It's so important to look after yourself when you're a Mum.
How on earth can we look after our children and stay calm and loving towards them if we're not looking after ourselves?
We have to take the time to care for ourselves if we are to be the Mum we want to be for our children.
Having time for ourselves is not a taking away from them.
It's a giving to them.
Plus we're modelling for them how to look after themselves now and in the future too.
I appreciate what we can manage to do for ourselves depends on the age of our children, how many we have and how much support we have. Having a caring husband, active grandparents and lots of friends can make taking this time we need to nurture and nourish ourselves much easier to achieve.
But it's also important to recognise and acknowledge how much we can actually get in our own way of taking time for ourselves.
The guilt, the many years of programming from society that has told us to be busy, productive, successful in the eyes of society, means we actually have a lot of unlearning to do when we become a Mum.
What serves us in our 20's, working hard and playing hard, does not work and is not at all possible when we become a Mum.
We have to find a new way. A way of being Mum and also being our own self too.
It's an unravelling and it feels really hard. It's so uncomfortable for us to rest and nourish ourselves. And now we have a baby that has to come first too right?
Well yes we have to do the right thing by our little ones always and we are programmed to do that quite rightly so.
But we do not want to end up in burn out! Where we are no use to anyone.
We have to work out how to look after ourselves too!
Now there's a challenge. And it took me years to work this out.
So now I am helping Mums to find their way so they don't have to struggle through like I and all the Mums before us have. It is unreasonable to expect us Mums to bounce back, go back to normal and to do all the things we did before we had children without acknowledging that we have changed.
When we become a mother we have to start again.
We have to work out what it all means, who are we now?
And how do we do life now?
Self love is crucial to this.
Self love is about appreciating ourselves too. So that we can support our own physical, psychological and spiritual self growth as well as our child's. In fact we grow as a new Mum as our children grow too.
Self love means we have a healthy and high regard for our own well-being and happiness and take care of our own needs and don't sacrifice them or settle for less than we need.
We can't be the happy loving Mum and partner we want to be when we're tired and burning out and feeling like we're doing it wrong or not well enough. This only leads to us feeling bad about ourselves which over time erodes our self esteem and leads to a disconnection between us and our children and our partner.
How we choose to show ourselves self love is down to our own individual choice.
Self love can mean different things to different people but it's important for our mental health to work out what it looks like for you.
Ways to get started include:
1. Self care basics - healthy habits such as eating, drinking and sleeping well and taking breaks to rest and move regularly, seeing friends and family.
2. Being mindful - Listening to our bodies and being aware of our thoughts and emotions and understanding what they're telling us.
3. Being kind and thinking positively about ourselves - Reframing negative thoughts and beliefs that pop up, trusting ourselves, being true to ourselves, speaking up, setting and sticking to our healthy boundaries, giving ourself grace when things don't go to plan, forgiving ourselves.
To enable us to take self love and self care seriously we have to first
believe that we deserve to take the time and space we require to meet our own needs.
That requires us to be able to accept ourselves for who we are right now. Because when you hold yourself in high esteem you're more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. And you're more able to ask for help and support to take the time and space you need to do what you need to do for you.
A useful exercise is to think of how you would talk and advise a friend if they were in the same position as you are in now.
Then take that advice yourself.
If you need help to start practising self love yourself please get in touch as I love to help Mums to do all this.
I offer free calls so that we can get to know each other and you'll leave the call with some useful things to think about and some ways you can move forward that suit you and your lifestyle right now.
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I hope this blog has helped you.
All the best,