I am a girly girl - and a bit of a gym bunny.
Why am I making this revelation you may wonder?
Because these are two of the things that suffered during the time I was pregnant and in the first year of Master H's life. The reasons they suffered were varied - close relatives dying, moving accross the country, illness and pain due to pregnancy but most of all and especially after the baby was born - feelings of guilt and selfishness.
The reason that it is in line with the title of today's post is because I am a big (huge) believer in the concept that you absolutely need to look after yourself before you are able to look after your child or you entire family to the best of your ability.
I believe that it is really really important to remember to be a bit selfish every now and again - and that your partner shold heed this and give you the capacity to achieve it.
For me that means taking the time during the day to wash and blow dry my hair (if fact this was one of the things that helped me to feel human again in those first few weeks after giving birth), shave my legs, paint my nails and let them to dry and to take the time to get dressed in cliothes that make me feel good about myself. Not all of these things every day of course - but just something small each day. Sometimes it means ignoring the pile of washing up on the bench or the fact that there are clothes to be hung on the line!
I also go to the gym and run - quite a bit - although this is something that has only really started happening again regularly in the past couple of months. Although I did recommence going to the gym when Master H was only 8 weeks old. I wasn't fazed by leaving him with the carers at the gym to take the hour or so for myself. It gave me some sanity it gave me some 'me time'.
Neither am I worried by glamming it up and heading out with some girl friends for a nice dinner and a quiet drink.
I do all these things because it helps me to have a little of that independence I had pre baby back again and for that little bit of time I feel like me.
I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others (I am working on that) and when I am out and about I often look at other mothers who seem around my age. I do notice that there appears to be many many mothers out there who don't seem to take that time to care for themselves - and I'm not just talking physically - I believe it helps mentally as well.
While becoming a mother changes your expercience and perception of life and your opinion of what is most important irrevocably - I don't believe it changes who you are deep down and I wonder if there are many mothers out there who begin to define themselves by their new role in life.
Do you ever catch yourself saying - I'm a mother now - I can't do, wear etc that?
If you do then perhaps you need to question your thinking?
I beleve that it is good for both you and your family to retain a little of the old pre- baby youthfullness in there..
I am not denying that it is not difficult to let go of the guilt and selfishness associated with giving yourself something back - it is hard - but the rewards you get back from taking that little bit of time are well worth it.
Your family will have a happier mom and you will be setting a good examplle for your children.
This post was written for the Steady Mom 30 minute blog challenge.
(I also just read this georgous post on the same topic by Soulemama - that'll teach me for ignoring my reader!)