Mother. Wife. Professional career woman. Keeper of all house related activities. Agenda organiser. School liaison officer. Taxi service. Entertainer of little people. Chef. Cleaner. Toilet scrubber. Financial planner. Event planner. Homework supervisor. Comforter. When it is time to just be you?
The Tough Job of Motherhood
I have three sons; 11, 8 and 6. For eleven years I’ve put my needs bottom of the pile. First the kids, then my husband and then the rest. And me? There’s been no time for that.
Motherhood is a joy. But it’s also tough. And it’s an all consuming role, particularly with highly sensitive children who need you to parent differently. Eleven years is a long time at the best of times; it’s been intense and I have lost a part of myself along the way.
What Happens When You Neglect Yourself?
I’ve not been taking care of me. And no one else has being doing it for me.
Guess what happens after more than a decade of that?
You wake from a slumber one day and realise you’re living on autopilot, from one day to the next.
You realise there’s a fog in your head. An eternal fog.
You realise negative feelings are in charge.
You realise that your marriage is holding on by a thread. And you realise you have known it for years but have been too tired or too fogged up to know what to do about it.
You realise your children are reacting to the constant tension you are feeling and throwing out into your home.
You realise no one is winning.
You realise things have to be different.
Time to be Just You
And it starts with putting yourself first for a while. To get back on track. To grant yourself time to be you. Just you. Not a mother. Not a wife. Not a professional career woman.
A few weeks ago I joined a Dru yoga class. It’s a class based on movement, breathing, visualisation and positivity. It’s had a powerful effect on me. The yoga classes awaken emotions that have been buried deep. They have triggered the start of a healing process I had no idea I needed to go through.
Those yoga classes are about me. And only me. My place in the world. My place in my family. What do I want? What are MY goals? Who am I?
Further more I planned a weekend getaway to Barcelona with my best friend in September. We’ve been talking about taking a break together for years but I dragged my feet – kids first, then my husband and then the rest. And never me. And now it’s booked.
The last year of my life has been one of change. Of starting anew. The last month or so has been tough. A bomb went off and blew things apart. But I’m emerging from the rubble more determined than ever to rebuild a more solid foundation. My way of living has changed. My attitude towards myself has changed. I know now that I am important too.
Looking After Yourself is a Necessity
I see and feel the difference already. I see the impact that being a calmer, happier mother has on my children.
I see how more connected we are as a family. I see how we are more open for each other’s emotions.
I feel how much more room there is in my heart for my family.
I also know I cannot do it all alone. And I reaching out to others to help.
We’re all guilty of neglecting ourselves as we take of our family at some point. But we shouldn’t be living our lives like that so that it just becomes the norm. Ignoring our own needs takes its toll, not just on us, but on everyone around us too.
The adage about putting the oxygen mask on yourself before placing it on your child rings true.
Take a minute and ask yourself:
Am I taking care of me? Is anyone taking care of me?
If the answer is no, do something about it.
For everyone’s sake.