Redefining motherhood – Taking care of yourself

Good morning lovelies! I am super happy to have you here and just had the feeling that this topic is for everybody. Women, men, mothers, dads. Doesn’t matter. But I often have a feeling that men have a more natural handling when it comes to taking care of themselves. Or am I wrong? 

For a long time women found their places at home in the kitchen taking care of their families, doing it all on their own. Serving the hubbies when they arrived, preparing food for the family, bathing the kids, you know all these things. But why is it that mothers are expected to take all of this so well? Motherhood can be a rough journey sometimes.

Nowadays it’s pretty different and I am so in love with that. I love that I see young fathers babywearing. I love the possibilities of working part-time so they are able to spend a day or two with their kids. And so on. I love the men of the 21century. And I am grateful for these possibilities. 

Going back to the topic. Do you take care of yourself? I do.

But I had to learn it the hard way. I do take care of myself not only to be a happy person but to be a happy and present mother. I stay connected to my own needs and feelings and dreams and make it work to combine and balance it with my journey as a mom. Also the balancing-thing is not always easy but I learned so much on my journey and I am happy for everything I learn on this wonderful road. 

When we lived in Amsterdam it was different. I was at home with my beloved baby and after a few months I was always sick, I had the same illness over and over and over again. I don’t know exactly but I guess I was 6 times sick in 6 months. This is so not me. But it all was too much for me. She had hard times while teething. I was with her everyday and every night. I felt that I needed a bit of support from our families. My hubby helped me realising that I gave too much of myself. As a parent it is pretty normal to overcome your limits. But I did it everyday until my body said stop. 

The experience of taking care of a newborn is phenomenal and can also be a bit overwhelming (at least in the beginning). Imagine you do your thing your whole life, and then there is a new human being there to include into your life. It just takes time to figure it all out. That’s normal. But then after almost a year it striked me, it was too much. I couldn’t be the happy mom that I really am. I needed to fill up my cup, so I can fill up hers. 

We realised this and I subscribed for the gym and the spa (halleluja) and when daddy came home I went there 2 to 3 times a week. This was a good start to learn taking care of myself. And a wonderful occasion for these two people to spend time on daddy-daughter-dates. 

I am not saying that no one needs to make a bit of sacrifice. I don’t believe in working full-time and only seeing my kid at the weekends. (Not for me!) And I also do know that I can’t do as much work as someone who works 100 %.

I believe in a good balance of dreams and family. After all it is my dream to be family. So actually I am balancing my dream and my dream :) Anyways it’s important to think of yourself. 

Here are my tipps, some ways to take care of yourself:

1. Start your day with a yummie drink (water or tea of course;)) and if you can get up before the rest of your family!

Forget the caffeine and instead enjoy a cup of warm water, with the juice of half a lemon. This sets you up for good digestion, boosts your metabolism, and will make your liver very thankful. It’s also extremely hydrating, unlike caffeine, which is very acidic and sure to dehydrate you. Caffeine also exhausts your liver and increases your levels of cortisol.

Or just try a great yogi tea. I find it important to have a bit of peace (read a bit or meditate) 

2. Take time for yourself and relax!

Don’t be too hard on you. You do the best you can. No one benefits from a perfect home when you are exhausted and unhappy and never had a single minute for yourself. In the evening when the kids are in bed, relax, have a great cup of tea, watch a happy movie, have something just for you. Relax a bit. And take time just for yourself. Only you and you, for 30 minutes. Can be a little miracle.

3. Use affirmations.

Write down a few affirmations on a Post-It & put these on the fridge, i you bathroom, or wherever you’re sure to see them often. Throughout the day, repeat them to yourself. This helps taking care of your dreams. For example: I am happy in the present moment! or we laugh as often as we can, because life is fun!

4. Live as healthy as you can!

Here are my tipps about a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle fulfills you with (good) energy, and that’s what you need in your day :)

5. Ask your hubby to take care of the kids and relax the Saturday

While they can have great father-kid-quality-time, you can enjoy a few hours at the spa with a dear friend or just make the best out of your bathroom and relax and spa at home and read an inspiring book.

6. Go out with your girlfriends – if you’re a boy with your boyfriends 😉 

Have a fun night out away from your kids and hubby, to chat with friends and eat a bite. You sure go back happy and fulfilled. Do this once a month.

7. Don’t forget your partner!

Ask him or her out for a date at least once a month and do whatever you like to do. Having sex, walking on the beach, going out, whatever it is. Just the two of you. Tell and show him/her that you are in love with him/her.

8. Dream big.

Make a list of your goals and invite your partner in it. He /she sure has goals too and you can combine and dream together and create plans.

9. Get connected to your creativity!

Make a vision board! Use magazines to make a collage of images that remind you of your most important dreams. Look at this board every day. Visualize these goals happening. This is proven to be very powerful. (Oprah Winfrey for example ;)uses this strategy too!)

10. Take time to laugh and to nap.

Nap when your kids nap. And don’t feel guilty about it. When you’re a present mother/father you give lots of yourself, and if your kiddies need new energy so do you. So use this pauses and never ever (!) do housework when they sleep. 

and most importantly have fun! This is your happy life! Have fun in your life and laugh as often as you can!

11. And last but not least never be afraid to ask for help.

You’re not meant to be perfect. You are not superman. And you don’t have to be. Ask a friend, your mother, sister who ever is your person of trust for help. Talk it out! Whatever comes to your mind. Talk about the things that bother you. You’re not alone. 

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