very long list. Taking time out to manage our own physical and mental wellbeing can seem like a luxury, when actually it's fundamental to our ability to care for others. When we choose to be kind to ourselves, life becomes lighter and we often see an improvement in our focus and relationships having recharged our batteries. As a popular modern saying runs, you wouldn't let your phone run out of battery, so why do you let the same happen to yourself? Making a positive change can feel like yet another effort that you don't really have time for. But by changing one simple thing each week, you can begin a journey of self-care that will serve you extremely well. 





Feed Your Soul


We never neglect to nourish our bodies, but nourishing our souls - through art, culture, great conversations, music and literature - is something we can easily forget to do. Spending just 15 minutes in the morning absorbed in something beautiful that uplifts you can feel hugely restorative when you're feeling burnt out and jaded. It could be listening to some classical music, reading a chapter of a self-help book or taking the time to call an old friend - just a few minutes will full up your cup with positivity. 



Smarten Up


Taking care over your appearance is often perceived as shallow, when actually it's a vital form of self-respect. That doesn't mean dressing to the nines in the latest couture. It means looking your best to feel your best - in comfort and style. Booking in for that manicure, looking into meeting with a cosmetic dentist, or even clearing out your underwear drawer and replacing all those sad, greying bras and pant with well fitting nice sets in a beautiful bright colour can give you a boost. 



Choose Your Friends Wisely


We all know people who make us feel a certain way. Instead of lifting us up, we emerge from encounters with these so-called friends feeling drained, self-conscious and resentful. Cutting out toxic relationships is not an easy process, but it is one which can make a fundamental difference to your life. Without those negative influences in your day-to-day world, how much energy would you claim back to put towards positive actions? 



Be Present


A huge reason why anxiety and stress are becoming so prevalent in our society is that we're mentally pulled in so many different directions at once. Learning to be more present can have a transformative effect on our interpersonal relationships - helping us become a better parent and friend - and our mental load. Try downloading a mindfulness app and using it each evening before bed to help you recognise your own needs and tune in to what your body is telling you. Many people also find that practicing yoga or simply setting aside time for a candlelit soak in the tub without any distractions, digital or otherwise, can give them the headspace they need to exist not in the future or the past, but simply in the here and now.

Why spending quality time with your kids is good for you

Working at home, or being a stay-at-home mum, can mean when it comes to spending quality time with your kids you tend to think you do it all the time. But do you spend quality time with them or are you just around them all day? The quality time is important, spending time with them, talking, playing, it's all about engaging with them - getting involved.

My Hubby has worked at home for 10 years, it's been a good routine for us. He's here when the boys get home after school, he's around for the school holidays, and he can take a day off if he feels like it. Of course with that kind of routine it's easy to get complacent about spending time with the kids. We end up feeling like we're always together so spending a day playing games or watching our favourite shows isn't a bad use of our weekends. But I think when you're at home all the time it's probably more important to make an effort to spend quality time together.



The importance of spending quality time with your kids


Builds kids' self-esteem. Spending quality time with your kids helps them feel valued by you, and as a result they feel more positive about themselves. We love board games, we have a huge collection and come the weekend we'll play at least one of them. Since LP was about 6 years old we've involved him in the game playing, even if it was a game he couldn't play himself - then we'd just have him on our "team". Now that he's 10 he often beats me at Scrabble, he has unparalleled luck when it comes to Yahtzee (getting 4 "yahtzees" in one game!), and don't even get me started on Monopoly! The result is that LP loves playing board games and will request his favourites.


Why Spending Quality Time With Your Kids Is Good For You | Board games are a great way to spend time together, try Ingenious!
This is Ingenious - a fun and simple board game.


Strengthens family bonds. This speaks for itself really, the more quality time you spend with your kids the stronger the bond between you. Like I said, we like to spend time playing board games, but that's not all we do. We like to go for walks too, or even watch movies together. We do spend a lot of time talking to, or just being with our kids. At 10 years old LP still climbs onto the Hubby's knee in a morning. He'll happily sit there for 30 minutes hugging his dad and talking to him about his puzzles (on the iPad) or discuss whatever he's seen on the news. LP is still happy to be close to his dad, and I love that.





No amount of money or success can take the place of time spent with your family.

