Seriously, when did you last rest properly?
And how often did you get that prior to having kids?!
Do you feel too guilty?
Like there are too many other needs of your kids, your partner or just stuff that needs to be done, before you put your feet up?
Or do you not even know where to start on your way to doing something for you?
I often ask Mums the question, what do you like to do for you? What did you used to do? Sometimes, their partners may even offer them time to do whatever it is they want, but they don't take it, as even that decision seems overwhelming.
Often (not always though), Dads can be a little better at sustaining hobbies or finding time to themselves, outside of parenting, as statistically, they aren't the primary caregivers.
A couple of weeks ago I took some much needed time out at the Mac Hotel. This was some time to myself, and an opportunity to let my mind focus on business stuff (running a business is a whole different kettle of fish) and plan for the year. This planning involves planning for my business, but also focusses on my personal and family time too.
Anyway, while on my mini retreat, in a glorious hotel...
- I had a bath, with a face mask
- Ate the best Loco Love chocolates
- I read a book
- I've did 30 minutes of yoga
- 30 min breath work (it had been a helluva week parenting wise)
- an evening walk
- Some goal setting
- Netflix and room service for dinner
- Delicious breakfast and lunch (including dessert) at the hotel restaurant
- Gym session
- Beach walk on the way home
And I returned home feeling refreshed, capable and able to connect with my kids on a deeper level. And keen to do it again, next month haha (well maybe in 6 months - and the hotel may not be so fancy, but whatever works, it doesn't need to be fancy)
My kids received a much more resourced Mum, to connect with them.
What is it you would love to do, if you had time to yourself?
- Time with friends?
- Night/few days/aweek away?
- A mini retreat like mine
- Time with your partner?
Connect with the part of yourself outside of motherhood. It's in there somewhere!
- Who are you?
- What do you love?
Get out your journal and write about these things. Whatever comes to mind. Take a moment to reflect. And if you don't have a journal, write in your notes section in your phone.
And pick something. Your kids NEED you to.
To engage in the deeply connected ways your kids need you to do (particularly those strong willed ones ), it requires you to deeply connect with yourself.
Holding space for your kiddos, means you must hold space for yourself, regularly!
So what are you going to do tonight?
Even just 15 minutes, that will bring you back closer to who you are and what you love to do.
Make it a priority. You making yourself a priority sends an important message of self worth to your child. It tells them you're worthy, that you treat yourself well. It resources you, in order to give to your kids.
The cliche of "you can't pour from an empty cup" is a cliche for a reason. It's a term that is used over and over again, because it's true.
Your children have big cups too. Big ones, that get emptied, when they go to child care/school, when they go to sleep, when they don't have quality time with their parents. But in order for you to put something in their cups, there HAS to be something in yours too. Otherwise, they won't be getting anything nourishing from you. Just a burnout grumpy version of yourself.
So drop the guilt.... doing something for you, regularly, IS doing something for your kids too!
And repeat it. The best way to challenge guilt is to do the thing over and over. Work through the feelings each time they come up and work on your capacity to handle it each time. Managing guilt is like building muscles at the gym! You have to do it regularly, push yourself and eventually it will become easier.
If I deserve it, if other Mums deserve it, then you DEFINITELY deserve it too.