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It’s easy to let your baby be the centre of your world, but don’t get stuck in a rut! Me-time is really important and can help you feel like yourself again.

Life with a little one can often leave little time for you. There’s the feeding, the changing, settling, shopping, cooking… and the list goes on. It’s only normal to crave a little quality time to do your own thing and it’s always great to remind yourselves that you’re still the same people underneath – not just mummy and daddy.

Here’s how to make the most of your precious me-time, and recharge your batteries too.

Get support

Whether it’s a trusted friend, relative or neighbour, you’re bound to need a babysitter at some point, so get them lined up because a supportive network is essential for parents with young children.

Treasure your time

How you spend your me-time is up to you (although housework is banned!). You could have a long lie-in, a haircut, a swim or lunch with a friend.

Take turns

Let your partner take some of the pressure – this is a joint project, after all! Jane Brewer, 32, mum to five-month-old Dylan, says, “I suggested to my husband Phil that each of us took two hours at the weekend to do what we wanted, while the other looked after Dylan. Phil’s into competitive cycling and often goes out riding with his club. I might read, go shopping or do my nails – things I used to take for granted but feel blissful now. Those two hours have given Phil a real taste of what it’s like to look after a baby by himself, so he has become more understanding of what my week’s really like.”

Pamper yourself

It’s also vital to remember that looking after yourself isn’t vanity: pampering can give you a real boost. “I lock myself away in my bathroom,” says Stacey Simpson, “and have a great time exfoliating and de-fuzzing my poor neglected body, and rubbing in all the lotions and potions I never normally get time for, while my partner Chris plays with our baby Chloe. I can’t tell you how much better I feel for it – it’s almost like therapy.”

Rediscover old interests

Try and recapture how you were before you became a busy parent, by engaging in your interests, whether that’s working out or simply putting on some make-up and dressing up if it makes you feel more confident. Doing something you love will help lift your spirits. “I can recommend kickboxing as a wonderful way to exert some energy and clear the mind,” says Felicity Bertin, mum to Lucas, 1. “At the end of a long day, hubby and I don our boxing gloves and get started!”

Keep it simple

Being good to yourself needn’t mean spending a fortune either. The simplest treats can be the most uplifting. Reading a magazine in the park, having time to go for a walk or to stroll round the shops by yourself can be bliss if you’re used to having a little one in tow all the time.

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