Mama, are you looking after yourself?

I don’t believe I could say enough about how motherhood changed me as a person and I believe that the changes are not limited. As I get older (squint) my life takes me to places I do and don’t expect. Therefore my experiences are multiplying and varying by the day. It’s up to me to grasp the opportunities that are accompanying said experiences.

With child number one I let myself fall into the trap of neglecting my own wellbeing. I put all of my effort into just being mum. It was all about feed baby, bath baby, change baby, clean house, cook dinner (or complain that I didn’t have time for that), and so forth. I stopped splurging on any new material items like clothing and makeup. My spending was for my boy and the home…husband got taken care of when he appeared to be in need of something new at times also! Even my health was no longer my priority. Exercise was nowhere to be seen in my to-do list and eating was based on just making sure I did eat – whatever the food was, I just ate.

I have always thought about the importance of looking after you and I actually preached it to my sister in the past when I would see how she put her family’s needs before her own. But then I became like that myself.

So child number two comes along and I stop and realise the increase in my motherhood workload. I try looking into the future of chasing after two boys as an overweight, overtired and undernourished mother. So I acknowledge that I have to do something. I need to get active, eat well and care for myself. When I poured out all these emotions and thoughts to my husband and found him supportive of whatever I felt I needed to do I got going and started doing more and talking less…not really, the talking increased with the doing!

Self-care is appearing a lot more these days in my social media news feeds. It catches my attention because of my current situation in life. My perception now is that to flourish in motherhood I need to incorporate self-care in my daily routine. It has become one of my priorities.

This month I am achieving wonderful results with a 30 day program that is run by Lisa Godlee of Shine Bright With Wellness. On Instagram Lisa (_lisagodlee_) began the initiative called Shine Bright Mama with a list of 30 inspirational headings you can use to post a photo a day.

It’s a self-care journey to motivate and support any mums out there who want to be part of it. I jumped on board a little late into the month but I was determined to get the most of it. I flooded my Instagram feed towards the end of the first week in aim to catch up. And I succeeded, not only with posting a photo a day (or 2 or 3). But with gaining the inspiration to see how the little things in my life – good or bad – can make me feel better, inside and out.

I have found mindfulness as one of the key revelations in this activity. I’m delving into the topic each day and searching for a photo that is relevant. Not only to the subject but to how it triggers my feelings also. I’m digging deep into my inner self and coming to understand not only me but those that are close to me.

Lisa’s article Shine Bright Mama – how to make time for self-care’ highlights all the points that we as mums use as excuses and she explains how you can pull yourself out of the habits that keep you from looking after yourself. Time constraints may appear to us as things that are beyond our control. Lisa’s breakdown of this element is an eye-opener. Reading this article has led to me see how I have let myself lose control of my time and let it control me. I’m now working on identifying changes that I need to implement in my daily life as a mother for my own and my family’s benefit.

To all members of motherhood today I ask; are you looking after you? If you have an Instagram or Facebook profile check out Lisa’s #shinebrightmamapicaday initiative and give it a go. It’s never too late to join in and you can start from whatever point you choose!

Mama, you are the light that guides your family, so shine bright so that they may have vision!

 

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