"I just need a break! I have no time for myself... I just want some time..."
A friend of mine shared.
"The next person that tells me to make time, I think I'm going to *insert some swearing* lose it! Don't they think I know that... How do I make time when the baby is attached to my hip!?... I'm so sick of people telling me it's as simple as *insert more swearing* self-care!"
I listened... "I get it...!" I responded. I created space. I bought empathy. I bought "active-listening".
I know what it feels like when you want to share and vent - you're not seeking a solution... you're seeking empathy.
In these moments we're seeking to share our humanity.
Human beings want to feel seen, heard, and understood.
All my friend wanted was a space for someone to "listen". Not "fix" her, or take on the problem as their own. She needed space for acceptance.
When she felt heard... she then shared; "I wish I didn't feel so guilty for wanting to make time for myself.... I feel selfish if I did....I felt my dad was selfish - I don't want to be him.".
It got me thinking, somehow we have collapsed "self-care" with being "selfish" yet the two are distinctly different things.
When we prioritise self-care - we are nourishing our mind, body, and spirit. Self-care is like fuel for soul... and when we're energised, when we are filling up our well - it overflows, and there is space to give. Self-care is all about relationships, connection, and compassion. If we value and honour our being, self-care is part of the routine.
Selfish - The dictionary definition: (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
When you choose self-care, you choose it because you are considerate of your space with others, and you value your relationships and connection - therefore, self-care isn't selfish.
Have you ever sat opposite a friend or someone you care about - and they weren't present? Yes, they are there opposite you - and yes they are nodding to what you are sharing.. however, you have a sense that their body is here, and their mind isn't with you?
Here is what is happening..They're spent. They're spread so thin. Their mind is in overwhelm. Their mind is noisy. They're thinking of all the things to do... and probably based on the fear of being selfish. So they think, the only way to avoid being selfish is self-sacrifice. Doing everything for everyone else.
The result - scattered. Spent. Running on empty. Overwhelm.
Without self-care, you can't be present with your child. Without self-care, you can't be present in your relationships. You're running on empty. You're not doing self-care for you, you're doing self-care for the ripple effect with those around you.
In making self-care a priority - You give, from a space of Love. You're giving isn't felt like an obligation, self-sacrifice, or from being a hero/ martyr.
The only way one can prioritise self-care is when we believe in its power. When we know the real value of what it can provide...
And... when we are willing to let go of defending the limiting belief "To be a great mother means to self-sacrifice".
Putting yourself first - with the intention of having your mind, body, and spirit nourished is pivotal to thriving in Motherhood. AND it is not selfish.
Let's contribute to #anewwaveofmotherhood (a new wave of motherhood). This mindset alone can transform families.
I hope this has been of value.