One thing I’ve noticed over and over again in both myself, my female friends, colleagues and random gals on Instagram, is this widespread notion that we can’t or shouldn’t put ourselves first.
We journey into adulthood having watched our mothers (in most cases) run a tight ship and we can’t help but follow in those very tidy and well-kept footsteps. Whether you are a mother or not I think that maternal type instinct kicks in, especially when you move into your own home. You want everything to be “just so”, as you’ve been used to and very quickly it becomes your role and your role alone to keep on top of it all. Those modern men of ours are very well looked after and are still accustomed to relying on the women in their life to do a certain amount for them. I know my boys wouldn’t deny this as the case.
Now this next sentence might make a few of you run for the hills, but I do think there is something quite nice about taking care of your man. Still…. in our modern society, where pressure is coming from so many different angles, it is so important for us ladies to take time out too.
It is so easy for us just to hit autopilot when we walk through the door after a long 9-5, picking up the shoes and bags in the hallway as we go. I know my work day often ends with washing up, meal prep, feeding the dog, hoovering, more washing up, tidying, homework, washing and then bed. Only to get up and start it all over again. It’s non-stop… we look after everyone else and forget about the most important – ourselves.
When I started my diet and exercise regime earlier this year, I was constantly feeling guilty. Instead of coming home and cracking on with the tea, I was getting into my running gear and heading out for a daily run. To begin with I found myself rushing, trying to get back before Jonny got home so I could make sure he had tea waiting or I was cutting my run short because Dan needed help with his homework. It was exhausting – as well as doing everything else I was before; I was also fitting in 3 miles runs and workouts. As you can imagine I felt burnt out, but whereas before I would have quit my diet and my runs, I decided to make a change and do something for me for once.
I stopped feeling guilty for having my time. I stopped feeling bad for working on myself. I stopped worrying that everything wouldn’t get done if I wasn’t there to do it. I stopped trying to fit everything in, every day.
So now, each day I try and make sure I do at least one thing that makes me happy. Whether it’s going for that run, or having a bath, or taking an hour to read a book or a magazine, even just to go on the sunbed at Malvern Glow and have myself a little 9 minute holiday. I’ve started making myself a priority. Honestly, it still doesn’t sit right with me at times, but it’s vital.
So, ladies…. I challenge you to do you – do whatever you want at least once a day. Fight that mom guilt, don’t worry about the tea for a change, forget about the washing up. If you can do you, for you, just a little every day you’re going to find a happier you. And a happier you makes for a happier home, which benefits everyone!