Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Looking after Mum - Oh, hang on, that's ME!

Serenity Loves: Peterborough Hair and Beauty Salon with Creche

I think I can safely say it's a universal phenomenon that every mum wants to be the best mum they possibly can for their child. We think about everything from our child's perspective. We constantly frame our lives around what is best for them, and are always thinking about how we can help them to develop this skill, or avoid that danger, who they mix with, where they go to school, what we feed them, the best routines, establishing good habits, developing positive relationships, what activities and groups they would benefit from and enjoy the most… the list goes on.

Without a doubt, mothering is the most demanding, full-time and relentless job many of us will ever have.

It is somewhat odd then, that whilst we regard our role as a mother as being of the highest importance, we place we so little value on ourselves during this time. We frequently come last in our list of priorities. Yet, if we are really to be the mothers that we aspire to be, shouldn't we be taking great care of ourselves, assuring that we are always in the best possible condition, that the engine is running smoothly, without hiccups or break downs, that our tank is always full of high grade fuel and our energy is limitless?

One of the messages that I will be constantly be delivering in my role as BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm teacher is the importance of taking care of your self, so that you can be the mum you really want to be. If I am going to do that with any kind of authenticity, I really need to make sure I follow my own advice!

Its hard though, right, when you're a mum? You have now entered a phase where even doing a wee in private feels like self indulgence. How do you find time for yourself? You can't just go to the gym, or for a run or a swim. That relaxing dinner and glass of wine with the girls is out of the question. Even getting your hair cut is challenge, a bikini wax a distant dream. Personally even finding the time to watch a TV show is rare, by the time BB is in bed, the chores are done and my work on my three different self employed 'work from home when the kid sleeps' businesses is complete, I am more than ready to collapse in heap of fatigue into my bed. There's just no time for leisure or pleasure!

An absolute saviour when it came to me finding a way to take a dose of my own medicine before I start prescribing it to others, is a business local to me called Serenity Loves. My first thought when I heard about Serenity Loves was what a brilliant business idea! It is a Hair and Beauty Salon with an onsite creche! You can have your hair cut, your lip waxed or your eyebrows shaped whilst your child plays happily in a brilliantly equipped play area, staffed by a childcare professional. Not only that, but you have the self assurance of watching them having fun on a high definition screen from within the salon.

It's great because you can now take a moment for yourself, without asking someone to babysit. My mum is great in that she will sit with BB when I have my hair cut, but would I have the guts to ask her to do that while I went for a massage or an eyebrow wax? Absolutely not! I also have a persistent back problem that requires regular massage or I am incapable of picking up my own child. The worst case scenario was Oct 2012 when I trapped my nerve due to long term (all of motherhood) negligence of my back issue and my own Mum had to come and look after us both!

Shortly after my discovery of Serenity Loves, I was lucky to meet it's owner, and the brains behind the whole idea, Jo Bevilacqua. Jo was mum of one, and 32 weeks pregnant with number two when the idea struck. She used to take care of herself and her appearance, but when she became a mum there just wasn't the time. She felt way too guilty to ask someone to look after her daughter so that she could spend time on making herself look and feel better, but really needed to do that for herself. As a qualified childcare professional, Jo began to explore her idea, why not have a place where mums could go to get their hair and beauty treatments done without having to worry about childcare. Bring your child along, we will take great care of them on site!

Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon with Creche Serenity Loves
Serenity Loves - Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon
With a supervised playroom!

Between this epiphany at 32 weeks pregnant, and the birth of baby two, Jo wrote a 40 page business plan and began to look for premises. By the time her second child was seven months old, she was up and running, employing five staff. The business, which has now doubled in size to 10 staff, will celebrate it's 2nd Birthday in March. Without a doubt Jo has worked hard to make this happen, and as a result she is enabling women who would otherwise be unable to access hair and beauty services, to get themselves a treatment every now and again. We all know that a little self care and self indulgence goes a long way when it comes to rejuvenating a mum.

So, in the interests of practicing what I am about to preach, I booked myself in to Serenity Loves, and last Thursday I indulged a little, spending time on improving how I look and how I feel. I had and eyebrow and lip wax, a back massage and a facial with beauty therapist Tirren, followed by a wash and blow dry with hairdresser Steph. The wash and blow dry was actually the most ridiculously self indulgent thing I could think of, based on the fact that I could so easily do it myself,  but it's so amazing when someone does it for you!

Both massage and facial were wonderfully relaxing. I am often a bit cautious of having a massage at a beauty salon - I have been to some where they just stroke you so lightly it almost tickles, but this was perfect. Deep enough to make a difference, but not too painful, so i could relax. I almost fell asleep during the facial - I was really trying to stay conscious and not let out an embarrassing snort! As well as feeling better, I look better too. I hardly ever have time to straighten or style my hair, and I don't think I had an eyebrow wax since BB was born.

Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon with Creche Serenity Loves
A photo of BB on the big screen that I took whilst having
 my hair dried - you can even watch your child on TV monitor!

All of this took place whilst BB had an amazing time in the play room with Lesley. I had arrived early, thinking I would need to spend a little time settling him in, but there was train set and Lesley was very friendly, so he was more than happy right from the start. The play room is really well equipped with books as well as a large amount of toys to suit all ages. As a special offer for February 2014, the play room sessions will be FREE!

Having sat in the chair for a while, I can see that the place has value beyond the on site creche - it's a great place to meet other mums, to chat and find support and connections for all sorts of other family friendly services. Better still, I even managed to persuade Jo to provide discount vouchers for all the new mums that come on my courses!


Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon with Creche Serenity Loves

You can Find Serenity Loves on Facebook or Twitter  and check out their reviews on TripAdvisor or Best of Peterborough


5 comments:

  1. Mumsnet PeterboroughJanuary 29, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    This makes me even more excited for my appointment in a couple of weeks! It is so true that we always come last in the list of priorities and to be able to have that me time is a great idea.

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  2. A day for mums is a great idea - except for the fact that we would miss the little dears! A friend just posted this great story on my Facebook page about parenting without spending money - cut all the paid for activities and them you won't need to drive them around so much! Not sure what they would think to the idea but I found it quite an inspiring read! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/10211090/Successful-parenting-without-spending-money-a-mothers-story.html

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  3. Yes, I've read this before. I can easily see how this works for toddlers or under fives, but once they're at school, form their own peer groups, have their own ideas as to what they want to learn/do, there is no way you can 'cut the paid activities' unless you're a master of everything they want to learn. Even then, I struggle to teach piano to Isobel because she has a different persona with me as her mum as she does with her teachers. Make the most of it whilst they're small. That said, i don't begrudge driving them around to stuff.

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  4. Wow! That sounds a wonderful idea. She should set up franchises. I completely agree with your post and am trying hard to take care of me these days, hence going back to the gym, but it's not so much the fact they're little now that is time consuming, it's the social activities they need ferrying to. Some days I realise I've been driving around for nearly 4 hours after work taking or fetching one, two or three kids. I would like to meet the woman who could find me an extra day in the week that's just purely for mums!

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