I am delighted to bring you a very special post about motherhood and self-care. I myself am not a mother so I called on my wonderful sister to share some pearls of wisdom. I have watched my sister Emma from the sidelines in admiration. Emma creates such a nurturing space for her children and somehow also manages to still accomplish so much in her work as a writer and textiles artist. For many women, having children can be quite the unravelling. Motherhood requires so much energy and can be as equally exhausting as it is exhilarating!
Emma Peters: MUMMA + WRITER + ARTIST
In the grand scheme of things, I am a mumma-rookie, being one for only 3 years, 2 months, 23 days and 4.5 hours (every hour counts!). Before babies (BB) my greatest skill was self-care. I was incredibly good at booking acupuncture appointments, seeing my naturopath, going to yoga, quality time with my friends, date-nights with my beloved, eating well, going to the hairdressers, reading books, going to bed early, getting myself dressed beyond yoga pants and a t-shirt, showering, deep breathing… it pretty much all went down the drain for a few months post-baby arrival.
Slowly I have reacquainted myself with some of these things, from bottom to top of the list. Since my second baby was born in September, I’ve worked my way back up to “hairdressers” – a huge achievement!
A friend recently reminded me that acts of pleasure don’t need to be grand gestures. Just small moments in the day that move your head from an external giving, nurturing and providing space, to an internal giving, nurturing and providing space - a reminder that you are an individual, unique soul.
For me, creative acts are my greatest pleasure. Finding the joy of creative flow of writing, sewing, knitting, drawing, reading, researching is my ultimate pleasure zone. Breaking down a project into bite-sized (or nap-sized) pieces and indulging in them instead housework makes me feel like me. Everyone has their own version of this. All it takes is reminding yourself what you enjoyed before babies, and modify it so it fits within your new world of mumma-hood.
Sometimes I go *really* crazy and enlist some extra support to allow for self-care. What I’ve learnt is that family and friends love feeling like you need them – so it’s only fair to let them help. And let them help in their own way. I was told once, that if your helper’s child-care philosophies don’t align with yours, only intervene if it’s actually going to harm the child – this let’s your support team feel empowered to actually help. Plus, they get to develop a special bond with your child. Never a bad thing!
Like the air-hostess reminds us before a flight to secure your own oxygen mask before your child’s (which I would most likely ignore in a real emergency), you need to place your own self-care as a priority. If the captain goes down, the ship will sink right to the bottom. Here’s to staying afloat!
I highly recommend you also pop over to see Emma's Textile website. Her work is beautiful.