We love being mums. And, we do it really well – to the best of our ability. Our children are nurtured, supported, taught right from wrong. But are you nurturing their mum to the best of your ability?
Whilst being a mum is one of the most demanding jobs ever, it’s by far the most rewarding. To make this happen, us mums give 100 percent focus and all of ourselves to the job. Most of the time we are happy to do this, because this is what we signed up for when we decided to become parents. Over the years, as our children develop and grow from nappies to nightclubs, does our role as mother change much?
We must attend in the very early stages; they wouldn’t survive otherwise. We are fully present when they are toddlers, infants, tweens, teens and as young adults. Working through the nappy changes whilst babies, the toddler years are just as demanding. Developing into young people attending school, the years go by quickly and the tweens move onto high school. The demands are similar as they rely on us for support, guidance, discussion, values, role modelling, camaraderie, sounding boards, taxi services, pep/sex talks and much more. The responsibilities from newborn to flying the coop are the same – they simply morph along the journey.
We all do parenting differently and do our best, based on the skills, knowledge and modelling we have had over our lifetime. We want our children to stand on their own two feet and enjoy the world awaiting them – some say we want our children to do better than we did. We want them to succeed in their world. “No pressure”, from a parent’s perspective. But the pressure is intense, and this is without taking into account any other influences; financial, relationship, career, choice of schools or having more children.
The time and energy required to support our children is massive. We teach them to cross the road, cook, clean, ride a bike, read and wash themselves. These are all essential. And then we have social skills. It can be life changing learning how to ask questions and create healthy and empowering conversations. No wonder being a mum is the most demanding job in the world, however, it comes with the territory.
Some are blessed to have a partner for support. Either way, when we give, give, give we forget about US. We generally put ourselves on the bottom of the pile. We sacrifice our balance. Our own space becomes non existent. We stress about the cleaning, washing, shopping and our job. Everything starts to become crammed, stressful, hectic and often, no fun. Our relationship with our partner and ourselves could be better and we would benefit from being more balanced.
With motherhood such a demanding career, it’s easy to forget our own needs regarding time and space. A mum often asks, “What is own time?”. It’s the essential relaxation time, being with ourselves/partner in uninterrupted space. It’s nurturing ourselves, as we nurture our children.
When we forget to role model balance and taking care of ourselves, our children will not know any different and continue with the same pattern, it’s all they know. An excellent question might be, “What am I/we modelling to my/our children?”.
Here is the dilemma, we often feel the more we give to our children, the better off they will be. Therefore, the more of our time we give to our children the less energy we have to give to ourselves and the spiral becomes out of control. With the imbalance persisting, our whole being-ness is impacted. When this happens, our body is less able to handle the toxins and negativity everyday life automatically feeds us. Physical and mental illness can start to creep in and our body suffers from these influences and we can become unwell.
There is a flip side – there always is. It’s called ‘choice’. We absolutely have a choice. If we refuse to take time for ourselves; our children, relationship/s and our health/wellbeing suffer!
Tips to take time back
- Do regular meditation, yoga, pilates, gym or other exercise sessions
- Create 5-15 minute windows and STOP, even take a nap (it’s so powerful)
- Take a bath – adding lavender/rosemary is sensational
- Create a habit of regularly getting outside
- Get more sleep
- Say “No, thank you”. Know, your needs are greater
- Keep connected – friendships are essential
- Eat healthier
- Incorporate more music
- Write a gratitude journal
- Take alone time!
“She remembered who she was and the game changed.” Lalah Dilia