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Mum guilt. We all have it don’t we Mumma’s! But why?
I recently had a chat with another Mum who has 5 children and has been bringing them up for 20 years. As I am also a Mum of 4, under 18, we considered something I thought was quite interesting throughout our chat…
If you’re a Mother, do you remember the changes you went through when you became a first time Mum?
It’s a significant time for a woman, in fact, a huge time! The responsibilities that come along with looking after a tiny human are immense. If we consistently put our children’s needs and demands before our own, where is it going to leave us when they’ve flown the nest?
Fast forward 20 years or so and consider where you might be and how you would be feeling?
“All of a sudden, you’re not needed like before, and feelings that perhaps are similar to how we felt when we first become parents – the adjustment of any big change in our lives. You find yourself with your evenings back, just you and your husband or partner if you have one 😉“
I have spoken to women recently whose children are now fully fledged ‘grown ups’ and now they are feeling lost and unsure of how to fill that void in their life. They are in their 40’s or 50’s and they feel guilty for pretty much anything and everything that involves putting themselves first, or spending money on themselves.
I am not going to tell you or preach to you about how important it is to invest in your health and YOU, but, this is a reminder!
All of a sudden, you’re not needed like before, and feelings that perhaps are similar to how we felt when we first become parents – the adjustment of any big change in our lives. You find yourself with your evenings back, just you and your husband or partner if you have one 😉
No more running around dropping children off at a million activities that they will ultimately most likely give up anyway! Yet why don’t we take advantage in that time now that we have it? We still make excuses. We’re too tired, we’re working full time, we don’t have enough money, and our ‘emotional load’ is too much.
Ladies, taking care of yourself is NOT a luxury. It is an essential part of being a good mum and a woman. Women need to refuel, we need to re-energise. We want to feel sexy and have fun with our partners/husbands and/or friends. We need to remember and remind ourselves of who we are – as individuals.
For me, I hate it when I feel lethargic and tired! That’s when the excuses start to seep into my thoughts. It is such a mental thing – if you continually tell yourself that you feel tired and unenergetic, you will then feel that way! Plus did you know that exercising actually makes you less tired because it raises your energy level and improves your sense of wellbeing?
So, here’s a challenge for you…
Tell yourself you’re a sexy, strong woman who has the benefit of wisdom and life experiences. Tell yourself that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Tell yourself not to take life too seriously and to get out there and feel energised by experiences and opportunities. Remind yourself that you are surrounded by people that are there for you. Get out there and start moving!
My 70-year-old Mum joined a choir just after my Dad had his second heart attack last year. She is tone deaf and never sang in a choir before! In this choir she has had to learn a repertoire of songs, not only singing different parts but singing in different languages too.
She has been hugely challenged and totally out of her comfort zone (particularly because she can’t actually sing!) but she has gained a purpose and it’s become therapy that helps her cope with the worries of my Dad’s health. She has also made new friends, she’s become part of a community
and she’s learning lots of new skills.
I am so proud of her for stepping out of her comfort zone and choosing to challenge herself.
As I mentioned I am a mother to 4 boys, and I am also divorced. My ‘emotional load’ is pretty
high, my ‘guilt load’ can also be pretty high and my ‘business load’ can be overwhelming at times.
I teach every evening apart from one. I leave my children to go and work. My 17-year-old and 15-year-old look after the younger boys until I get home. In an ideal world I would not consider doing this, but my circumstances are such that this is what I must do to look after my family.
At times I leave my house in total chaos. I show up at Boogie Effect and the second I stand in front of my group of ladies, the guilt disappears! I’m completely focused on delivering a quality experience and I allow myself to be in the moment, sharing energy, sharing smiles, sharing moves
and grooves, sharing knowledge. It’s a very special thing and that is why I manage my guilt the best I can!
My children are loved, they are safe and they are secure and I am choosing to break free from ‘over parenting’. Raising children can be joyful and rewarding but it can also be all consuming and one of the first things to go is free time. As the old phrase goes – ‘The more we fill ourselves up, the more we have to give’. We have a lot to give as Mums!
Choose life, choose experiences, choose health, choose energy, choose love – choose to rekindle that fun-loving spirit!
This spirit will seep through into every part of your life.
I have read many articles about encouraging motivation and action in women when it comes to self-care. I am providing a service for women through Boogie Effect and I want to help and support women make that important change to make time for themselves. Out of the articles recently that I’ve read, each one’s top point is: GET YOUR BODY MOVING.
Whether it’s about starting to exercise again, shaking up your usual routine with something new, the advice is always about choosing something that motivates you CONSISTENTLY.
You are doing your best! Stop feeling guilty, do something you love and start to celebrate your achievements.
Let’s choose to remind ourselves who we are and grow older gracefully but with energy and commitment to ourselves. Our children will thank us when we’re that crazy Granny that is fun loving and full of spirit!
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