Last night I was super happy that one of Rosa’s Godmummies was in town (yep she gets two) for business and we were able to catch up. Hanging in her super cool Little National hotel room we got chatting all things life – career, family, hopes, dreams and frustrations. You know, the standard convo when two soul sisters get together.
Inevitably one of the topics we discussed was self care. How as mums with young kids we have little to none of it. As a result, we often feel burnt out, never rested and sometimes resentful. But as we discussed we both admitted we only had ourselves to blame. No one is actually saying or telling us we can’t take good care of ourselves, but we constantly prioritise our wellbeing last. The domestic duties, work, mummyhood, family commitments all top our list. Self care is an after thought that is usually only considered once we have crashed. Which of course benefits no one, is counterproductive and impacts on the ones we love.
I don’t know why I do this but have a few ideas. A big part of it is likely modelling behaviour. I grew up with a mum who never put herself first and was actually critical of those who did. I remember her saying it wasn’t fair for couples to go away on holidays without their kids. She never spent money on herself and was constantly running around looking after everyone and everything. And one day it all became too much. Her health took a massive hit and she crashed. She was unable to work and had to go on the long journey of getting well again. It wasn’t until when she was nearly 50 that she started investing in herself. The result being she bloomed and got to pursue many of her own interests. She was reaching her prime which was another reason why losing her to Brain Cancer at this time was unfathomably cruel.
Another reason I along with millions of women put self care last is due to stupid societal constructs that stress you must sacrifice everything to be a good mum and partner. We all know it’s bullshit but still buy into it. It is so ingrained that we don’t even realise we are doing it. Thankfully I am starting to see a fair few women going against this thinking which can only be a good thing for ourselves and daughters.
We also tend to be too proud to ask for help or request a soul sister look after our kids so we can go and get a massage or something similar. Which is ridiculous because we all are more than happy to child mind for our friends!
Finally, it could be just poor habits and lack of measures put in place to ensure we take care of ourselves. Many of you might be like me and start with the best intentions but life derails us and we don’t get back into the self care groove again. Take the last three weeks for example. My first week I was killing it. I was consciously eating and ensuring I was well nourished. Then the whole family got gastro. Then I got mastitis and now we all have nasty head colds. Being stuck indoors and cancelling fun things because on illness was not great for my mental health. My good eating went straight out the window as I skipped meals to nurse a cranky baby and snacked on wraps spread with Nutella. Self care requires discipline and when kids are sick and you are sleep deprived it is easy to fall off the wellbeing train.
But it is not all doom and gloom because as my soul sister said ‘awareness is the first step to change’ and she is right!
One big thing I have invested in is my sleep. Up until now I have been sleeping on a crappy old mattress I had before I had even left home at least over 10 years ago. My pillows are horrendous and with a Hubby who is very tall, a dog who sleeps on the bed plus kids who like to co-sleep now and then, the old Queen bed was not cutting it. So I waited for the EOFY sales and bought myself a king bed and a decent mattress which arrives tomorrow!! I also bought a contour pillow from my physio. I always thought spending $90 on a pillow was decadent, but with an ongoing neck and shoulder issue I have had enough. I tried it out last night and I’ll never sleep on another pillow again!
I’m trying to think of little but meaningful ways to bring in the self care and have set my soul sister a challenge – every week we have to text each other describing three things we did just for ourselves that week. I’m thinking painting my nails will be one small but large impact for me. Before kids I used to always have my nails done as it made me feel good and put together. Now they haven’t been done for at least six months. Funnily enough I just realised I wrote a post on some self care tips when you have kids last time I had a Bub! Clearly I haven’t changed my ways YET!
I want you Lovelies to join me and start making a conscious effort for some self care. Please share by using the hashtags #wabkindness and #loveflockloves so I can see your efforts.*
Together we can make the world a kinder place, let’s start by being kind to ourselves.
*i will only see if your social media post is made ‘public’.