Have you been on a plane and heard the flight attendant tell you to put on your oxygen mask first? The immediate response is, “No way, I need to take care of my kids (husband, mother, best friend, stranger in the seat next to me…). This idea clashes with our instinct doesn’t it?
What does it really mean? Simply, if you don’t put your mask on first, you won’t be there for all those other people when they need you. You will be unconscious.
When someone talks about self-love or self-care many of us frown and cringe at the thought. Some people also view it as a selfish way of thinking.
I know people in my life who are always saying yes to others and then become resentful and unsatisfied. It is ok to say no and start saying yes to yourself.
This week on holidays there is a mother in the unit block next door. She spends the majority of the day yelling at her kids, telling them they have ruined her holiday and yelling “this is the holiday from hell”. It has actually been a wake up call for me because firstly the nagging and total frustration in her voice is alarming and secondly I can’t help thinking ‘why doesn’t she change her approach?’ Sometimes a little self-care can go along way.
So how do I, a mother of three do this?
It takes commitment and a real decision to say to myself I am worth it.
1) I start my day off positively by getting up earlier and devoting time to me. On holidays this means a walk on the beach with my dog then a gorgeous cup of tea or juice and at home I take time to do some early morning meditation. I am a self proclaimed ‘morning person’ so jumping out of bed is a joy for me but it could be possible to find some time somewhere in your day just for you.
2) I am great at delegating household jobs to my gorgeous children. Tonight my fourteen-year-old daughter is cooking our entire dinner allowing me a lovely break. Everything is easier when we all pitch in and help. Contributing, as a team, is a great life lesson I want to give my children.
3) I make time to do things I love – a massage, a relaxing bath, enjoy a movie, read a good book, and schedule time to stroll around the organic farmers markets every weekend.
I know realistically that sometimes I allow my frustration to rule but to my surprise when I do all of these so-called selfish things I become a more content, grateful and present person. The type of parent I become transforms from frustrated and resentful to happy, warm and content.