Mothers nourish, that’s what we do! Nutritious food, hugs and support, encouragement, kindness, good boundaries…. On a good day some of us may achieve one of these more than once.
Is it always part of mothering to suppress our own needs, for the good of the children and our families?
Mothers choose to make these adjustments for positive, creative reasons; in order to sustain the growth and health of our children, so that they can feel secure and nourished in themselves as they grow. And while they are wholeheartedly chosen, and satisfying, all is well.
Through the baby and toddler years our bodies are not truly our own while we are merged with our little ones. We may eat food (too much, too little, the wrong kind?) that doesn’t suit us in order to better nourish the others, our personal ambitions and desires might be squashed to fit in with the needs of the family.
Here’s an illustration: last Sunday, you would have found me at Tesco’s, MacDonald’s and then at Willows Farm. Without children, I would’ve never have even thought to go near these places. If I had chosen where I wanted to be with my own needs in mind I’d have been in a yoga class, had a Massage, followed by a long lunch of fabulous savouries and delicious wines!
Extending our energy in the service of others, over many years, we can become depleted, resentful and left empty when the children a grown. But as mothers we also have a responsibility to mother ourselves, to nourish and replenish our energy, to fill up our tanks.
How we do this is personal preference, but while a weekend of massage at a spa is going to be a bit much for most of us, don’t let money become a reason for not taking time out. Often a quiet cup of tea, consciously taken, in between the hustle of everyday demands, is enough to replenish the tanks a little.
Taking time out often creates feelings of guilt for women, but to do what you do, day in day out, you will need to replenish your reserves somehow. Doing so is an excellent role model for children, showing them how to look after themselves in later life.
BE A ME-TIME BANDIT
The trouble is, families will seldom encourage you to take time out. They may recognise the need, but it’s unusual for them to volunteer to make their own packed lunches, sort out the laundry and make childcare arrangements themselves so you can do your thing.
To re-fill your tanks you may have become a me-time bandit, to seize the me-time in order to do the do. It helps when you can explain…
And clearly when you’ll be out.
Don’t let the lack of money become an excuse; we may have to leave the Maldives for another time, but meanwhile here are some more affordable ideas:
A cup of tea
Yoga (aka a good stretch)
Cook lovely food with your friends
A great book
MOTHER’S DAY ME-TIME MASSAGE
Get some me-time for yourself, a friend or your Mum. You’ll be a better woman for it.