Friday, March 6, 2015

Mothering the soul

It seems to be a universal trend that we as mothers naturally put ourselves last. Its no wonder really, because there's so many other things to do each day - cooking, washing, cleaning, kids activities, tantrum management, changing millions of nappies, grocery shopping, more cooking, more cleaning etc etc. Its easy to put our own needs on the back-burner and some days forget about them altogether. A lot of the time if I've managed to have one or two hot cups of tea during the day then I call that a success and that's the culmination of my me time. Some days those ten minutes of relaxing and that delicious warm caffeine tonic are all I need to get me through, but over time all the exhaustion and lack of alone time tends to wear thin and cracks start to appear.

I'm the first to admit that I seriously suck at putting myself first. This week though I put my foot down and took a day off for myself. I went to my first ever Problogger event and spent a whole day without bub. She went and stayed with grandma while I went into the city and spent time with other adults and got to have adult conversation that wasn't centred around kids. Woohoo.

What's better is for once I didn't even feel guilty about it. In fact I actually had fun and was glad that I did it. Its only the second time in 19 months that I've left bub for an entire day (yea I don't know how I've survived either). I actually felt guilty for not feeling guilty, so much so that I put this status up on my Facebook page that night.


Seems other people who've been doing this mothering gig longer than me realise that its necessary to have time out away from the tiny humans. I on the other hand have been putting all my energy into nurturing her that I completely forgot to nurture myself. After 19 months of not having a career focus and feeling like I'm losing the battle against a never ending pile of washing and dishes (not to mention the toys that seem to deposit themselves all over the floor two seconds after I clean them up), I've decided that something has to give. Its time for me to take back some time for me and spend some time doing the things that I like - things I liked before I had bub and things that don't directly involve her. 

Hence this year I've been focusing more on my writing, both my personal development of my blog through attending training events, and my freelance writing. I need to feel like I'm using my brain again and that I have "career" goals to work towards. Even though I've wanted to be a mum for years, and I love it, watching cartoons together and running around like a mad woman trying to clean up after a toddler tornado isn't enough to nourish my soul. I honestly wish it was, but its become apparent that I need more mental stimulation. I need time for me. I need to remember I'm a person too, as well as a mum.

Ironically this week I also, finally, sat down to read the e-book Mothering the Soul which is written by a fellow blogger Bettina Rae. The whole book is about how to find contentment and empowerment through self nurturing. Bettina realised through her own life experience that it's really important for mum's to nurture themselves in order to be able to nurture their babies. She went through a dark time after having her first child but through readjustment and a lot of hard work she got through it and she's sharing her story and knowledge in order to help other women avoid going through the same experience she did.

Mothering the soul - finding contentment and empowerment through self nurturing - Bettina Rae


I have to say when I first started reading the book it was like she was reading my mind! I didn't realise that we as mothers all experienced the same thing even down to the inner monologue that plays along in my mind, all Nina Proudman style, throughout the day. I'd read a paragraph and a thought would pop into my head and then bam in the next paragraph I'm reading exactly what I was thinking. Although I entertained the thought that she may be psychic, I soon realised that hey maybe we're all going through the same experience, thoughts and emotions; no matter what our lives look like from the outside.

Apart from being able to delve into my psyche at an amazing level, this book also goes through numerous ways mums can nurture themselves and find empowerment. Bettina covers the numerous barriers to self nurturing faced by mums (not just the fact that we have tiny humans to look after) and then goes through numerous ways we can nourish the body, mind and spirit. I'm only a third of the way through the book and I have to say its already working because I'm already making sure I carve out me time each day just to read more of the book. I haven't even started to implement the other ideas from the book yet and I'm already inspired to take better care of myself. I can only imagine how much better I'll feel once I start putting things into practice.

"This is not another book on motherhood or parenting that gives you a long list of things you ‘should’ be doing, leaving you feeling inadequate and even more doubtful of your own Mama instincts. If anything I hope to achieve the opposite. I want you to walk away from reading this feeling proud to belong to this tribe of imperfect Mamas (because we all are). I want you to realise that no matter what your day looked like, you have done a brilliant job." - Bettina Rae.

If you've ever doubted your role as a mum, wished you had more time to yourself, or questioned who the hell you are now that you have kids then you really need to read this book. And lets face it you all just answered yes to at least one of those things, because you're human. To me the book is totally worth the $16.95 price tag, because it makes me feel excited about life again. It makes me feel like its ok to put myself first and it makes me want to take time for myself. I've been trying to convince myself of these things for weeks without success, but for some reason this book speaks my language and reading it on a page has finally got through the barriers of my negative mind. Thank god. If you'd like to know what all the fuss is about you can purchase the book here.


Tell me, are you mothering your own soul as well as your kids?


Toni x

Disclosure - I was sent a copy of Mothering the Soul to share with my readers. As per my disclosure policy, I will only ever share or review items which I truly believe in and which I think will add value to my audience, you guys. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

Linking with Grace, Kaz, Ann, Bel & Sonia.

32 comments:

  1. I hear you loud and clear Toni and I'm glad you're taking some time back for yourself. Motherhood is such a big adjustment but it's important to remember that you have needs too. I'm loving being back at work but I also make more of an effort to give myself a break, even if it's only an hour or two a week. It's really important - for the whole family's sake, not just mine!

