"42 Days of Self Care" Challenge - Part 5

Gosh, 42 days can feel like a long time to commit to something focused on yourself!! In a world obsessed with immediate results, 24/7 availability, ticking boxes, people wanting everything done yesterday it’s easy to see why we women are in a rush to show we’ve got this motherhood thing down pat in the first few weeks, to demonstrate how ‘capable’ we are and that we are ‘bouncing back’ as well as the next person. Allowing myself permission to focus on self care for this long feels really indulgent (yes, there’s that word again, the one that popped up last week), but logically I KNOW that self care should be part of my EVERY DAY, part of YOUR every day. Yet I bet it’s not. Not really. It just shows how deep social conditioning runs in terms of us feeling we are here to serve others, not to serve ourselves.

So I am on week 5 of the challenge and if you are still following along then I admire your staying power. As for where I am at, there are some pretty big discussions going on in our household. Life changing discussions. I’m not going to pretend that this challenge hasn’t played in to how those discussions have gone. Really focusing on self care, day to day, moment to moment, is powerful stuff. To date I’ve been reporting back with a daily ‘diary’ of self care, but I kinda feel that things have moved beyond that this week so I’ll just share as things come to mind.

Photo thanks to Javier Allegue Barros

Photo thanks to Javier Allegue Barros

I guess what first comes to mind is the resolution on a discussion me and my Husband had been having for the last week or so. You may or not know that we moved to the Sunshine Coast just 10 months ago. Our aim was to find somewhere we really wanted to live, then create our work around that. Sounds very simplistic I guess, perhaps even naivie, but at the time it felt like the right thing to do, and so, it was the right thing to do and we did it! I’m a firm believer in the saying "The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." (thanks John Powell for those words of wisdom). So 10 months in to the Sunny Coast and nearly 1 year since we arrived in Australia (our 3rd international move in a decade), it was time to check whether on a day to day, week to week, month to month basis, things were working for us. There was, in this instance, a catalyst for the discussion, my husband had a job offer to do something he loves…….in………Adelaide of all places! but regardless, we would have been having the discussion, just with different options on the table.

Long story short, this year has been tough. Tough in a way we hadn’t fully expected, nor could have predicted, and being offered the security of employment in his field of expertise and passion right now is a big pull….despite the fact we had planned to settle in the Sunny Coast for the foreseeable (in our heads, forever). We now have land here on the Sunny Coast, planned to build our dream home, one kid settled in school and one just settling in family day care. My Husband and I have launched our own separate businesses in the last 6 months (one of which we hadn’t planned), so this was by no means a small decision. Yet somehow, the call of Adelaide was strong for us both. We have both been feeling the need for a little more simplicity than two new businesses, two kids 5 and under and a house build, (plus a few health issues thrown in to the mix) was giving us. So in the interest of our own self care and for the wellbeing of our little family we agreed that in the New Year we will be moving to Adelaide. Woah. I did not see that coming a month ago. But it feels goooooood! Sometimes looking at these big lifestyle issues and accepting some upheaval in order to move toward more balance on a day to day basis is worthwhile.

Photo thanks to Gabrielle Cole

Photo thanks to Gabrielle Cole

A niggle from the discussions around Adelaide for me was that there are some patterns of my behaviour, that I’m increasingly aware of, which impact on how I interact with my family and with myself, which left unaddressed will just follow me wherever I go. No change of scenery or new city is going to magically erase those things. Yet these niggles are things that I do not feel are an integral part of who I am. In fact they feel quite at odds with who I am. In the quest for acceptance of “I am” and everything that is encompassed within that, I need to dive in to this deeper. Discussions earlier in the week with a Bestie had touched on some of these things in quite a raw and vulnerable way, and the Path of Love retreat was suggested as a way to kick start addressing the issue. This is a retreat I have heard about before and had put in the ‘too difficult right now’ basket, but the desire to find some much needed shifts (thanks again Rebecca Home for the 42 day self care challenge) made me really question whether I was the one creating barriers to change. One heart centred (and slightly nerve wracking) conversation with Hubby later and we agree that I’m going to the Path of Love retreat in March. Eeeek!. I was filled with equal amounts of joy and terror, the latter mainly related to the fact, as I mentioned last week, I have never slept in a different room to my 3 year old, never mind spent a week in a different state! I tell myself that the Birthing from Within retreat in February will be great practice for both of us. I also would like to acknowledge what an amazing human being I married. Given this year, the planned move, my husband starting a new job mid February, it was no small ask for him to be open to the possibility of me going on the retreat. Yet he did so in full trust that I knew what I needed and, regardless of the logistical challenges ahead, his answer was beautifully simple. ‘We’ll make it work”.