Unknown





Encourages communication. Walks are great for this. By taking your family for a walk (somewhere quiet preferably) you get to talk about all kinds of topics. We love our walks and luckily live near lots of canals so we have miles of paths we can walk along when we fancy it. During our walks we cover all kinds of topics including science, politics, economics, and many more. When we hit on a topic BP enjoys you can't shut him up, and it often leads to him sharing things about his school life - which is epic considering he's a teenager. Getting your kids to communicate can be quite a struggle when they're older so anything you can do to encourage that is a good thing.


Why Spending Quality Time With Your Kids Is Good For You | Walking is a good way to get your kids talking.
We love walking and talking.


Helps kids be a good friend. By spending quality time with your kids you're teaching them how to behave, how to be friendly, how to be polite. Talking to them, communicating, playing games, whatever it is you decide to do, helps them learn and as a result have better friendships. 



Why it's good for you


  • Deepens empathy for your child. Spending quality time with your kids helps you learn about their lives. Perhaps they're going through something you once did and you can remember how you tackled it. Maybe they're having trouble with a friend or want to help someone. By spending time with them you are able to understand what they're going through - strengthening your bond.


  • You see how much they love you. There is nothing quite like seeing the sparkle in your kid's eyes when they spot you from a distance. Or when they get up in a morning and climb all over you. Or even when they ask for an extra story at night just so they can spend a little more time with you. Nothing can fill your heart more than realising this little person loves you more than anything in the world.

Why Spending Quality Time With Your Kids Is Good For You | Have fun together and see how much they love you.
My boys love having fun with their dad.


  • Help teach your kids about boundaries. When you spend quality time with your kids you're able to set boundaries. Like when they climb on you in a morning but you're feeling a bit off - you tell them to get down and sit next to you on the sofa. This isn't a bad thing, you're simply teaching them that when someone doesn't feel right climbing on them isn't okay. And the same thing goes for other boundaries too. 


  • A shift in focus. Taking the day to spend with your kids shifts your focus from the housework and other chores to your kids. Instead of stressing about whether the washing gets done you end up having fun at Chester Zoo watching the Orangutan swing around and before long that washing stress seems like a distant memory. Spending quality time with your kids usually takes away the stress of day-to-day life and makes you see what life is really all about.





... togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.

Barbara Bush






  • Slows the world down. How often do you feel like the weeks are flying by, the years whizz past, and time is slipping away? By spending quality time with your kids you're slowing down the world - you're pausing time and enjoying the one-to-one with your kids. You forget about the passing of time and just enjoy yourself. And that's got to be a good thing.

Why Spending Quality Time With Your Kids Is Good For You | Slow the world down and chill.


  • Connect with your kids. When you take the time to spend with your kids and learn about the kinds of things they like, you also learn about the things you have in common. BP enjoys drawing and writing, and of course I like writing too. We can spend hours talking about his writing, going over what he's written. It's a great way for us to spend time together and it's also a way of us connecting. The same thing goes for BP and programming - his dad is a programmer and they can both spend hours on end discussing programming techniques or a "bug" that's been found. They even discuss programming when out on walks!

Why Spending Quality Time With Your Kids Is Good For You | Connecting, being there with your kids, it's all good.


Like I said, when you spend all day at home the idea of spending more time with your kids can seem daunting. But it's not about the time but about the quality time you spend together. Spending quality time with your kids is good for you, AND good for your kids.



How do you spend quality time with your kids?




Become an Organised Mama so you can spend more quality time with your kids. Grab the Organised Mama Pack below and you can even list chores for your kids!



Post Comment Love 17th - 19th May

It's Post Comment Love time! Join our linky, hosted by myself and Stephanie, we welcome bloggers of all kinds, love to read whatever you like to share, and share with others too. What have you got in store for us this week?

With things still up in the air here at the Prince residence I've been trying to get all the things done in just 3 days. I'm used to working on the blog while the boys are at school but just lately our routine has changed and I'm down to just 3. It's fun. There's so much to do and not enough time, so please bear with me as I try to adjust to our current routine.

The boys are good, BP is starting revision for his Mock GCSE exams which he has two soon that will determine which set he's put into for the real exams. It's difficult to teach them how important revision is, especially when all they want to do is go out with friends. As for LP, he's looking forward to half term because we have a few things planned and he wants Year 6 to come along fast. He's in such a hurry to grow up!

We've been enjoying the lovely weather this week by going for walks at lunch time. We've even popped into Domino's a couple of times for lunch. It was SO good! The walk is lovely though, getting outside when the sun is shining is great. Although saying that I should probably be more careful as last night I noticed I had burned shoulders after our lunch time walk so I guess I ought to be using sunscreen. I always forget and then regret it - my skin is so sensitive you'd think I'd be more careful.

