I am the sort of person that puts everyone else first before myself. I’ve always been that way. If someone needed help I will always offer support and an ear to listen.
I guess that’s why I became a therapist really. I like helping people, it makes me feel good.
But, as a result of that, taking care of myself can be very difficult. One thing I learnt when studying to be a counsellor is that self care is extremely important.
If we are not at 100% when working with a client then we will not be able to be fully available to them and it could hinder the process for them. Especially for someone who has not been heard their whole life. Imagine that.
So I’m taking care of myself I decided that when I could, I would do something active. This usually entails swimming at the moment as I have a lot of pain still after birth.
It helps me clear my mind, get into rhythmic breathing and focus on just one thing.
I find it incredibly important as it helps me be there 100% for my baby. It does sound a bit odd, but taking a break for an hour or so actually does wonders for me personally. It allows me to stop thinking about him for an hour, as a mum I find I think about him all the time.
Am I teaching him enough?
Is he eating enough?
Is he happy?
Will he sleep?
Is he, all in all, ok?
I’m always thinking of things for him, about him. My mother mind never turns off now. Even when I am asleep I am not in a deep sleep because I can hear him. When he wakes up and makes a noise I am instantly awake.
Perhaps other mothers feel this? Perhaps not. Does not make anyone any less or more of a mother. Everybody is different.
But what I have found incredibly important is making time for me, even if it is just an hour, half hour, whatever I can find.
Sometimes without my partner home I find it incredibly difficult to do. Bubs doesn’t sleep much in the day so I can’t really do anything about it, which also means time for me is thrown out of the window as I try and do a bit of tidying up here and there.
I find there is a lot of pressure on us mothers to be perfect; and I try to remind myself at the beginning and end of everyday that, as Winnicott said that we only need to be ‘good enough’ mothers.
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