So one thing I’ve noticed recently is that, as mums, we rarely prioritise ourselves. We put everything before our wellbeing, seriously…even the washing comes before putting ourselves first and my question is why? Why is it “normal” to be over tired and under-appreciated…when did it become acceptable for mums to feel this way?Personally, I believe that society has set such an unrealistic goal of “the perfect mum” and with constant derogatory remarks as to whether you’re a “stay at home mum” or a “working mum”, it makes sense that us mums aren’t looking after ourselves as much as we could be.
We are care givers first and foremost to our little ones, but how can we care for them when nowadays most mums are neglecting their own needs? Think about it, how many times have you sat down and had a drink and 5 minutes to yourself today? We need to put ourselves first to help give our little ones what’s best. It’s like running a car on empty.
Recently, I decided to start putting myself first and trying to make myself happy. I’ve accepted a new job and am doing small things that will make myself happy, and now that I’m happier the time I spend with Oliver is more cherished, we’re laughing more together, playing more together instead of what used to be the norm (me sitting down and letting him run ragged because I had no energy for anything else). I have more energy and self-worth and I think, overall, I respect myself more as a mum.
One thing my mental health team suggested to me, and, of course, I never listened to it until recently, was the importance of having time to unwind. I used to think letting my mind wander was a dangerous thing to do, but now I love those thoughts that I’m able to have to myself, I love thinking towards the future and I know since putting myself first and foremost, I can make myself happy.
Of course, you must find yourself thinking “but where do the children come in to all of this?” Well that’s the part I found most difficult. You see, Oliver always has been and always will be my priority, he’ll always come first in my world…but I found that where I wasn’t looking after myself that perhaps I wasn’t being my best for him. I’m not saying I didn’t care for him because I did, however since I’ve started having a bit more self-worth, both me and Oliver seem happier. Let me make this abundantly clear, I’m not saying under any circumstances to put yourself before your children, what I’m saying is after your children you should put yourself before everything else.
I urge all mums to start putting themselves first, you’re doing an amazing job and don’t ever bring yourself down or beat yourself up.Do whatever you need to do to put yourself first: Have a night out with some friends, message the guy you’ve liked for a while, love yourself more. There is a saying my grandfather used to say, and although I never met him it’s a saying I find myself saying frequently; whatever you’re going through, no matter how tough it is, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it…you must go through it and ultimately, you’ll be a stronger person once you’re through to the other side.