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“I have to really make sure I take up space for myself.”

“I have to really make sure I take up space for myself.”

Photo: Getty Images

Helen takes some time to herself at the supermarket, Dorit takes part of the day to herself every weekend, and Josine keeps her children busy with slow food.

Dorrit (36): “My husband and I have agreed that we will have half a day to ourselves every weekend. At breakfast on Saturday we will decide who gets what part of the day. This is easier for him than for me; the first sentence he said on Saturday was something like:” I’m going to go mountain biking and then have a drink with the boys.’ I have to really make sure I take that space for myself too.

First you, then me

At first I let it happen for a bit, then on Sunday evening I came to the conclusion that I was exhausted and felt unsatisfied. I was also often short with the rest of the family. I also blame my husband for not taking me into consideration more. Now I take that space and say on Saturday morning, “Okay, have fun, and then I’ll go this afternoon.” What time will you be back approximately? Then I often exercise or drink a cappuccino with a book at a nearby café.

Sometimes it’s hard when one of my kids hugs me and I don’t really feel like exercising. But I know that if I do this, I will be more energetic and happier, which keeps me always moving forward.

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Slow eating

Gozen (28): “I have been cooking sweet corn on the cob for my children since my eldest son was nine months old. They peel the kernels one kernel at a time, which gives me time to work or to quietly eat chocolate in the living room. It gives me at least half an hour. They are now two and four years old and are still working.”

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At ease

Helen (46): “When my children were younger, I spent my time shopping. When my husband was home, I said I had to get something, and I walked slowly along the shelves in the store. That’s how I made a full recovery.”

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