I am the founder of Motherwell, which was inspired by my own journey through motherhood. Being a mum of 3 and also an ambitious person, at times the balance has been difficult to say the least.
From day one I felt that it was drilled into me that my sole priority now was my daughter, which of cause was what I wanted, I adored her. I went onto to have a second baby very quickly and he was very ill and spent 6 weeks in hospital before he could come home. When at home he was still an ill baby and for many months my focus was getting through each day with the two of them.
My self-care was non-existent, sleep was one of my luxuries the other was food!! I put on a lot of weight and my world my was my children.
I then went back to university and also back to work, again on the “treadmill of life”, working to the point of exhaustion I felt no one was getting to see the real me.
Practicing what I preach….
After qualifying to be a counsellor, I went on to find my niche was working with mums and often focused on where there time was for themselves, and this got me realising that I really need to practice what I preach. For me it was the fact of feeling guilty about doing something for myself or being too tired to do something for myself. I needed to have time to recharge and to be able to give my whole self to my partner and my children.
Finding the time
It has taken me years to get to the point of where I am now, and still at times need to check in with myself that I am looking after myself as well as others.
I swim on a Sunday morning, which I am loving, as the children are still waking up and don’t know I have gone, I feel so much better for the rest of the day. At first when I started going it would have been so much easier not to, butsit now forms part of my week.
I have real trouble sleeping, not getting to sleep but staying asleep, as my mind will wander and start thinking about the “tasks” that I have to do. I recently completed a Reiki course and although I don’t practice it every day, having a “toolkit” of techniques can at times help me to manage anxiety or stressful situations.
Complementary therapies really help me get a good nights sleep and I can tell when I wake up that I have had a deep sleep and feel complete refreshed.
Good nights out!!
Something that I recently discovered is that I really do enjoy a good night out! I am able to reconnect to my old self, (I did like to party!) I am able to free myself of my responsibilities just for those couple of hours. Laugher is definitely the best medicine for me.
This definitely has not been easy for me, and has taken me years to get this point, but when I am the founder of a charity that promotes self-care I really do need to lead by example. I at times do get caught up on the “treadmill of life” but this can perhaps only be for a week, whereas before it used to be months before I could see the impact my work was having on my family life.
Its not easy but stick to it….
Without preaching too much, self-care when you are a mum is an absolute must. When you make time for yourself something magical happens! Your batteries become charged and you will be the best possible version of yourself. You will laugh at your kids more than you will snap at them. Your relationship with your other half will become enhanced, you will have more of yourself to offer. I have also learnt, that by promoting selfcare you are promoting it to your children. Showing that we respect ourselves enough to look after ourselves. I used to battle with myself when resting in front of my children but now I have learnt that this is good practice. Being busy does not make me super mum!
Make time in your week, for time out. At first this may be difficult, but I am sure once you start to see the benefits you will appreciate how important this time really is.
Being a mum is a beautiful gift, but it is a job that involves juggling a lot of needs for a lot of different people. I founded Motherwell as I see time and time again in my practice that if mum is not well, the impact on the rest of the family can be serious.
Kate Blakemore is the Founder, Director and Counsellor at Motherwell CIC, a service provided for women by women, promoting positive health and wellbeing, offering a range of educational services, holistic therapies and mental health support.
Kate is also a presenter on Redshift radio, presenting the Mums' Hour show.
To find out more about Kate and what she does you can visit www.cherrytree-counselling.co.uk