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    1. I've actually been thinking about going back to work just to get a break (but I don't miss it that much). I am feeling much better now that I'm making some small changes though.

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  2. I feel like I've nurtured myself less since having Phoebe and it's hard to put yourself first when there are so many needs around you. But you are right, to be a better mum we have to nurture ourselves. It was great seeing you briefly at Problogger. :)

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    1. Great seeing you too Bec! I imagine it'd be a lot harder to do with 3 babies. Hopefully by the time I get to three, if we're that lucky, I'll be much better at it than I am now.

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  3. It was great to see you the other day, Toni. You looked fantastic and so happy. You really were glowing. I'm glad you've recognised the need to get out and do things just for you. It's so important. I'm finding I have a better handle on things now that my kids are older. You'll find it will get easier for you too xx

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    1. So many things are getting easier as she gets older (I'm loving it). I'm just glad I've finally started to find the confidence to put my foot down and do things I want to do. There's no way I would be telling Trent I'm going to Problogger conferences if it was last year. It was great to catch up with you too, we need to do it again before August.

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  4. Great post. I feel like I totally put myself last and it isn't a good thing. Good on you for giving yourself a break - you deserve it!

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    1. I swear we all do it. I guess in a way its good for survival in the long run because serious where would the men and children be without us, but its not good for our own health :)

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  5. Well done hun - we mums need to take time for ourselves without feeling guilty. I am glad you are doing this for yourself too xx

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    1. Yea its the feeling guilty part I've needed to work on x

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  6. Good on you Toni for making some time just for you, it's an absolute necessity in my books, love my me time.
    Do it again sooner rather than later!
    Was so lovely to meet you in person at Problogger on Tuesday.

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    1. Was great to meet you too Dannielle! I've never really been good at taking time out for myself so its a learning curve, but I think realising I'm ALLOWED to has been the biggest step :)

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  7. I can't wait to read this book. One thing I learned is if you take time for yourself you are a better Mom. My saying around here is, "A happy Mom makes for happier kids."

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    1. The thing I'm finding is that I'm a lot more productive. Instead of procrastinating everything all day, if I stop and allocate some time for me then I seem to be able to get more done for the rest of the day too.

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  8. Oh I'm all for "me time" I think for a Mum it's a total necessity and something that we don't do anywhere near enough!

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    1. I hear you! Thankgod I have blogging as an excuse to take time out :)

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  9. Lovely blog Toni, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the E Book MOTHERING the Soul. It sounds like every mother needs a copy. Thank you.

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  10. This couldn't have come at a better time for me. For almost 6 years I have been putting my kids first. I'm honestly not sure if I have ever taken a day off to do something purely for me. I haven't had time off, a day out, a passion to follow that is completely selfish. But I want that. I want to nurture me. I need to. So thank you.

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  11. I absolutely agree - we tend to put our own needs last when we are mothers. It's just not healthy for our families. Happy mum, happy family, in my opinion! Good to hear you're finding what makes you happy and getting to focus on your own needs too.

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    1. Its really quite amazing how much your mindset can change just by doing something for yourself, I wish I had of decided to do it sooner :)

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  12. I'm getting slightly better at it Toni, but it's taking time! It's hard when you have really young kids though and I'm sure as my 3 grow I'll nail it!

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    1. Yea I'm thinking it'll be a lot easier once she's older (provided I don't have a bunch of other babies to look after by then).

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  13. When my kids were little, I didn't AT ALL! We moved to a new country when my kids were 5, 3 and 1 and I really struggled with finding any self time UNTIL I found a gym with a creche and that was completely my saviour in the early days. I knew they were safe and enjoying their time, while I was climbing Mt Everest on my bike or pumping out in a weights class or doing Zumba. It was a win win for every one! I love that you went to the probloggers event! Now my kids are all at school and I am forced into having self time - after having kids all day every day for almost 10 years, it was daunting at first to allow myself to enjoy doing things alone (like having a swim at the beach or going to a coffee shop) but I am slowly letting myself enjoy times in the day alone and without guilt.

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    1. I think its going to be such a shock to the system when she goes to school and I have a big block of time each day without her. The most time I spend without her is 2hrs when she's asleep haha, except Problogger but I was busy the whole time that day so didn't think about not being with her too much. When I'm forced to come up with things to do on my own on a daily basis I'm sure it'll be a lot different.

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  14. I don't think it gets any easier either. My kids are older and I do things without them of course, but their needs always come before mine - hence I blog late at night or early morning, exercise at 6am etc etc...

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    1. Yep I'm always up blogging late at night too.

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  15. I definitely think I'm mothering my own soul as much as I can while I juggle the house hold stuff, my own business and being a Mum and Wife. I"ve always taken advantage of time on my own and realised early on how important it was for Elliott to stay at his grandparents, not just for me to have a break but it's good for Elliott too.

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    1. I just wish I had a bit more support so I could do that too :)

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  16. Thanks for sharing with us for The Sunday Brunch Magazine, So nice to see you, Bel & Eliza x

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