As parents, we can find it quite difficult to put ourselves first. But what use are we to our children if we are not at our full mental and physical health?
We can’t do it all. It’s not physically or emotionally possible. The sooner we finally accept this and know there is no shame in asking for help, accepting help or even paying for help, the better.
I am a working mum of four and for far too long I tried to do it all. Work with little childcare, stay on top of the house, the washing, the food shopping and cooking until inevitably it all came to a head. I ended up utterly run down and had no one but myself to blame.
But where do we start with looking after ourselves amidst the madness that is motherhood?
Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and have a shower. It may seem extraneous but the difference it will make to your day is significant. Have those 5/10 mins in the shower to feel that hot water on your skin and think about the day ahead. This is not only refreshing but invigorating. Starting the day on the right foot is important.
Again, another seemingly trivial step to better self-care. But how many times a week do you really eat breakfast before rushing out the door in the morning? We would hazard a guess at very few.
What use are we to our little ones if we are running on half-empty from the get-go? Remember how important it is to nourish your body with a good breakfast. Don’t skip lunch either, we need as much fuel as we can get.
Yes, it has to be scheduled. If your life is as chaotic as mine, scheduling is essential. The days of spontaneity are officially over.
When you do make plans with friends or even with your partner, stick to it. Don’t cancel no matter how tired you feel, you will be so glad you made it.
Again, schedule time if you must. But think of how good and how connected with your partner you feel when you have made love. It is a part of your life you share only with your partner and that is special. You are more than ‘just’ parents and it’s important to feel like that.