Well that's it from me this week...



How have you been enjoying the sun?




Blogger Showcase Nikki from and Missy makes 3!




Who are you?


I’m Nikki, married for 17 years, I have 3 children and 1.5 grandchildren (one on the way, hence the .5!) and I am Mummy to my rescue cat Missy.


Post Comment Love 17th - 19th May | Read all about Nikki, our Blogger Showcase.



How did you discover blogs/blogging?


Suffering from fibromyalgia and hypermobility syndrome, to name a few, I used to read lots of support blogs from other sufferers.



Why did you start blogging?


Since I started suffering from depression, the need to vent the pain in my head was quite immense, so I decided to post my brain fluff, not necessarily for people to read, just for me to get it out my head.



What do you find most challenging?


Getting through a post with the original thread still in tact! I have a habit of wandering off, then I read it and it makes no sense, so it gets deleted!



What is your favourite topic to write about?


The silly things that Missy does! She has just started coming out of her shell, resulting in her becoming an attention whore and bringing us her favourite toy mouse, and shouting like someone’s killing her until we throw it! 



Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?


I’m blogging for fun, but I do like to take on tasks every now and again. I like being the first to try something new, or cast my ‘expert’ eye over consumer goods.



What is your favourite thing about blogging?


Feeling important and relatable. When I suffer from depression I often feel useless and alone, having people read your posts and comment makes me feel that I am not the only one going through it.



Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?


No



What are your 3 best posts?


One about dieting (my inability to stick to one!)
A review on Lost Sheep Coffee
and......my problematic marriage!



Describe yourself in three words!


Fat, painful & trustworthy



Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?


All 4? Is all 4 an option??!!



What's your idea of a perfect night out?


Jeans and a jumper, meal out, couple of beverages, cinema with popcorn and a drink!



Your perfect night in?


Onesie, tea, Chinese takeaway, bingeing on a boxset until I’m sick of TV!



What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?


See 3 words!, my therapist called me trustworthy, I think he meant it as an insult, but I am sure it’s a good thing to be trustworthy!! He called me loyal too, that just made me feel like a dog!!



Connect with Nikki over on Twitter
 

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Nikki and feel free to grab our featured badge and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog.


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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.



Thank you for popping by.


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Does parenting get easier?

When the worry about baby sleeping is keeping you up at night and the toddler is running you ragged during the day you can often begin to wonder if parenting gets easier. As a parent of two school-aged boys, one 10 and one 14, I asked myself this question more times than I can count - "Does parenting get easier?".



Ah parenting...


I was at a family party recently when my cousin, who is mum to a 3 year old and a baby, came up to me and started talking about how hard it was being mum to two young ones. I told her I remembered the days when my boys were little. When BP was a toddler and running into the corner of tables resulting in a trip to A&E, or when LP was a baby who would bum-shuffle around the house trying to follow my every move. It was so hard back then, trying to keep on top of it all as well as keep the boys safe. My cousin, Vicky, told me she'd had a scare recently where she'd popped out of the room for a second leaving her baby on the changing mat on the floor while her toddler was playing nearby. When she returned she saw that the toddler had moved the baby under the coffee table. What did Vicky do? She immediately (well, after sorting out baby of course) googled "can a toddler kill a baby?". And from that moment she said she'd never leave them alone again. 


Does Parenting Get Easier | Watching those toddlers 24/7 can be exhausting!
Such a cute face, an angel right?


It's a difficult time isn't it? When you're a new parent, or even a new parent to two. You're having to learn new rules about when the children can be left alone, you're having to consider all the different complications or dangers in situations, and all when you're not getting much sleep. 




My children are the reason I laugh, smile and want to get up every morning.

Gena Lee Nolin





When you compare that to the teen years, when you're able to sleep all night without interruption and the teens pretty much take care of themselves it's easy to think parenting does get easier. But let's take a look at the stages of parenting



The stages of parenting


Baby / toddler days - exhausting. It really only takes one word to describe them doesn't it? You feel like you'll never sleep properly again. You're running after toddlers all day hoping they don't hurt themselves. And you're trying to make sure you feed them too. Any talking you do is either baby talk or chatting about their favourite TV programmes (Paw Patrol anyone?).

