Over the last few years there has been a bit of an explosion in the health and wellbeing world, with more and more people realising that taking good care of themselves is not just a nice to have…it is foundation that everything else is built on.
After working within the health and wellbeing industry for 15 years as a Homeopath, Hypnobirthing instructor and Mothers Wellbeing Coach, I am really pleased to see how things are changing. I can remember when I first started going to yoga 22 years ago several people warned me to be careful it wasn’t a cult! Times have certainly changed.
Now whilst we know logically that we have to take care of ourselves, we still have our busy lives and all the demands to navigate, which often means that as much as we try, our own needs keep slipping to the bottom of the list or maybe don’t ever make it on the list at all. This can be especially true for Women who are Mothers.
The transition through Motherhood is EPIC! Literally every aspect of life changes overnight and depending on you, your child and the support available, it can take some time to steady the Mothership. Those foundations are everything and without them it can take years of unravelling/restoring the energy that has been lost. I have learnt through my own experience of Motherhood that lack of self-nurture isn’t good for you or your family.
It is impossible to maintain trying to be and do ‘all the things.’ Waiting to look after yourself until ‘things get better’ or ‘the children grow up’ that time is never going to appear unless you choose to take it for yourself. Put the brakes on now whilst you still can and nurture yourself a little bit each and everyday, this is the essence of what I share with the women who I work with. A little goes a long way. Daily acts of coming back to yourself.
Self-nurture is about connecting back into who you are and your need to grow in any way that feels good for you, we are all different and there is no one way that works. My approach is about YOU, the individual, the Woman who….
Nurturing is about taking care of someone or something whilst it is growing. A plant, a child or a Woman, as she is navigating Motherhood. Motherhood is something we grow into over time, it is always changing and requires self-nurture as both we and our child grow.
As Mothers we nurture our babies, toddlers, children, tweens, teens, young adult. We evolve as women who are mothers, adapting to new and different needs, seeking to understand ourselves and our children and do what’s best, whilst at the same time not knowing for sure, we have to learn to trust ourselves. This I believe comes through nurturing ourselves as well as everyone else.
Self-nurture is about setting boundaries, creating space to adapt to new and ever changing needs, understanding yourself at a deeper level and making choices that feel right for you and your family.
What tends to happen from the moment a baby arrives is the Woman who is the Mother fades into the background. All the focus goes on the baby/child. Of course in the very early years the level of care is intense. Though if a Woman isn’t doing anything to nurture herself it is very easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted and fall into a habit and belief pattern where everyone else always comes first.
There is that phrase “Everyone wants to hold the baby, but who is holding the Mum?”
Sadly we seem to have forgotten that the role of Mother takes time to grow into and there is so much wrapped up in it. Our own expectations of ourselves as Mothers, our relationships with our own Mothers and Grandmothers. Society and support structures, it is all a lot to navigate on top being a Woman navigating life in general. Who is holding the woman through all this? Where is the space and support for her to process this epic life transition?
Such huge emotional and physical shifts taking place. Whilst all the time having your little people to care for, totally dependent on you and sadly do not come with an instruction manual. Throw months or even years of sleep deprivation into this and society’s expectation to ‘get back to normal’ and it is no wonder so many women feel completely lost and disconnected from who they are as the woman at the heart of these roles she has as mother, wife, employee, business owner, sister, friend etc…where is she? The woman who is doing all of this? Who is nurturing her?
And things just keep rolling from there, maybe you go back to work and that is a whole new level and something I will save for another post.
This load on Women and Mothers is too much. Something has to change.
And that change has to come from within. Sadly we are a long way off society being set up in ways to supports Woman who are Mothers.
As all of the women who have gone before us, we have a task to challenge the way things are, to keep moving things forward and keep creating change.
We deserve to have space to BE who we are as well as a Mother. Space to breathe and hear ourselves think. Raising a child is not meant to come at the expense of ourselves. It is a warped and outdated way of thinking to be so self-sacrificing that you have nothing left to give to yourself and eventually others when all you do is give to everyone else.
This is no better than being confined to a life as a wife, who lives to keep a tidy home, have the dinner ready on time and pipe, slippers and paper ready for when her husband comes home to out his feet up, whilst the whole time looking immaculately dressed! When we allow ourselves to reach exhaustion through lack of self-nurture we are still trapped by these outdated roles and expectations, just in a different way.
We cannot do it all. Yes we can have careers now if we want them, do anything men can do I we want to, though typical employment and childcare structures are a long way off supporting the family unit and especially women in the way we need.
You can do anything, but not everything.
I believe that you will have a clearer understanding of what you need and what can work for you and your family when you move through life from a place of calm. Everything flows much better when we first nurture ourselves and then nurture others from that solid foundation.
For me self-nurture falls into 4 key areas – REST, NOURSH, MOVE, CONNECT (there will be more about these in future blog posts.)
My work is about supporting women to nurture themselves on all levels. To reconnect to who they are, the Woman who….
Self-nurture has to work around taking care of your family, making the most of the small moments daily to remain connected to yourself, what you needs, releasing the old stories that say you can’t, or you don’t deserve or whatever else goes round and round in a loop of your mind.
There is no one way to be a Mother. When you start to connect into self-nurture you lead your life from the core of who you are. You make choices that feel right for you from that place. You Mother your child and care for your family in the way that feels right for you. You live your life feeling calmer, more spacious, with firm boundaries and less guilt. You feel free.
If you are ready to say YES to yourself and learn how to move through your life nurturing yourself as well as everyone else then you can book a 1:1 self-nurture session here or sign up to my newsletter to be the first to hear of workshops and retreats that I run throughout the year.