But it is also wildly impractical. There is always something else to do – like watching Spooks, or having an actual grown up conversation that doesn’t involve discussing the inner workings of a breast pump (Manual or electric? Fascinating) or the latest colour of your offspring’s poo (yes, yes, it’s meant to be black at the beginning, and I’ve no idea what makes it go green, and I don’t want to know either).
But when you do get a chance to chill, grab it with both hands. Please don’t go and put on yet another load of washing or read another book about sleep routines or weaning that will inevitably turn what is left of your brain to mush.
Have a hot bath, a Bloody Mary or a Curly Wurly, whatever floats your boat. All these things help a bit but ideally what you really need to restore your mojo is an actual break. Even if it is a mini one and you have to take the kid(s).
So when you hear those magic words ‘weekend away’ do not ask questions or hesitate, instead immediately log on to either Baby Friendly Boltholes or Luxury Family Hotels and take advantage of one of their term-time or mid-week bargains while you can. Once your little cherub starts school your dates are restricted and the prices shoot up so high it will make your nose bleed.
Granted, these places can be pricey but they often have deals and special offers on, and the soothing way they take all the stress and strain out of staying in a stylish hotel with a baby is, to be honest, priceless. It’s amazing but true, you can still go to posh places and have civilised grown up dinners. I promise!
I’ve stayed at both Ickworth House and Moonfleet Manor (lucky me!) and could not have been more impressed with the many obvious pluses like the creche and baby listening services, but we also rated the lovely little touches like offering to bring you a G&T while you do battle with teatime, delivering a jug of warm milk to your door at the crucial moment, and kitting out the cots with cuddly toys because you’re bound to forget something.
If you don’t have time to get away, at least attempt to find time for a facial or a massage before you completely lose sight of the gorgeous woman you used to be.
Try somewhere utterly gorgeous and new-mum friendly like the Elemis Day Spa whose savvy fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Ball and Tamsin Outhwaite, Belaqua have a great selection of day spas to choose from.
Or splash out on a really rejuvenating experience like a Universal Contour Wrap www.universalcontourwrap.com which cleverly draws out natural toxins to flatten and smooth your bumpy bits. Unlike some other wraps this one doesn’t dehydrate your body so you will look and feel better in a couple of hours. And it actually works.
London based Belles could do always treat themselves to membership of a kid-friendly members club like Cupcake in Wandsworth which offers top notch childcare while you do an exercise class, have a spa treatment or just a decent cup of coffee and a conversation (remember those?) If you’re in the north there are monthly morning meetings www.mysugarland.co.uk where women gather to talk about cosmetics, skincare and retail therapy rather than chafed nipples and colic.
Ladies, you were fabulous before and you will be again.
by Nadia Cohen
[picture credits: Baby Friendly Boltholes; Luxury Family Hotels]