School-aged kids - Getting the kids out of bed, packed lunches to prepare, and school runs every day. As well as having to make sure they have clean uniform, PE kits, and any other equipment they need. There's the constant forms from school to sign and send in, as well as friends complications when your kids fall out with their "best friend". Chatting with your school-aged kids is fun, they share opinions on things but get bored if the topics turn to things like politics or the latest news.

Does Parenting Get Easier? | Kids with friends who always fall out - it's not baby days, but it's stressful all the same.


Tweens - The same as school-aged kids, but with added hormones and attitude. You still have to do the school runs, you still need to prepare packed lunches, but you also have to deal with their hormones. They can go from being really happy to crying their eyes out in an instant. One wrong word from you, or anyone else, and their world crumbles and they're distraught. If they lose at a board game it's the end of the world. Of course, a chocolate bar or an ice-cream can sometimes solve it. Conversations with your tween can be great, not only will they share their thoughts but they can talk about more grown up topics and kind of grasp what you're talking about. 

Teens - They take themselves to school, usually feed themselves at school (or take packed lunches), and like to keep to themselves. While you don't really have to "look after" teens you do still have to parent them. Now instead of changing nappies and chasing toddlers, you're screaming at them to get out of bed in the morning (because they'll be late for school) and telling them to have a shower. There's the girlfriend/boyfriend issues, as well as them learning more about themselves. The worry during this stage is intense - it includes things like influence from social media as well as hoping they don't do something silly while they're out and about with friends. But the chatting with them is brilliant. You can have hour-long conversations about all kinds of things from politics to science and anything in between. And when they share what they're doing in their lives it's a very special moment.



So does parenting get easier?


  • Daily/hourly pressures get easier. You don't have to be there 24/7 to keep your child alive. When your kids get older you don't have to be there to change their nappies or bath them. You're not on hand to spoon feed them or pick them up when they fall. But you do need to be there - whenever they need you. They could fall sick when they're at school and you need to pick them up, or they could have a drama at school that you need to get involved in. You're not needed 24/7 but the worry is still there.


  • Demands on your time ease. As above when you have babies you have to be on hand all the time. Every waking moment is dedicated to your kids and even when you're sleeping (if you get a chance) you're thinking about them. The same with toddlers, you follow them around hoping they don't hurt themselves. As your kids start school you get a little time for yourself. When they're at school you have the day to yourself (kind of) and get on with housework or even use your time for you. 


  • More time for yourself. Like I just said, as your kids start school you get more time for you. You can get the chores done and be left with a little time for yourself, meaning you get to learn who you are after having your kids. You can try out new hobbies, or get back in touch with old ones.
Does Parenting Get Easier? | Enjoy a coffee while the kids are at school!
Enjoy a hot coffee when they're at school!

  • You don't ever stop worrying. Whether you have babies or teens one thing is sure - you never stop worrying about them. Yes, the worry changes, but it never stops. When they're babies you're worrying about their weight gain/loss, whether their poop is the right colour, and if they're on track with their motor functions. When they're teens you're worrying about what they're up to when "out with friends", you worry about how much time they spend on social media or playing games, and you stress about exams more than they do.





Parenting without a sense of humour is like being an accountant who sucks at math.

Amber Dusick





  • New stage, new concerns/challenges. With each stage of parenting comes new concerns and challenges. We are all learning, both our kids and us. We have to raise our kids, we have to teach them how to eat food, how to write with a pen, and how to interact with others. From the moment they're born we're wondering what the next stage will bring and hoping they will do well, but we're learning too. When they're babies we could leave them on the changing mat for a moment and know when we came back they'd still be there. But then the toddler years start and before you know it you're chasing them around the house because they don't want a nappy back on! Of course the challenges change and as your kids reach the teen years the challenges will be fighting rebellion and trying to teach them about being an adult.


Does parenting get easier? The answer is no, it doesn't, but it does change. Your challenges are more about imparting wisdom and less about chasing them around, but the parenting part? That will always be hard.

Does Parenting Get Easier? | When the worry about baby sleeping is keeping you up at night and the toddler is running you ragged...


I'm not sure the worry will ever go away - it will always be there because no matter how old they are they are still our babies. Even when they're 40!



Do you think parenting gets easier?




To help you get organised so you can have more time for you, or for playing with your toddler, why not grab the Organised Mama Pack - it has chores lists, a daily planner, and even a chores list for your kids (for when they're old enough)!