Before I write this post, I just want to say that these words are written from a place of 'Zero Judgement,' they are purely my thoughts and feelings, they are not facts, but just as important to me and my experience of motherhood. If, whilst reading this you feel triggered in any way, or if you feel that today is not a good day for you to be reading about this, then please be kind to yourself and come back another time.
Before I became a mother I had, somewhere deep down a limiting belief that a good mother always puts her children first at ALL costs. My views on being a good mother were based around, always putting your child's needs above and beyond your own. They included making sacrifices and giving up all the things I enjoyed from my 'pre parenthood' without any question, without thinking what effect that would have on me.
The thing is, when you place the needs of everyone else above your own, where does it leave you?. It leaves you parenting from the last dregs, it leaves you scraping out the bottom of the barrel and when we parent from these last dregs, we cannot show up for our children, in the way that we would like.
What are we modelling to our children, that our own wants and needs, are not as important as other peoples?. Children do as you do NOT as you say. With the best will in the world, we can say all the right things to our children, but unless they observe us consistently saying NO to others and YES to ourselves they will grow up with the belief that to love another unconditionally means to abandon ourselves.
Self Care is not selfish it is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children. Mothers are firstly human beings, we cannot cancel our human needs out of the immense love that we feel for our children. We still need to eat, sleep, laugh, wash our hair, speak with friends and have some time alone just for ourselves.
The vital rush of oxytocin (the beautiful love hormone which is released in abundance after giving birth) can be so intense that we become rightfully all consumed by our new baby and forget our own wants and needs. We have the wonderful mother nature to thank for this, supporting us to fall in love with, prioritise and care for this new baby that we have never set eyes on before. It is not only essential, but vital that this happens, as we need at least one person in this world, to feel irrationally crazy about us to keep us alive (having only had a few hours sleep).
Once you step out of the newborn fog, the fourth trimester, I would like to give you a gentle nudge, a reminder that YOU ARE IMPORTANT TOO. If you would like to show up as a confident, happy, healthy mum for your children then you must first gift yourself with fulfilling YOUR own needs.
When you prioritise what is important for you, you will not only be a better mother to your children but you will free them from the future burden of 'I gave up everything for you!'