With Mother’s Day approaching, I’ve been reflecting on how ‘looking after myself’ looks now that I’m a mum, and I wanted to share my thoughts in case you might be able to relate to it in some way too.
Pre-baby (aka 'BC' - ‘before Charlie’), looking after myself meant hour long walks watching the sunrise before work, meditating every day, regular yoga classes, having a bath and reading a book in the evenings. Even though life was busy, I felt balanced, healthy and like I had space.
Fast forward 17 months (AC - after Charlie, of course ;)) and this looks a whole lot different. Self care is now quietly drinking a cup of tea at 9pm after the madness dies down. It’s arriving home from work and sitting in the car for an extra 5 mins with my eyes closed. It’s taking 5 long, deep breaths when I’m feeling overwhelmed. It’s celebrating a full night’s sleep.
For me, one of the most challenging parts of transitioning into motherhood was navigating what ‘looking after myself’ now meant. With juggling a business, looking after a mini human and everything else that is life, I was clinging onto the idea of what I thought self-care SHOULD be, and found myself completely exhausted, strung out and deflated because I wasn’t able to nurture myself in the way I knew best. I felt like I didn’t have the space to look after myself properly.
And you know what made it especially hard? Knowing that the business I’d created is built on the basis of looking after yourself being one of most important things you can do. I felt like a fraud while I floundered around trying to figure out my ‘new normal’.
But over time, I’ve adjusted (don’t be fooled though - it’s still a work in progress). I’ve figured out that looking after myself actually doesn’t have to take up so much time. It doesn’t have to be long walks, yoga sessions, baths, face masks or a weekend away.
It’s been a revelation in understanding that self-care looks so different to everyone, and that there’s no right or wrong way to look after yourself - just as long as you’re doing something.
So with Mother’s Day approaching, I encourage you to think about how you can do more for you. What small changes can you make, to put yourself first?
Sending you all so much love,
Kate, founder of Retreat Yourself xx
(Thought I'd throw in a photo to keep it real - we were in 10 day hotel quarantine, heading home to see my family in NZ - juggling working and living in a hotel room. Feat. mum bun, fluffy flyaways and baggy t-shirt coz #mumlife)