Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Where do I start?! I’m a mom of 4, apparently that in itself deserves a medal! People I meet applaud me for even making it out of the house, I’m not sure why? My life was my choice, I don’t consider myself any different from moms of 1, 2, 22, however many. I’m a mom. Simple as!
I have, however, through the years of being a mom, experienced the many ups and downs, roller coasters of emotions and self-doubt that most of us experience. I’ve neglected myself, put myself at the bottom of the list and made everyone and everything else a priority before myself and as a result suffered the consequences mentally and physically. But I came out the other side. I learned that to be the best mom (and wife), I could be I needed to put myself first (sometimes!). I spent years running around for everyone else, feeding, washing, cooking, driving them to places and forgot in the meantime to look after myself. That age old saying, you can’t pour from an empty cup is so, so true. I was running on empty literally.
After my youngest was born 4 years ago I changed everything. I prioritised myself again and as a result, I have happy healthy kids and I’m happy and healthy.
It wasn’t easy. My automatic response was to make sure everyone else was ok before myself but slowly I unlearned my bad habits and started introducing change. I started getting up a few minutes before everyone else and starting the day calm and slowly. I make myself a warm drink and take a few minutes to either sit and breathe or write in my journal what I’m grateful. This in itself has been life-changing.
I used to start the day when the first child woke up and demanded breakfast and from there the day carried on at 100mph. Starting slowly in my own time means my whole day has slowed down and I have the space to breathe and deal with situations as they arise.
I also started doing yoga, going on to do my 200hr yoga teacher training to be able to share it with others, because again, it quite literally changed my life.
Yoga allows me to be free and to be myself. When I step on my yoga mat I’m not just someone's mom or wife anymore. I have no one to answer to, I have nowhere to be and nothing to do other than be present. Taking this practice off my mat and into the real world has also been groundbreaking. I don’t spend hours doing yoga. Some days it's 5 minutes when everyone has gone to bed. Sometimes it’s the luxury of 30 minutes uninterrupted. Sometimes it’s time shared with numerous kids and dogs, but that’s good too!
I’ve started introducing yoga and mindfulness to the kids. Not only does it involve them in my passions and help them to understand the benefits I get from it, but it also equips them with vital tools to take into the world.
I used to think I was selfish for taking time to myself when I could be dedicating it to my kids and family. Now I realise I’m a better person for it and that in itself is all I can do for them.
Written By Zoe Woodward
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