Week 3, and it’s easy in the busyness of day to day to forget about this challenge. Oops. Luckily the good habits are starting to kick in… I think.
I’ll get straight in to it:
Day 15 - Trying to start the morning off more positively. Mornings have long been a source of frustration for me. I’ve bed shared with my children since birth for reasons of self preservation and although we now generally spend the night in our own space, come 4.30am, one or other child wakes and requires a cuddle to get back to sleep. They then often stir again around 5-5.30am and if I’m not close they wake for the day which by 5pm ain’t looking so pretty. So I’ve got used to being awake early but ping ponging between children trying to extend their sleep time. I then have the challenge that on finally waking, my eldest wants to be up and about (very much like me) and my youngest (who is like my husband) needs time in bed to wake, connect and prepare himself for the day ahead……but is adamant that I need to be with him whilst he goes through this process. Anyway you don’t need all of this detail. End result, I usually feel pulled in opposite directions before the day has even started so get a bit grumpy, only made worse by the fact that my husband has slept through all of this, or at worst, has woken but been able to ignore it because, sadly (probably for both of us) neither child is demanding him. Anyway, on this day I decided I needed to accept, for now, that this was my morning, and see if I could change my mindset to embrace both the early mornings and the demands from my adoring children. It’s also worth noting that for ages I’ve attempted to keep everyone in bed until a ‘reasonable’ time but on examination, the main reason for this is because my husband doesn’t like waking early. Yet I find it stressful because I then don’t feel we have time in the morning to do everything calmly. Time for a change yes???
So I decided to just be more accepting of everyones different needs, including my own. Just that acceptance has, on the days I’ve had enough sleep, really changed my morning. I’ve spoken more patiently on hearing the demands of the kids and also, matter of factly, about what I was going to do (e.g. get up / lie with my youngest / go to the toilet (yes my youngest even LOUDLY objects to my morning toilet trip!!!). My calm but confident tone and the clear setting of boundaries seem to have made so much difference (finally I’m seeing the benefits of the parenting books I read years ago haha! - what took me so long!!). My MINDSET around it has made all of the difference. Since this breakthrough morning I’m finding I’m creating a much more pleasant start to the day. This may seem like a long entry for one day of self care but you have no idea how happy this change makes me!! On this day I also found time for guided meditation and making treats for the freezer for the weekend/week ahead.
Day 16 - the feeling of being below par hit. Glands up, head feeling dense, low energy. So I pulled back from doing more than I needed. I got some oils to support the immune system in the diffuser, ate cleanly and got an early night.
Day 17 - Pretty much a repeat of day 16 but with an afternoon nap thrown in for good measure. Yes there was parenting and some work on both days but energy conservation mode was ON!
Day 18 - I had a morning of ‘getting things done’ planned. Then my eldest woke up below par (definitely borderline unwell rather than clear cut). I felt an irritation arising. That internal dialogue started ‘typical that he’s ill today etc etc” but then I stopped and breathed and thought about it. If he was feeling anything like I had then surely I owed it to him to show compassion? We are nearing the end of the school terms which usually brings with it a bit of additional tiredness. What a valuable teaching point for him to hear that when energy is low, rather than always pushing on through, sometimes we just need to listen to our bodies and REST. I say this to my friends and my clients, why not my children? Cue a day off school for him and for me…embracing a complete shift in my plans for the day, which included a bit of time in nature, fresh air and the sunshine so that, as well as rest, he could re-energise rather than spending the whole day stuck inside. In this instance, accepting what was rather than fighting it, turned out to be fabulous self care. Plus I still wasn’t 100% so it was good for me to have a slightly lower key day.
Day 19- More accepting what was. Self care today was about embracing low energy, even though I really wanted to be back at it, and just having a quiet day with few expectations on myself beyond feeding the family, teaching my class and getting myself better. I prioritised some techniques the wonderful Kirrily of @soultunewellness showed me around the immune system, drank immune boosting teas and ate nutrient rich soup.
Day 20 - Today was about allowing myself space to reflect and to get clarity around my short to medium term priorities for me as an individual and as part of our family. A catalyst for this had been an task Kim Morrison of Twenty8 had set in her 28 days of self love group, but it was something that had been in the back of my mind for a few weeks. I use a Passion Planner for my diary and task management and it has a helpful goal setting page which is then repeated mid way through so I used this to help me work though my goals and priorities. I really believe in being clear in your intentions. When you send your hearts desire out to the universe, magic happens!
Day 21 -was a continuation of yesterdays theme but involved my husband and I looking sharing our goals and looking collectively at our priorities, whether we were headed in the right direction and agreeing any steps to correct our course. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day demands and forget to press pause and think about whether your day to day is adding up to the life you want. Pretty big stuff, but a really valuable conversation to be having either with yourself every now and then or / and with your partner.
“The future depends on what we do in the present.” - Mahatma Ghandi
So here I am at the half way point. The focus on self care has really got me thinking about how we as a family live, and how I operate within that. I sense there are some big changes a foot! Watch this space!
Until next time…
I’m Anne, Mum of two, Postpartum Doula and Yoga Teacher specialising in Pregnancy and Postpartum Yoga. I run Postpartum Preparation Workshops and Yoga Classes on the Sunshine Coast alongside In-home Postpartum Support and Yoga for new mothers who don’t want to settle with exhaustion and overwhelm being their introduction to motherhood. You can enquire about or book my services by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click here: