A few days a go I was scrolling through Instagram, as you do, and I came across this post from Anna Mathur aka Mamas_scrapbook. It totally hit the nail on the head for me when I thought about exactly how much self care I practice throughout the day.
She mentioned just how much love and care we put into our children and used drinking water as an example. You wouldn’t allow your children to become dehydrated yet you will happily bustle through the day running around after the kids and go the whole day without drinking any water yourself.
Now this is me! This is what I do and I do it so well. A few months back when Adam was so poorly he refused to eat or drink anything I spent my entire day running around after him with syringes of water, soup, juice, Calpol! Basically anything to keep him from becoming dehydrated yet now I sit here and think back to the last time I drank a glass of water I actually cant remember.
It’s frightening how little we do for ourselves in our race to do everything for our babies and to some extent that just comes with the job description. From the second you see those two little blue lines on that pregnancy test, your body is no longer yours but isn’t it funny how when we’re carrying our babies we will nourish our bodies meticulously yet once they’re here in the world we take the last seat at the table and stand at the back of the queue because keeping another human alive takes all priority and rightly so!
I used to moan about how much my life had changed since becoming a mum. I hated that suddenly I didn’t come first, all phone calls started with ‘How’s the baby doing?’. Even when I was stopped on the street, the old ladies coo’d over his hair or his eyes and everything revolved around this little 6 pound bundle of joy. That was until I realised that this wasn’t a bad thing because as his mum I have the most important job in the world and that’s pretty special. I’m his primary carer, he is solely dependent on me for the majority of his day and when people compliment me on his hair, or his eyelashes or how well he’s grown that truly is a testament to me. I brush his beautiful little head everyday, he gets his eyelashes from me and I’m the one who feeds him, changes him, plays with him and nurtures him so the fact that he’s growing into a beautiful happy little boy is down to me for the majority.
It’s taken me quite some time to realise that if I don’t look after myself, I’m going to be no use to my son who depends on me A LOT! so I’ve begun practicing a little bit of self care. Nothing major, I mean I’ve not booked 14 nights in the Bahamas just for me but I’ve started with a few simple changes.
1. Hydrating myself, not just my child. I will have a glass of water everytime I offer my baby a drink and I keep a bottle by my bed so that I can have a drink before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning.
2. Feeding myself when I feed my child. Obviously I’m not eating as often as I feed the baby and I’m trying not to pick at his leftovers but I’d gotten very good at skipping meals or waiting until he was napping so that I could have breakfast. This was a recipe for disaster as what ended up happening is I’d get to 5pm and realise all I’d fuelled myself on was coffee all day and therefore I’d feed my overly, tired, hungry self all the junk I could find and that my friends is why I still look pregnant…
3. Show myself a little more love. Now don’t get me wrong, I will probably never be my own biggest fan even though I should be but I’m definitely cutting myself some slack. I will do more things for me. If I want to read a book I’ll do it instead of worrying about the million and one odd jobs that need doing around the house and every now and then if I want a piece of chocolate I’ll have it. That way I won’t be tempted to have ten pieces in the evening after I’ve been thinking about it all day. I won’t beat myself up over the millions of things I could have done better today and I won’t allow my self to wallow in the Mum guilt for too long.
4. Treating my skin to some me time. I’d gotten into the horrible habit of just going to slee in my makes and waking up with mascara all down my face. So now I’m making a conscious effort to wash my makes up off and properly cleanse my skin. I’ve also started taking my hair,skin and nails supplements again and finally I feel like my skin is liking me again. We’re not in love just yet but we’re dating! We may even change our Facebook statuses from ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘In a relationship’
I could probably talk further on this topic as I really feel making these small changes have helped so much but this post will probably end up being a small novel. I’d love to know your self care tips however big or small. Leave me a comment letting me know what little thing you do to make yourself feel more like yourself after a hard day of running around after the kids.