I always maintained that it didn't matter what my emotional, physical or mental needs were as long as the kids were happy and healthy then that was all that mattered. After all, they didn't ask to be born did they? So it was my duty to make sure they always came first.
Then BAM, I became very poorly and couldn't do very much at all and literally everything in the house went to pot. The dirty laundry pile got out of control, dinners became chicken nuggets and chips daily, our home looked like a tip and generally everything just fell apart.
To be fair, I have to take the blame for a lot of this because everyone is so used to me doing absolutely everything and refusing help that when I'm unable to do anything nobody has a clue what to do.
It was during that bout of illness that I realised something HAD to change!
Treat yourself to some me time
I was never that Mum who would schedule me time in daily, weekly or heck even monthly. That would be selfish right? I mean surely every waking minute of your day is supposed to be devoted to looking after or entertaining your little darlings isn't it? NO , it's not.
More recently I had an accident that has left me with a disability and it has affected my quality of life and what I can and can't do and what I have come to realise is that if I'm not taking care of myself and feeling my best then that affects me being able to parent to the best of my ability. You know those days when you've had very little sleep and despite your best efforts to be chipper and carry on you're very snappy and short tempered?? Yeah, well that's a perfect example and that is exactly why SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH.
It's so easy to get wrapped up in the daily routine, chores, shopping and other things that need doing around the house and for the kids and I sometimes think we just switch to auto-pilot and carry on but in doing that we start to forget that yes although these things need doing, the feeling of almost becoming a robot and just 'going through the motions' daily and not taking the time to check in with ourselves is our new norm or reality when in truth it doesn't have to be.
Let's face it, parenting isn't getting any easier, life is demanding and it is so easy to just get caught up in everything and forget about the person we need to look after the most because ultimately if you are not looking after you and putting yourself first then how on earth can you look after your family to the best of your ability.
Show yourself some love
So go and get that manicure, have a long, candlelit soak in the bath, call your friends and arrange a get together or even just treat yourself to an early night but whatever you do take care of yourself guilt free!