When I meet a new client for the first time, quite often during our first consultation she will say at some stage that she doesn’t think she is a good mum. While there is no simple answer to being a good mum (except for always trying our best) I believe the key is really about how we treat ourselves. If we run ourselves down until we have little to give our children, then it’s difficult to be the ‘good mum’ we’d like to be. So self care is simply about taking the best care of ourselves so that we have enough extra to give to our family. You know how the saying goes by now – “you can’t pour from an empty cup”!
This has to be the most important aspect of your life where you can make the smallest changes and see the biggest results. Sleep is the basis of all energy! It determines SO much about how your next day will run. The difficulty is that everyone has their own unique ideal quantity of sleep – some people can thrive on 6 hours of sleep while others require the full 8 hours of sleep to fully recharged for another day ahead. Of course, children and babies require much more than us adults. The lesson is, whatever age you are you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. The quality of your sleep also comes into play here and a variety of things can effect that such as alcohol, food stress and of course kids waking you during the night. In our Facebook group I will go through strategies to improve both the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Food is fuel and the purpose of food is to give us the energy to move our bodies and for our cells and organs to do their job each day to keep our body working properly. The better fuel we put into our car, the better it performs, and our body isn’t any different. It is the food you eat that will determine how much energy you have for your day ahead. It is the food you eat that will determine whether you crash or soar between lunch and dinner everyday. The food you have eaten can also help you survive dinner, baths and bedtime with energy to spare so that you can have some time with your partner. Yes, it is possible to not be completely exhausted by 7.30pm every night! Join me in our Facebook Group where I will give you strategies to have energy to spare once the kids have gone to sleep.
Food is medicine as well. Gut health contributes at least 80% of our immune system and the only way to influence that is with the food we eat that is then taken to the gut. We have two groups of bacteria that live in the gut – the ‘good’ bacteria who help our immune system and keep us healthy and the ‘bad’ bacteria that don’t help our immune system and also work to destroy and takeover from the ‘good’ bacteria. Our aim has to be to increase the population of the ‘good’ bacteria while decreasing the population of the ‘bad’ bacteria. Doing this will increase our body’s natural immune system resulting in getting sicker less frequently and for shorter durations with less severity – sounds awesome doesn’t it? We can easily do this with the food that we eat. The quickest (perhaps not the easiest) way to do this is to reduce your sugar intake – and that of your children – as this is what the ‘bad’ bacteria feed on. So essentially we want to starve them of their food so they die out. In our Facebook Group I will give you more strategies to increase the population of ‘good’ bacteria and boost your immune system permanently.
I talk a lot about the mental load of mums and how to reduce it. It is the number 1 cause of our stress, meltdowns and generally makes us feel like we’re not coping when it is overloaded. The Mental Load is universally acknowledged as everything we try to keep in our heads throughout a day. It’s the things that continue to run through our head when we try to go to sleep at night and the things that keep running through our heads after a child has woken us at 3am. It’s like a juggling act going on in your head – and we have to get those balls out of there and somewhere else so that our minds can rest while we are both awake and asleep. Why? When our mental load is at capacity it leaves us with little energy for other things and leads to fatigue and overwhelm and general unhappiness. None of us want that! The easiest way to fix this is to get things out of our head an onto paper (or even lists on your phone) so that you don’t constantly have to remember so many things. We work on this a lot in our free Facebook Group and many of our members are getting new strategies on a weekly basis to help reduce their mental load – you should join us there.
Want to be a better mum – take care of yourself!
When we have plenty of energy, we can run around with the kids. When we’ve had plenty of sleep (remember that rare phenomenon?) our energy levels remain higher for the entire day. When our immune system is supported we get sick less frequently, for less duration and with less severity. When we are not thinking about what is for dinner every single day, we can be present with our kids and just spend some time with them. When all of things work together, we have more patience to deal with the kids arguing and fighting and all those things that they struggle with as they are learning about themselves as they grow. So here is the takeaway for you today – you are already a great mum because you’ve read this and want to do your best! If you’re ready to be better, that is where I can help you learn to take care of yourself and your family. There are a variety of ways in which you can work with me – some are more passive such as our Facebook Page and Facebook Group but you can book in a free 15min chat to see if you’d like to work with me directly.