How and why we should all make self-care a priority as mums.
When my daughters were babies I worked full-time as a physiotherapist and I juggled being a wife, a mum, a yoga student, a student, and a volunteer.
As they got older I worked part-time and as the time changed I started working full-time again.
I felt like I was running on a hamster wheel and my life started to fall apart.
I started to feel like I couldn’t keep up with the demands of my career as well as the demands of being a mum and a wife.
I started having anxiety, low moods and guilt that I couldn’t be with my daughters enough.
There was so much guilt that I felt about being out late in the evenings, not being able to be there to read to them, cuddles and bedtimes.
There was also guilt that I wasn’t taking enough time for myself.
I felt like I needed to be around for them 100% and that everything else I did had to be second to that.
I worked in private practice and I didn’t work from home, which meant that I wasn’t around the house enough.
I was exhausted and I was feeling very low.
I started to feel like a shell of a person and I was starting to lose my confidence.
I was worried that my daughters would grow up and feel like they didn’t have the right person to turn to.
I wasn’t in a position to talk to my husband about my struggles.
I also felt like I couldn’t talk to my family about my struggles either as they might judge me.
So, I kept my feelings hidden and I tried to do everything that I could to hide my low moods and to try and fit back into my life as a working mum again.
As a mum I always knew that we needed to take time out for ourselves.
I also knew that I needed to get to a place where I felt healthy and happy so that I could be the best mum and wife that I could be.
So, I started to put in self-care back into my life.
I went to a weekly women’s group at the local yoga studio to support each other and to keep the dialogue going.
I started working with a yoga instructor one-to-one on my self-care, mental health and stress management so that I felt better and that I could get through my days.
I started making sure that I was in bed by 8pm most nights and that I read at least once a week.
I started to prioritise self-care.
I was still working and I had just started a new part-time job.
I felt so guilty that I wasn’t doing enough for my family and my career, but I also knew that my self-care was key to making sure that I could do the things that I needed to do for my family and for myself.
However, as I started to do my self-care, I started to notice that other people were doing the same and that it made me feel better to see others talking about self-care and to hear about others experiences of taking care of themselves.
As we talked about our struggles and self-care I realised that we were all doing the same things.
We were all working full-time jobs as well as having our families and I realised that no one had the perfect life or the perfect life balance.
We were all juggling it all and we were all trying to do our best to take care of ourselves, our families and our jobs.
That was when I realised that I should make self-care a priority.
Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s a necessity to survive as a mum and a wife.
The only way that I will make the most of my life is by taking time out for myself.
As mums and wives we are the glue that holds our lives together.
So, when we start to take care of ourselves, we are taking care of our families.
If we are taking time to look after ourselves then we will have the energy to look after our families, friends, work and our husbands.
Taking time to care for ourselves will make our lives easier.
We will be happier.
We will feel better.
We will be stronger, more confident and we will be more capable of handling everything in life.
It’s ok to take a break from our families and our work, but it’s not ok to lose our confidence or our health or to not feel happy.