Hey Mums! I get it. Motherhood can be frustrating, exhausting, confusing and torturous. But it is also rewarding, joyful, playful and heart- warming. The trick in the journey of motherhood is to find a way for you to stay in touch with your wants, needs and goals while simultaneously doing the same for others who can’t quite do it themselves yet. Mother’s Day is that special day when the whole world celebrates mums. When I ask mums what they want for Mother’s Day, the answer is often along the lines of, “A day off” , “Just some peace and quiet” or “A weekend away with a massage and some wine”. While all of these things are lovely and have appeared on my list a few times, I think us mums need to make time for ourselves regularly throughout the year, not just for one day in May.
In our daily routine we find/make the time to pack lunches, help with homework, take the kids to their after- school activities, organise play dates, prepare meals, do the laundry, clean the house and comfort the souls of our smallest tribal members. Too often while we are packing their lunches, we forget to pack our own. While they are running around at their activity or at the park, we forgo an activity of choice for ourselves. When our souls are sad we hide in the corner and just get on with it.
I want to help mums out there find a new way of traveling through motherhood that isn’t filled with exhaustion and self-neglect. Below is a list of 5 things to consider working into your life to help keep your soul charged and happy. And what better day to start than Mother’s Day? (Although any day is a good day to make a positive change in your life)
- Ask your kids for a foot massage with a nice moisturising cream. It will keep their hands busy, strengthen the connection between you and them and make your feet feel amazing! You could even use a reflexology chart and target the area the kids are working on.
- Make time to catch up with other mum friends. Although technology helps us stay up to date with what is happening in our friends’ lives, it doesn’t substitute physical proximity and social engagement. Laughing and connecting with friends can make a tough day or week seem more bearable. This can even be done at home after the kids are in bed. Pyjama parties aren’t just for kids!
- Add one of these Brain hacks to your week. Wendy Suzuki, author of “Healthy Brain, Happy Life”, suggests several ways to improve your brain and your mood. Some simple ideas are to sit quietly in a room, on the patio or at a park and close your eyes for 4 mintues. Pay attention to the sounds around you. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. If you can make the exhale longer than the inhale, you will go further to relax your mind and body. An outdoor setting provides more varieties of sound than inside, but 4 minutes of mindfulness anywhere is better than nothing. Another idea is to do a physical activity for 4 minutes. Try hula-hooping, skipping, walking up and down stairs, playing chasies with the kids or star jumps.
- Make a list of the things you enjoy about being a mum and keep the list handy. When parenting gets hard, it is easy to forget why you love what you do. I love the cuddles, the bedtime stories and the laughter we share together.
- Reconnect with a hobby or an interest. It can be hard to remember life before kids and what you used to be so busy doing. But most of us had an interest, a hobby or a job we enjoyed before we became mothers. Reconnecting with that can be very fulfilling for your soul. A confirmation to yourself that you matter too.
Remember that taking care of yourself is important. If your cup is empty, you can’t possibly fill anybody else’s up. You are an important part of some little, and maybe some big, lives. Show them how to stay balanced and healthy. You are worth it.