Keep Yourself Whole

Thursday, September 22, 2016

When you become a mother (or even as early as when you are expecting) people will talk about the early months and tell you how hard it is; the toll it takes on your body (and body image), the sleepless nights and exhaustion, physically running on empty, the worry, the neediness, feeling suffocated and lonely all at the same time.  Don't get me wrong, it is all that and more. There is nothing that can ever fully prepare you for motherhood and I by no means want to take away from the joys or the struggles that come along with those first few magical but delirious months.
But... what they don't tell you is what happens next. 
As your baby creeps closer to their first Birthday, they gain a little more independence and are hopefully sleeping much more than those first grueling months of constant feeding (although I do appreciate this isn't always the case for some). You may find yourself in a nice little routine and like me, you may have other children who are now off to school or preschool during the day so you are lucky enough to have more time to yourself right? So why doesn't it feel like you are onto a good thing? Why when you have now supposedly found your groove do you feel more out of sync than ever? 

What they don't tell you is that during those selfless months (or years!) of putting your children, husband and everyone else first, you forget to be kind to yourself. 

And now, when everything is suppose to be easier, when you finally have time to think, time to breathe, you exhale and realise that you are only a shadow of your former self. 

You feel socially awkward and unaccomplished, like no one takes you seriously. And as much and you hate comparing yourself to others you look around and see others achieving things that you could only dream of achieving. If only you believed you could. But then of course you understand that the grass isn't always greener and that you are incredibly lucky to have been blessed with what you have and that makes you feel even worse. You feel guilty for your negative thoughts especially because you love your life, your children, your husband. You absolutely, whole heartedly, unquestionably do. It's just you wish you loved yourself even half as much.

We all know how this story goes. It's the basic law of attraction... once you are in that negative headspace it can be hard sometimes to claw your way out. The good ol' snowball effect. Ugh, and throwing yourself a pity party is just so not your style.

You are well aware that you have achieved one of THE most incredible acts on this earth. You have created life. I mean come on, that's monumental. All this other stuff should pale in comparison right? You feel like screaming at yourself 'You've got this Mumma, you've got this'. 

But instead, you beat yourself up. You almost wish you didn't have this new found extra time to yourself because then you wouldn't be putting extra pressure on yourself to try and build Rome in a day.

Whilst in the pursuit of being a good mother, a good wife, a good friend etc. you simply failed yourself. You forgot the golden rule of self preservation: you cannot give what you do not have. So, you begin to fail at the one thing you have worked so hard at. The one thing that means more to you than anything else. Motherhood.

I once read that the best gift a mother could give their family is a whole Mum. A woman that liked herself, knew herself and respected herself enough to experience her own life. By reconnecting with the woman you once were, you are able to share more of who you are (and who you want to be) with your loved ones.
So, take some time out to regroup and refocus and to remember all those things you once enjoyed doing. All those things that make you you. Stop comparing yourself to others, log off social media for a few days (trust me, it will do you the world of good), read a book, exercise, get some fresh air, dance around the lounge room like an idiot, catch up with a girlfriend, soak in the tub. Savor those precious moments of 'you' time, they are fleeting and you deserve them. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Give yourself permission to feel what you do without judging yourself.

Keep yourself whole Mumma, keep yourself whole. The rest will follow. I'll spare you the screaming and instead leave you with a whisper... you've got this.

S xxx

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