Our guest blogger today is Melissa Hays from Cocoon and Cradle. Mel is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Holistic Sleep Coach, Paediatric Nurse, Midwife and mum of 2 (talk about someone who does it all!!).
In this blog post Mel shares some great, but simple tips for how to take care of yourself and fill up your own cup, while balancing the crazy demands of motherhood. Take it away, Mel...
After my second baby was born, my sense of balance was thrown out of whack. I continued on an adrenal rush to ‘do it all, and finished my studies to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Holistic Sleep Coach, started my own business, and nurtured a family of four. Very quickly I became exhausted and realised that I was ignoring my own advice on the importance of self-care.
Nourishing yourself in the madness of motherhood, will ensure that you have the emotional reserves to be there for others too. I am not talking about extravagant girls' trips, although that does sound nice, more so learning about how to nourish yourself on a daily basis. Try beginning in small, simple ways. Notice the difference in how you feel, and in turn, how your family feels.
Create a ritual
Beginning or ending your day with a daily ritual will give you a moment to sit and reflect. My daily ritual is my coffee time, but I know some mums like to get up before the kids to journal or will do a relaxing activity after the kids have gone to bed.
Nourish your spirit
Do something that makes you happy! Think about what nourishes your soul. I like to get into nature and take a regular yoga class, but what makes you happy may be completely different. You may like getting back into an old hobby, joining a book club or learning how to meditate.
Give yourself a mental break
Often we are our own harshest critics. Instead, try talking to yourself like you would talk to a close friend. Physically pat yourself on the back or hug yourself and verbalise what a great job you are doing. Often these simple acts can move you towards a more positive mental state.
Nourish your body
Prioritise healthy eating for you as much as you do for your kids. By focusing on eating nutritious meals and drinking plenty of water, you will find that you feel so much more balanced and energised. If you are short on time, like me, try doing a cook-up on Sunday when your partner is home or get help from a meal delivery service.
Focus on rest
One of the best pieces of parenting advice - Don’t do anything during your baby’s nap time that you could do while they are awake. I know it is tempting to catch up on all of the jobs, but making sure that you rest as much as you can while your little one sleeps is so essential. Then after they go to bed at night, focus on your own sleep hygiene. Having a predictable and relaxing routine
for yourself really helps!
I know it can be hard, but please ask for help. One of the reasons that motherhood feels so hard, is because we were never meant to mother alone. Seek the support of your partner, friends and family, focus on building your village, and if you can afford it consider paid help such as a cleaner.
Remember mama, self-care is not selfish.