Most people can’t stand that rude little pig Peppa, but I’m a huge fan. I’d go as far as to say she has saved my sanity. You see, Peppa Pig and her cronies gives me 20 minutes a day to do my yoga practice.
Instead of frantically starting 1,001 chores when the television gets switched on, I hop onto my yoga mat sharpish. And I don’t feel guilty, not one jot. I have the chance to breathe and stretch, hold and release. I connect with my body, find my breath and let the postures flow however they want to come. It’s not enough time to get to pull any serious moves or deepen my practice, but it’s plenty to get a yoga hit. Ok, so some days it just doesn’t happen. But without that precious 20 minutes I would be a much grumpier mummy on a much shorter fuse.
Self-care should be top of the list when we have young children. Being a mum is exhausting, both physically and mentally. The sleep deprivation, the physical carrying and lugging, the constant questions and demands, the tears and tantrums (‘No Mummy! You cut my toast wrong/I didn’t want butter/it’s BROWN bread, yuck!’ Delete as appropriate, I’m sure you’ve all been there), all while living on cold coffee, toast crusts and apple peel. Of course it’s the most heart-soaringly amazing thing to do in a world, but looking after young children means constantly giving. I need to keep a part of me balanced, to keep that sacred space inside me energised and positive. And this is my way of doing it. I’ve tried getting up before the rest of the family, which is virtually impossible with an insomniac baby who seems to think 5am is the perfect time to party. If I leave it until the evening, after I’ve wrestled them all into bed and tidied up after the madness of the day, all I can manage is a few restorative poses and I’m all set for a sleepy tea and bed.
So I can wholly recommend popping on a short burst of CBeebies or RTE Junior during the day. Heck, even give the little people a few decent snacks too, so they don’t come looking for you. And then give yourself 20 minutes – yup, you can do this, just 20 minutes in a whole 24 hours – to yourself. Altogether now: ‘Pepppppa Pig (oink oink), Peppppa Pig (oink oink).’