As a mother it is so easy to get wrapped up in motherhood, forgetting about ourselves. We love our children more than life itself, and we constantly put their health, happiness, needs and safety before our own - we shift our thinking from 'me' to 'them'.
We give up a great deal for our children (time, sleep, pleasures, career). It's instinct, as they are the most important and precious people in our world. But there is a shift happening - women are realising it doesn't make them any less of a mother if they take some time out occasionally to give back to themselves. They are noticing how it makes them more of a mother because let's face it, we can't give what we don't have.
When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others. This is an important metaphor for those of you who run around taking care of everything and everyone except yourself.
If you don't take care of yourself, you can experience burnout, stress, fatigue, mental fog, health problems, anxiety, frustration, inability to sleep, sickness, and much more. Children see a frazzled, worn-out mum who is neglecting her own needs, health and wellbeing.
The best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is your best self, and you do that by filling yourself up. Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow.
I facilitate International Women's Wellness Retreats where women can immerse themselves in total bliss, growth and transformation. I have had women with toddlers, young children, teenagers, adult children, grown children and no children join me a retreat. And yes, some really go through a lot of anxiety and uncertainty before making it happen because of the guilt of doing something for themselves. BUT once they do it once, they get a taste of how important self-care is and they want more!
Films like Eat Pray Love glammed up the idea of travel and finding yourself, but the truth is, travel does change things. The person that leaves is rarely the same as the one that returns.
If you are a mum who has lost your sense of self, and sometimes feel resentful or discontented, or lack confidence, then look at how you can turn this around.
Take time for yourself, nurture yourself, and accept that you may not always be able to do it all on your own. Find some 'me' time to do what you want, how you want, to nourish your soul.
Just find something that is viable and you will soon notice what a significant difference making some time for yourself can have on you. Occasional alone time can be bliss and escaping regular responsibilities to savour some well-deserved solitude occasionally will recharge your battery.
Do you know who you are, or do you define yourself solely as someone's spouse or mother? You are this, but you are also so much more! Are you able to slow down and take some time to reconnect with yourself, so that you, the real you, can shine through and start to sparkle again? Become self-empowered and regain that person who is there deep inside.
By taking steps to regain your own identity and making time to rediscover some of the interests and passions once fulfilled you, you can get that fire back in your belly, that zest for life.
My belief is that if we are happy and healthy, both physically and emotionally, we will be in a much better position to handle motherhood and the pressures that come with it.
You will always be a mother to your children, but let yourself expand so they can see you outside of your title.
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours.
"I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself." - Joyce Maynard
If taking yourself on an empowering week of self-discovery to rest, reflect and replenish in Fiji or Bali resonates with you, come retreat with us, details here: http://belindaanderson.com.au/retreats/