If I asked who was leading a busy life right now, I would expect almost all of you would respond with a resounding yes.
It’s said that we live in the busy age, where a common response to “How are you?” is “I am so busy…”
Being a mum probably elevates you to the top of the busyness pile. It really is a 24 hour job, with night time feeding, morning routines, drop offs, pick ups, daytime activities, logistics management, teaching, caring, ferrying around, shopping, managing the household, working, dinner times, bedtimes, homework, play time and much, much more.
With so much happening and so many people relying on you, it is easy to see how you start to ignore your own needs and prioritise those around you.
Of course that beautiful little baby that you grew and gave birth to needs you. You are her everything and you are responsible for keeping her alive, teaching her, nurturing her, entertaining her and providing for her. That in itself is a huge responsibility.
Multiply that by the number of children you have. That is the role of mum covered. Then you have the role of wife or partner to cater for. And perhaps that of employee. Of course you will no doubt be a friend upon whom others rely. The list goes on.
So where do you feature? How much time and effort do you put into looking after yourself and catering for your own needs? Are you bottom of the list?
Mums are a critical cog in the family machine. To keep that machine running as it should be, all parts need to be serviced, maintained and treated gently. Put quite simply, if that cog breaks, then down goes the whole machine.
Every day I go to my local CrossFit gym and train for an hour. It is a non-negotiable part of my day and a very enjoyable part of my day. In that hour I socialise, challenge my body, focus my mind and set the tone for the rest of the day. It tops up both my mental and physical reserves.
Sadly a very common response I get from other mums is that they simply could not take that time away from their busy schedule. That it is wishful thinking that they would be able to free up enough time for this sort of commitment.
The fact that I rise at 4.30am each morning to do this is irrelevant. Even if this were only available to me at 7am or 8am then I would still do it. You see, taking time to look after myself and to focus on me makes me a better person.
Physically I am stronger and less likely to catch the bugs and viruses that the girls bring home with them. But it is so much more than that. I am happier, I am more confident, I am investing in myself, I have something which only belongs to me and I start every day with a smile.
What my family gets is a positive, energised, fit, healthy and strong mum. What my business gets is a focused, disciplined and fulfilled worker. What my friends get is a happy and positive woman.
Exercise is just one example of course. That may or may not be your thing. In fact it may absolutely be your worst thing. And that is fine. You may be creative. An hour working on a new painting or writing in your journal may soothe your soul and fill up your reserves. A walk along the beach with only your thoughts may be your thing.
We need to make sure that we are looking after our mental health and physical health and also that we are filling up our happiness buckets along the way.
Doing something, which we enjoy, which provides fulfilment to us will inevitably lead to higher self-esteem, more positivity and often more energy.
Investing in yourself, even small amounts of time or money will allow the best version of you to turn up. Instead of feeling cranky and frustrated, you may bring a smile and passion. Instead of feeling tired and unmotivated you will have a spring in your step.
So the next time you think that taking some time for yourself, or spending some money on yourself is selfish ask yourself this. Would you expect your children to grow and flourish without excitement, fun, enjoyment and positive experiences in their lives? No, I don’t think so. And I don’t think that you can either.
Do you take time out of each day for just you? Does it make you a better mum/wife/friend? Please share in the comments below.