Self care

Imagine if we took on the advice we give to others

I’m not going to sugar coat how my life has been this week. It has sucked.

Henry caught a cold last week and he’s still not better. He kindly shared his sore throat with Sam and I too. So, for the sake of not infecting others, Mainly Music and swimming lessons were off the cards this week, which Henry and I both love (and need) for different reasons. Nonetheless, I’ve been feeling guilty about how much time we’ve spent at home.

Being housebound has given Henry ample opportunity to find new boundaries to push. I feel like I’ve spent the whole week screaming “don’t touch!” and “stop it!” and “why aren’t you listening?” While I’ve been focusing on housework, Henry’s been posting things down the drain, helping himself to the fridge and taking single bites out of all the fruit, smashing pot plants, refusing to wear a nappy but then getting upset when he poos on the outdoor mat and walks through it (all funny in hindsight…).

Pregnancy has been physically tough this week. I’ve had pains I’ve never had before and have found the simplest of tasks (even breathing, haha!) physically demanding.  Instead of listening to my body and being in awe of the incredible things it’s doing to sustain the life inside of me, I’ve been feeling like my body is failing me. I’ve been overdoing it and then feeling guilty and frustrated when I’ve had no choice but to sit with my feet up and put the TV on to entertain Henry.

Pregnancy has also been emotionally tough this week. We’ll be 35 weeks tomorrow, and although we should still have a few weeks before baby arrives, life has taught us that not every pregnancy and childbirth journey goes to plan. After having lost a baby last year, I’m still grieving. I’m also trying to manage new fears about childbirth that my naivety shielded me from the first time round. I’ve been feeling guilty about passing these worries onto Sam, for choosing anxiety over joy and for letting the past impact my abundance mindset.

Sam’s had a huge week at work and has had a perforated ear drum on top of his sore throat. He’s left home before Henry and I have woken up and when he’s gotten home, he’s found it hard to relax and hasn’t felt well. I’ve been feeling guilty that he’s come home to a house that’s littered with toys and dishes, yet empty of any food for dinner (even though he couldn’t care less, and says so!). Marriage is a tough gig when you’re both trying to pour from an empty cup!

Sam came home yesterday to find me in tears. I vented and cried some more. He then said all the right things (he even passed some of the buck to pregnancy hormones – smart man!). He sympathised, he empathised and then he put Henry to bed even though he was exhausted and it was my night to do it. Ah, tomorrow is a new day! I thought to myself.

Well, the new day has arrived and I’ve found myself in tears again, with a toddler who’s driving me just as crazy as yesterday. Mum called in what I thought was the wrong moment, but it turned out to be the perfect one. I offloaded all of the above to her and then some.

Mum told me to be kind to myself. She told me to listen to my body. She told me that Henry isn’t damaged in any way from having spent more time at home than usual. She told me that at this point, I need to focus on only the things that have to be done, and not what I’d like to be done. She told me that it’s okay to still be grieving the baby we lost. She told me that I’ll be able to manage two children. She told me to just put one foot in front of the other. She told me that the house doesn’t have to be immaculate. She told me that, yes, toddlers are annoying and would test the patience of any Saint.

My mum offered not once, but multiple times to come over today and help me. I said no – I just needed to vent. Little did I know that she was sitting there with an ice pack on her knee that’s damaged…Mum’s are bloody legends, aren’t they!

When I recollect the meaningful advice that my parents, husband, friends and family have given me throughout my life, I also recollect the pieces of advice I’ve given to them. And you know what? There’s not much difference between the two. There’s so much merit in that kind of consistency, isn’t there?

When I take a moment to think how different this week would have been if I took heed of the advice I would’ve given another mum in the same situation, I realise it would’ve been more enjoyable and riddled with less guilt. In fact, my life as a whole would look totally different if I took heed of my own advice more often.

We all tell our loved ones that they’re worthy of self-care and a whole range of other amazing things. We tell them that because it’s true. Surely, we should extend the same truth to ourselves.

So, starting today, that truth, that self-love and that self-worth is what I’ll manifest. I encourage you to do the same, whether you’re a mum or not!

Have a great weekend, and may your week ahead be filled with just the right things, at just the right time.

Beth x

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