Self-Care. No Longer Optional.

I wrote this blog 18 months ago, and the person I was when I wrote it is almost unrecognisable. I have completely transformed my life, and it started here. 

I pulled myself out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen to make my tea. My head felt fuzzy, and my heart felt heavy. HOW was I going to get through another day? The truth is, I was all “mommed-out”. I was sleep-deprived, overwhelmed by a seemingly endless to-do list, I felt resentful of my husband for getting to go to work and have adult conversations, I missed my friends, I missed my life! I looked into the mirror and saw a shadow of the woman I used to be, and I hated it. I thought about the mother I wanted to be, a mother who played and had energy and loved every minute (well, most minutes at least) with her children, and I was far from it. There I was, dreading another full day ahead with my children. Something had to change.

I told my husband I was going outside for an hour and that he needed to be with the kids and keep them distracted. I took my journal, sat on the grass, and I mapped out each area of my life. I looked at what was bringing me joy and what was draining my joy. I looked at why I was choosing to do things the way I was doing them (modelling my mother, childhood beliefs, societal beliefs/pressures?). I felt as though I had uncovered a can of inner worms. I needed to go deeper so that I could go forward differently, but when? 

I committed to waking up at 5:45 before the rest of the household and giving myself 15 minutes to journal and drink my tea warm. I relished in the quiet of those 15 minutes, and I felt as they started making a difference, and so I pushed for more. Now I wake up at 5 am, and I have a full of 90 minutes of beautiful, blissful me time. 

I am not doing my nails or getting my hair done as the term “self-care” prescribes, but I am taking beautiful, intentional, conscious care of myself. I am sitting with my thoughts, often moving my body and gently letting my heart guide me back to where I need to be.

As I do this work, I prioritise the things that I want to do, that I enjoy doing, and less of the things that I don’t want to do. I have learnt to delegate, pull in more support from friends and family, let go of guilt, set boundaries with my children, and guess what? I am becoming more of the mother I want to be; I am engaged, energised, playful, and enjoying my children SO much more.

This change isn’t the result of anything extreme; it is simply the result of me creating a little space for me again. Each day I walk this path, I find myself showing up a little better for my children; they are getting the benefit of my “self-care” more than I could have ever imagined. Knowing that I am doing this for them as much as I am doing it for me, makes me even more committed to sticking to it. 

Step up for yourself the world needs you to. 

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