How full is your cup today?

How full is my cup?

My cup is always full. In fact, I currently have five full cups of tea stationed around the flat. I never get the chance to bloody drink them.

Or do you mean bra cups? Those particular cups do runneth over. Thanks to a ravenous baby they’re inflated beyond all reasonable proportions. There are advantages to this of course: my nipples are currently doubling up as very handy tea towel hangers.

So I think we’ve established that the cup thing is metaphorical. But lately I’ve learnt, the hard ‘shouty’ way, that looking after yourself is at least as important as looking after your crew.

Today, my cup is pretty full. But yesterday, it was down to the dregs.

I was snapping at the toddler, snapping at my husband and contemplating snapping off a chunk of chocolate before 9am. It was the bleary-eyed day after the endless night before, and I felt like the living dead.

So, what changed? Well, I spent the evening with a good friend, chatting over a glass of wine. I had an extra hour’s sleep and I took a walk around the park with a latte on a sunny day. I felt like a different person.

The same day, with the same challenges, can unfold so differently depending on my frame of mind.

This meant that when the toddler wanted to ‘ride’ me around the kitchen, I was more inclined to play beach donkey than Buckaroo. I played hide and seek, without actually just hiding and refusing to come out. I had the energy to pursue the potty training mission, rather than just leaving her to figure it out for herself at university.

I found the demands of the toddler funny, not irritating. This made me think about how the same day, with the same challenges, could unfold so differently depending on my frame of mind. And, most importantly, it reminded me that the response I want to give my children is an easy smile, rather than a stressed glare. That’s the reason I started this blog in the first place.

Parenting from a full cup makes the job easier and more enjoyable, which of course makes us better at it. So you see, giving yourself a little TLC is most definitely not selfish – it’s a winner for everyone. Hello? Is that the massage parlour?

Here are a few things that work for me (and don’t require extra time, or time away from kids):

Fresh air

Fresh coffee

Nice smells  – essential oils can lift (try citrus) or calm (try lavender or frankincense) your mood

A little bit of luxury – some posh handwash and lotion in the bathroom, or some fancy tea for your morning brew

Eating well and eating mindfully – I try to stock the freezer when I have the energy, so I can eat good stuff when I don’t

Reading a funny blog or article

Playing music

Walking briskly

A really good glass of wine when both kids are asleep (that’s one cup that won’t stay full for long)

How do you fill your cup?

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for weekly emails here.

Read more about Parenting Calm here.

Read more about mindfulness here.

  • DrMummykins
    August 7, 2016

    And another fab post. Totally agree with you here. (Never underestimate the power of a posh fragranced hand wash.) I apply this to work and to home. I was once given some advice that I have at times found quite useful: before rushing out of the house in the morning for work/preschool run etc – just stop. Sit. Have a drink. Then when you are done, get up and leave the house (semi) calmly. Just the mindset with which you walk out of the front door can make a big difference! (Admittedly, I still run out of the door with a half eaten toast, screaming “laaaaaaate!!!!!”, but it’s a goal of mine in time!

    • Liz Lowe
      August 9, 2016

      I’m so with you – I finally made it out of the house earlier wresting with the toddler whilst trying to calm the baby! Love the idea of a pause before leaving (need to be more organised). Thanks for reading x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *