Over these past (almost) 13 years of mothering, I've discovered something about myself. This will come as no surprise to anyone around me, or possibly anyone who has read this blog for a while… I completely SUCK at self care. I leave medical and dental appointments for some time in the future when I'm less consumed with everyone else's needs. I've been known to give away the food on my plate, even if I've not eaten. And everyone else always gets the biggest and best piece of cake before me. I leave creative projects (the ones that make my heart sing) for another day. Making time for friendship is too hard most of the time. And I plan and worry and work around the clock for the ones I love best.
I'm not sure why I put everyone else's wellbeing and happiness first. It's not for lack of great examples in my life, or moral support from people around me. I'm genuinely that busy that many things can fall by the wayside. It's as if I'm attempting to live at least four lives simultaneously. There's the home educating mum, the business owner, the homesteader, and the creative life I've always imagined for myself. Things just fit in when they do... or they don't. But in all this busy and being and doing, I've often forgotten to look after myself.
There's an overwhelming feeling that I've forgotten to put the air mask on myself first.
I'm fairly sure I'm not alone in this. I've spoken to friends who've definitely indicated they act similarly (you know who you are). In our patriarchal society, we are trained to. Biologically, I completely understand why mothers might do this. But oh… that instinct really doesn't take into account all the other things that living in modern, western society requires. Or the lack of a village to provide opportunities to recuperate and feel supported. Especially while our children are very young.
Lately, for me, things have shifted. Lovely Huz gave me a massage voucher for Christmas - a giant nudge to just go and fill my cup already. When I finally got around to going, it was pretty much life-changing. So nurturing and beautiful, the therapist sighed as she felt the exhaustion ooze from my forgotten body. At one point, she knelt down beside me and whispered "It's your turn now", and a tear rolled down my cheek. Yes, it's most definitely my turn.
Slowly, I've been making appointments and formulating a plan to get a little maintenance and nurturing done. A month ago, I hurt my back quite badly. For a few days there, I was crawling around the house and could barely move. I hit rock bottom. I couldn't walk or dress myself. I'd begun seeing an osteopath and we both realised there's a fair bit of unravelling for me to do and it's not always going to be straight ahead. This is going to be a process. Already, it's involved addressing my limitations, setting some boundaries and finding more support in the unlikeliest of places. I'm excited for the process and hoping to share a little of it here as a way to keep myself accountable. I'm hoping the owlets will witness it and learn too.
Most of all, I hope to find a way to fill my cup so I can have enough left over to support those around me who need it too. Including this beautiful part of the world we live in and our mama earth. The most giving, nurturing and often-forgotten mama of all…
Could you do with some self-nurture in your days?
Do you need a little nudge? Care to join me?
Keep us posted if you do.
Wishing you love and big, nurturing hugs as you go about your day.