Now you might think that with all of these plans lining up for 2019 I’d be taking a breather from any self work but I’m a big believer in listening to the universe and there was something more immediate that kept tapping on my door of possibilities and that was a Family Constellation workshop run by the wonderful Aubri at Life with Aubri. I stumbled across the workshop details a good while before the event itself but had written it off because it clashed with my morning teaching. Yet I found myself marking me as ‘interested’ in the event. Fast forward a few weeks and another reminder about it pops up and I notice that the time has been moved to the afternoon. My initial thoughts were ‘damn, now that clashes with a beautiful yoga workshop I’d had my eye on’, but my neck was still pretty immobile so no yoga for me. Was it a sign?? I’d literally just had the chat about the Path of Love retreat and whilst part of me was saying, yep, that’s your fill for now! Another part of me was saying ‘its been a while since you’ve done much of these kinds of things, best get some practice before the retreat!’. I don’t say that to minimise my true interest in the Family Constellations workshop. On a daily basis heaps of events and workshops flash past my eyes, yet this one caught and held my interest. So a couple of days later I found myself at my first Family Constellation workshop. I’m not even going to try and do the experience justice here. What I will say is that it was a real eye and heart opening experience and if you ever feel called to be involved then I highly recommend it. If you are local to the Sunshine Coast and have an interest in this work, or similar, then definitely take a look at Aubri’s offerings.

Photo thanks to Tyler Nix

Photo thanks to Tyler Nix

That feels like A LOT to be sharing with you in one week, or to be sharing with you at all actually. Truth be told, it was a lot to be experiencing in one week, but despite not being able to physically move for much of it due to my neck, so many feelings of positivity came out of it. This post feels very introspective and I find myself asking ‘how is sharing this useful to you beautiful readers’. Yet in so many ways it is relevant because this challenge is about looking at the importance of self care and how through ensuring you allow yourself the time and space for self care, it shapes not just those moments but filters in to everything around you. Had I not been carving out time for meditation, self reflection, yoga, time and connection with friends, ensuring I got good sleep, becoming clearer on healthy boundaries and everything else I’ve really stepped up in these last few weeks, there is no way I would have been able to make decisions about our future with such clarity as to what I needed, never mind being able to have heart centred, compassionate and constructive conversations with my husband about it. When you are tired and disconnected from yourself even the small decisions can feel impossible. A really good indicator for me in terms of whether I’m overdoing things is when I find myself really procrastinating over the smallest most inconsequential decision. Ever noticed that about yourself?

So aside from the biggies above, honourable mentions in the realm of self care go to a ‘cup filling’ morning with an amazing friend, baking goodies at her house whilst the kids played and argued together. Also to the very basic self care of a leg wax so that I could happily do pool duty in the first week of school holidays when the boys have a week of intensive lessons.

One week left of the challenge, and since the week has already actually passed I can promise you there are no more big surprises. You may (or may not) be asking ‘What does the move to Adelaide mean for Blissful Mothers?”

I’ll certainly be sad to be moving on from the birth place of Blissful Mothers, especially at a time when it is still so new. I hear on good authority that there are also mothers-to-be and new mothers in Adelaide :) so whilst I may go a little quiet whilst we relocate, and whilst I won’t be offering in-home postpartum support and yoga in the Sunshine Coast for the foreseeable future, Blissful Mothers will continue to grow, albeit in an unexpected direction. I’ll still be sharing plenty of valuable information on supporting yourself and building your village through pregnancy and in to postpartum. There’s plenty planned for 2019, so watch this space!

Until next time…

Anne x

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 anne@blissfulmothers.com.au or click here: