Here Laura Uglow of True Vitality 4 Mums explains how taking care of yourself makes you a better mum.
Being a mum in the 21st century can be tough and there are so many challenges. We live in a multi-tasking world and are often running the home, holding down a job, bringing up children, and trying to look good in the process! It is so easy to stop caring for yourself or to get overwhelmed. But, when you stop caring for yourself, your ability to care for your child/children can be impacted and your ability to enjoy motherhood.
All mothers need me-time too and that it is so important to find some time each week to prioritise your own well-being.
My own journey through motherhood has been filled with plenty of highs as well as some of the most difficult challenges that I might ever face in my life. The one thing that remains consistent for me however is that I always continue to prioritise some time for me. It is what keeps me healthy and happy and able to deal with what life throws at me.
Some days I work out, others I walk in the country, take the time to meditate, take a nap, meet with a friend or make some time to enjoy with my husband. It’s important to tune in to your body and what it needs to allow it to re-charge.
“Being a mother is harder than anyone can ever tell you.
But also MORE rewarding than anyone can ever tell you.”
What I have learned and shared with many other mums is that being a great mum means being kind to yourself.
My best advice for all mums: Take care of yourself
Creating this time for you does take a lot more planning but you will find that once you find the time to eat well, exercise and recharge each week, lots of things will fall into place. When a mum grows her life, she can share more of her life with her children, spouse and friends. Taking and making time to refuel yourself allows you to give from your overflow and not take from your reserves.
Here are my top 5 reasons that you should prioritise some time for YOU.
1. It isn’t selfish to exercise
It will give you your body, health, fitness and confidence back and it will give your children and family their mum at their best. You will have more energy to keep up with your little ones which will mean you enjoy your time with them more. Taking care of your body and mind is incredibly important and makes you better able to be the very best mum you can be.
2. Your children are watching you and want to be like you
One thing I realised early on after having my daughter, Imogen was that, however I chose to live my life, it would have an impact on her. I wanted to be an important role model for my daughter and so my choices and habits mattered. Just over 33% of 11-year-olds are now overweight or obese and among four and five year olds it’s 22% according to the most recent figures from the National Child Measurement Programme. We have now found lots of new ways to enjoy this with Imogen. She loves to run around after us and join in with our exercise and I have enjoyed working with hundreds of women one to one and seeing their children joining in and enjoying exercising with their mummy! If I never drank water, or if I never exercised, how could I tell her that these things were important in order to be healthy?
3. Love yourself so much that you’re not willing to lose yourself
Because when you lose yourself, everyone loses. Your family needs you. Most of all, you need you. So, be kind to yourself and do what brings you joy. This might vary depending on what you need that day and how you are feeling. Spend time in nature, write in a journal, enjoy a quiet cup of tea in a cup that makes you smile, move your body, dance in the shower, bless your mess and enjoy date night with your partner (even if it’s simply a quiet movie at home after your baby is asleep!).
4. Ditch the mum guilt
It is all too easy to get caught in the trap of having to cook the perfect meal, keep the home tidy and be everything to everyone. Forgive yourself and ditch the guilt, it is so liberating! Every one of my mums that I have worked with (including myself!) has expressed to me at some point how they feel some sense of niggling guilt about taking that time out for themselves. Putting themselves first for just a short period of time feels in some way a little selfish when it really, definitely, wholeheartedly shouldn’t.
5. Realise you aren’t navigating this mum chaos alone
Reach out, share, talk, become part of the local community and be honest. All of this will help you realise that you aren’t alone on your journey. I know it can be hard to admit that we are struggling at times but motherhood is hard even at the best of times so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need to.
Find out more about True Vitality 4 Mums 12-Week Post-Natal Transformation Programme here