Don't forget 'me'


Over the past month, I've felt shattered, which has given way to feelings of helplessness and confusion and some low level anxiety. In other words, I've felt a bit shit.

Obviously, when you feel like that, your ability to cope with day to day situations is seriously impaired. Decisions such as 'what shall we have for tea?' might as well read 'what are you doing with your life?' I find myself eternally procrastinating about the minutiae of everyday life. I send myself round in concentric circles to find myself back where I began half an hour before. What a plonker!

To be honest, I find motherhood a huge learning curve and an immense challenge. I adore and love my children beyond words, everything I do is pretty much for them. Nevertheless, if I focus solely on them and their needs and wants, I end up neglecting myself. A neglected, exhausted mummy is a pretty crappy one!

Admittedly, sleep is what I need most (please!!) but whilst Hattie is still very young and I am still breastfeeding, I doubt I'll get much chance for that quite yet. I've therefore, tried to search for other small ways to boost myself up and rediscover my lust for life!

Recently, I purchased a pack of affirmation cards for mums by the 'yesmum.' They are basically a small set of cards with uplifting phrases to promote mindfulness and positive thought processes. Cards such as 'I don't have to do it all' and 'making time for myself is important' have really resonated with me. I turn over a card each morning and try to have that as my mantra for that day. It has helped to encourage me to address my own needs and to realise that looking after myself is vital too. 

Last week, I took a little time out (albeit with baby Hattie in tow) by visiting a mini retreat with two other mums. We all took our babies and took it in turns to look after them, whilst one mum enjoyed a massage. It was lovely to have that half hour of uninterrupted rest and relaxation. I tried hard to be 'mindful' and settle my thoughts during that time. It was tricky, I can tell you! Nevertheless, it made me realise how much I need a bit of a break now and again. 

I put so much pressure on myself - I always try to do things well. I was a perfectionist in the world of paid work and to some extent, this has carried over into the home. Letting go, realising things aren't going to tumble like a pack of cards - that is crucial. It's crucial for my sanity and it's OK! 

I know that when I finally get more sleep, better clarity will be achieved. However, in the meantime I'm going to have to listen to my body. If it needs to rest, I must take note. 

Surrounding myself with people who understand, who 'get it' is also vital. Other sleep deprived mums are my current allies, as are those who have recently and successfully come out the other side! Sometimes, just a sympathetic ear and a small gesture of help is all that is needed. It's just comforting to know that you are not alone, even if it may feel that way at times. It's so easy to erase the exhaustion of early motherhood from our minds and we all have different coping mechanisms. However, sometimes empathy from others is all that's required and can make a huge difference to your day. 

So, I guess what I'm saying here is support those around you, just as you wish to be supported. Surround yourself with as much positivity as possible to help you through and don't forget to be kind to your mind and body. We all need to treat ourselves with gentle care, now and again. 

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