I know from my own experience – as a wife, mum of five, a self-employed photographer, a part-time sonographer, and our family’s cook, cleaner, taxi service and other things besides – it can feel impossible sometimes to find a bit of time for myself.
I wouldn’t have said I have lots of spare time. But I’ve jiggled my diary recently and ensured that I take a little bit more me time each week. And rather than be unproductive in that time, I’ve decided to try out something new.
I’ve started ballet classes!
A new-found passion
For a few weeks now I’ve been going to an adult’s ballet class at the local dance school, Proctor Dance Academy, where my girls have been taught since they were little. (I also photographed some of the dance students from there last year).
I absolutely love it! My daughter Scarlett is a wonderful dancer and often models for me. But before now, I’ve never taken to ballet myself.
I actually still can’t believe how much I have enjoyed giving it a go, especially after all these years of being a ‘dance mum’!
Ballet has given me another creative outlet as well as a means to keep fit, and I’m loving every minute. I was really excited to get my first ever pair of ballet shoes recently too!
Parents: Put yourself first (for a change)
My new-found love of dance got me thinking.
So many of my photography clients are busy mums and dads, like me. We are all struggling to find time to fit everything in, and often put ourselves last.
So, my message is this: Try not to put yourself last all the time. As a parent, you still have a right to a life! You’ll be a better wife/husband/partner/mum/dad if you look after yourself a little too!
How to avoid losing your identity as a parent
- Why not grab some time out of your busy schedule to pursue a new hobby yourself?
- Take a bit of time out to learn a new skill, write the first chapter of the book you’ve always wanted to write, attend your local rock choir or join a local theatre group?
- Go for a spa treatment or just curl up on the sofa with your favourite magazine or relax in a hot candle-lit bath? It needn’t be anything more than that but if it relaxes or energises you, then all the better!
Being a parent is tough!
Being a parent is hard work! We all need some down time. A chance to not just be a ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.
As I have with my ballet, try and carve out some time for yourself. Occasionally getting away from it all, and perhaps even trying out something new, can help get back a bit of balance in your life. Believe me, I’ve done it!
Even if you have the busiest of schedules – perhaps you are juggling a new baby or a child, or children of any age – make this a priority. You won’t regret it!
I would love to know if you have recently discovered a new hobby or if this post inspires you to try out something new. Please do let me know in the comments!
Bye for now,