Surprisingly, the one mistake most mums make is forgetting to look after themselves.
But in many ways it’s not surprising at all.
We all know self-care is important.
We have all heard the breathing mask in a failing plane analogy.
We get it!
The thing about parenting young kids is that it’s almost impossible to look after yourself.
It is absolutely necessary to look after yourself, but in saying that, it’s often forgotten and it isn’t your fault… and here are three reasons why…
Society places an unnatural amount of pressure on new mums to meet certain expectations.
They sound like this…
“Is he a good baby, is he sleeping through?”
“Oh, you better not do that, that’s creating a rod for your back”
“When are you going to go back to work”
“What?! You’re leaving the kids while you work”
“Have you lost your baby weight yet?”
“What! You’re forward facing your child already?”
“Did you know that dummies are bad for their teeth?”
“Are you doing swimming lessons?…and dance lessons?…and playgroup?”
As new parents are forced to navigate the modern parenting landscape they are hit, at full force, with a whole pile of expectations.
This involves more decisions and information than ever before. Mum’s can easily become overwhelmed with the sheer weight of the various decisions placed upon her. It’s not surprising that mums struggle to see through this, to see themselves.
This can create a drowning sensation.
Learning how to make confident, self-assured decisions can help you to overcome this drowning sensation that’s caused by these expectations and decisions. I work with mums about this very topic.
Society places an unnatural amount mental overload on mothers, especially with young kids.
Mothers often find it extremely challenging to turn off and relax. This is because of the mental overload that often becomes the mother’s responsibility.
At any given time mum have to maintain hundreds of active thought patterns and lists of what needs to be done or could occur.
It looks a lot like this…
“Okay, I’ll make the kids lunch, oh I better not use the strawberries at it’ll give her a reaction. Okay, sandwiches. I might give the little one apple but I better keep a close eye on her as she might choke. Oh we need milk (mental note for later). That’s right I need to transfer that money so we can organize the photos from kinder. I mustn’t forget to complete that form and put it in her kinder bag. The oldest wants a drink, she wants milk but I want her to have water first as she hasn’t had enough water today (conversation ensues). It’s almost nap time I better start cleaning the youngest while the oldest goes to the toilet and gets ready for bed. Bugger, the littlest has a dirty nappy”… and this constant internal dialog continues.
I notice that my husband is in the moment. When he prepares lunch, that’s all he does, prepare lunch. It’s a nice place to be but not an ideal place. Raising young kids is similar to being a project manager that’s in charge of lots of moving parts and ensuring that everything comes together smoothly.
I work with mums, sharing practical strategies about how to share the mental load with your partner. Tools to help you to remove/reduce unnecessary mental chatter and learning how to switch off and relax.
Media also has a huge role to play.
Sexy mum photos and pressure to get your pre-baby body back are unhelpful and possibly harmful. This is not the type of self care I’m referring too. I actually don’t think this is self care at all. It’s self hate, a dislike of ones body and a wish to change it.
Articles shaming maternity leave, shaming stay at home mums, shaming working mums. It implies that mums are lazy and their jobs are easy.
Simply Not True!
These messages are damaging.
It’s sad that so many mums that feel ashamed of their bodies, or their circumstances. I help mums to love motherhood again, to learn how to appreciate their bodies and her choices.
Parenting young kids is hard, rewarding but oh, so hard.
Self care is absolutely essential!
Self care is needed to love motherhood, it’s vital for you to be the best mum you can be. It’s essential to feel confident, self-assured and loving.
It’s not your fault that you’ve forgotten about yourself.
Between expectations, the modern parenting landscape, mental overload and how motherhood is portrayed in the media. I’m not surprised.
It doesn’t have to be this way. I shouldn’t be this way.
If you need help finding you again, reach out and connect with me. I might just what you need.
I’m a qualified educator, self-care consultant and author of Self Care for New Mums: A Practical Four Step Guide for First Time Mothers’.
If you would like to hear more from me, please sign up to my monthly email by clicking here: Join the Self Care Mama Tribe.
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