As mothers, fathers, carers of others some times it feels like a never ending pile of jobs needing to be done before we can get to ourselves, everything more important than us.
From washing to paying bills meal planning, wardrobe planning sock sorting, cleaning out cupboards you name it there are a million things than need doing before we can sit down and check in with how were doing. Often collapsing in bed exhausted still without giving ourselves a moment.
I’m a huge carer and naturally put everyone before me. I have a huge amount of empathy which is both a gift and can also be hard on myself. Which is why I follow this line of work, I figure it's better I use my gift of empathy inspiring lots of people to express themselves, than run myself down looking after everyone before myself.
When my 3 children were very little there was a period of time where I was homeschooling/ unschooling my eldest who was 6, he had come out of school as he was really unhappy and I just couldn't bear to see him so sad he had begged us to be home-schooled. It was the most inconvenient time because my middle child was 20 months and my youngest was 6 months. And as you can imagine I was up to my eyes in babies, washing, nappies and basically chaos. My world had both contracted and expanded at the same time. I had lots of people to care for but few places I felt safe to go. With the age of social media my face book feed was filled with peoples exciting worlds and mine had just gone crazy overnight. Looking back I'm surprised I didn't completely crumble, there were times I felt pretty close to the edge of sanity but the things I learnt during this period of time were invaluable.
I noticed that when I became lost inside myself, too tired to think straight, everything around me would crumble. The kids would be harder work nothing would flow. So I began to see myself as a power source and that my well-being was a number 1 priority.
I paid to be a member of a spa with a creche and made sure I used it diligently 3 x a week. I would sit in the spa and literally untangle myself from the inside out. Letting go of my stress and self coaching myself with positive thoughts. I would sit looking at beautiful jewellery in yummy mummy magazines and would fill my day dreams with beautiful imagery of a world full of style.
I would invest in great shoes my favourite being my golden cowboy boots, hand bags and cashmere jumpers these key pieces would see me through all sizes and anything else was replenish-able. They kept me feeling like me with a bit of my swagger alive despite inside feeling like I’d fallen down a plug hole never to return.
Now as I look back I really feel that it was this diligent commitment to myself that kept us all together. I mastered the art of well-being so much a lot of the time I felt truly dreamy despite being surrounded by chaos. I decided to see my children like a training in zen Buddhism despite having very little time to sit still I learnt how to truly let go and be happy anyway occupying myself with things I could control, my style, my emotions and my imagination. It truly become a survival art form of which I became very good at. As it happened miraculous things happened in those years I made loads of amazing friends, started a school with a group of like-minded people had a massive love-in with my kids and now years on I look back at the photographs with so much joy I just wish I could revisit those days again.
They were one of the hardest times of my life and the most incredible and thanks to those three crazy children they boot camped me into I truly learning the importance of putting myself first so I could have what it takes to look after them, I now just have so much gratitude for those times.