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It taints our successes and hardens our failures. GUILT.
It flounces, unannounced, into the delivery room, sidles up and lodges itself right there, between the final excruciating moments of delivery and the first drips of nourishment that our bundle of joy receives. And it’s going nowhere without a fight. GUILT.
Tackling guilt on. Head on.
We’re not always very good at doing things to nurture ourselves, are we? Whether it’s the children’s needs (particularly overwhelming during the pre-school years), our partners’, running a home or our career, it’s often hard to make the time to nurture our souls…without spoiling the experience by piling on yet more bucket-fulls of guilt over ‘indulging’ ourselves when there is so much else to do. Or better things to spend our money on.
Oh, the guilt.
If you’ve navigated your way through the pre-school years, carefully deposited your children in their teacher’s arms (or happily chucked them in the general direction of the classroom door and run away as quickly as you can…the choice was yours) and skidded dog-eared and guilt-ridden into middle age (we’ll call this age the ‘Sunshine years’) then I applaud you. In fact, could you drop me a line to let me know how it’s done? If like me, you’re fairly sure that GUILT is the universal Motherhood condition,
I hear ya. Like, really hear YOU
In fact, I’ll go further than that. I am talking directly to you right NOW.
What if I told you that you can acknowledge that guilt, say hi to it and then carry on with your day doing things that make you AND your family happy without being ‘ridden by it’, without feeling you belong to everyone else but not to yourself? Well, I am on a mission to show that it can be done. In fact, I’m doing it right now.
Actually, let’s be honest, I am doing my best to do that right now, but I don’t always get it right. AND THAT’S OK.
Let the guilt go
Guilt begins to loosen its grip when we accept that we are going to make mistakes along the way and that that is totally OK. When we accept that we are not the only one getting it wrong when we stop comparing ourselves to the idealised version of motherhood that we began this journey with. When we abandon the belief that living an insta-perfect life is achievable guilt gets decidedly uncomfortable.
When we begin to find ways to nurture ourselves that we can incorporate easily into our daily lives without causing us to drop the parenting ball, that’s when we really start to get the upper hand on guilt. To me, that’s the essence of self-care. The little things that give us moments of calm and clarity without asking us to set those things that are important to us aside. The little things that make a difference to our day. Those are the things that really matter and we are all capable of bringing those little things into our own lives as I outlined in my International Women’s Day post.
Make a commitment to yourself
Establishing a self-care practice relies on one small act of self-love: making a commitment to yourself to spend at least 5 minutes a day doing something to benefit your own sense of well-being. Some days, beef that up to half an hour or more if you can. If you miss a day, that’s ok. You can even practice self-care then simply by giving yourself permission not to feel guilty about. It really is simple.
To help you get started on your own self-care journey, I have created a FREE 30 days of self-care calendar that is jam-packed full of easy self-care prompts. Most of the prompts will lead to activities that take only 5-10 minutes to complete and I encourage you to put your own spin on each day’s prompt to make your journey a truly bespoke one.
My 30 days of self-care calendar is yours FREE when you subscribe to my newsletter:
And, to get you started, here’s another idea to add to my Top Tip for March and which you can try right now:
…and play it LOUD, really let your body and your voice flow with the music. Then come back and leave a note in the comments or over in my Facebook Group to let me know what your anthem is and how it makes you feel.
Thank you for joining me today and I’ll be back on Sunday with more guilt-free self-care tips.