Life isn’t the same after kids. Mothers of Singapore – and everywhere else, for that matter – it’s time we should be able to admit when we’re challenged by the exhaustion, the feeling of being overwhelmed and putting ourselves last. It’s a struggle, no matter how much you love your children or determined you are to juggle everything that’s important to you. We think it’s time to take back your me time, mums. Personal coach, mother and author Evelyne talks us through why self care is SO crucial…
I love being a mum. No, really. I do. And this is hard to admit, but I struggle. I find it harder to enjoy parenting than I would let on. I’ve always wanted children. I enjoy the young, wild and fresh energy. I play games, will be a monster, do impromptu musicals and invent stories that make them laugh. I thought being a mum would make our dreams come true. I’m sighing as I write this. Because this is not what I now experience. I want to do my work, yet I feel stuck in my own mess. The constant demand on my energy and attention is really getting to me.
So I formed the Me, Too Club – starting as a 30 day challenge to take 10 minutes of me-time a day (why is it so hard for us to carve out even this?). I started this project because I matter. And you, too matter.
Why self care? Without you, there is no family.
Within your household, within your work, within your life. How much attention do YOU actually get? How much do you prioritise your wellbeing, your needs? (And I don’t just mean sleep). I mean spiritual connection, emotional release and artistic expression. You – the woman behind the duties. Where are YOU?
New mums, listen up:
Self-care is the greatest discipline. Do not underestimate what you are doing. Energetically, physically, spiritually. Enjoyment is not selfish.
Why we need to play games (this time, without kids!)
As busy mothers, we have no capacity or tolerance for more tasks. We as humans learn best through play – life gets too serious, which draining. I made the Me, Too Club all about playing games that rejuvenate your spirit and engulf your senses, and also open up to thought-provoking ideas that stimulate your mind.
Are you up for this? Here are just five ways you can start:
1. The energy list
Write down, in two columns, what energises you and what drains you. It’s such a simple, but life-changing exercise that gives you clarity on what you need to address. Need ideas to kick things off? Cleaning – does it drain or energise you? Focusing on your nutrition? Exercising? Singing? Admin? Reading to your kids? Completing your list is just the beginning – use it to check in on yourself regularly!
2. The home facial
This is about taking the time to experience things we rush through every day. Take your routine of washing your face, cleansing, applying your moisturiser, and slow it down. Add elements that make it a pleasure: fill a basin with hot water; use a flannel to slowly wipe your skin; massage your cream in.
3. Free-flow body work or stretching
Get on the floor and enjoy some free-flow movement. Let your body guide you into movements or stretches that feel good. Don’t worry about following yoga or dance poses, or trying to be graceful! For the Me, Too challenge, we did this exercise as a ‘pyjama party’ – because let’s face it, sometimes we don’t get out of our pyjamas.
4. The slowing down exercise
This is a simple mindfulness exercise that you can do anywhere. Start with three deep breaths, in and out. Keep your eyes closed – or open if you want. Very simply, become aware of your feet. Are they tingling? Firm on the ground? Dangling? Then move to your ears, your head… guide yourself to be aware of different parts of your body, in no particular order.
5. Give yourself a foot massage (it’s not just about the massage)
Use your favourite moisturising cream, or some coconut oil – you can carve out 10 minutes for a foot massage! This exercise is also bout being present: letting go of what you were doing before, and what you have to do next. Notice whether you’re just going through the motions, or are connecting to your body while massaging your feet. Use your breath – breathe and release – to help you stay present and stop all those distracting thoughts.
Once you reclaim time for yourself, and make it a priority, ask yourself if you feel more charged – or more patient. When I do this, I feel I have more capacity for looking out for what I want, and I hope you do too.
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
Can we have it all? HoneyKids founder Chris Edwards talks career, marriage and kids
Support groups for mums in Singapore
How to bring some mindfulness into your parenting
Ladies’ night: where to go out in Singapore