Looking After Yourself Matters. And Here's How.
Being a parent is all about putting someone else first. Your kids become your number one priority and you give everything you have (and then some!) to meeting their needs. You begin to start introducing yourself as someone’s mum; the media you consume is 70% for the kids, 25% about parenting and 4% accidental and 1% for you; and the activities you plan are 95% planned around family dynamics (and always revolve around a child's sporting and social commitments).
But what about you. Where do you fit? Who is looking after you? Not in the day spa/massage/mini-break/hair kind of way – although these are aaa-mazing, but in the broader self/ego/mind.
And how do you do this without feeling guilty (yeah, THAT word). And how do you do it regularly? How can we make this part of our weekly, if not daily lives, so that everyone in the family gets their share of mental energy restoration?
Parents – listen here! Looking after yourself matters for these four great reasons:
1. It signals that every person in the family is an equal and everyone’s time is precious (think about the office environment, there is definitely more respect for those people who aren’t always available).
2. It fills your cup and makes you happier.
3. It gives you things to talk about and experiences to share with your kids, with friends and anyone else who will listen.
4. Gives you the opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests.
So here’s a challenge for you - do something for yourself every day for a week and see how you feel. Here's a couple of ideas that go beyond exercise. Diet and exercise is amazing for mental health, but this is your foundations - you need more to build and maintain the house!
- Reading! But how do you squeeze it in? Audible! Download audio books to listen to in the car or while you're cleaning up yet another mess. A friend recently deleted her FB app and installed the New Yorker. Well played!
Here are some of our recent faves: The Mothers by Brit Bennett, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, The Good People by Hannah Kent, My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, Swingtime by Zadie Smith.
- Listen to a podcast on a topic that interests you. Hit two birds with one stone and listen while exercising. Some podcasts we're currently loving: Invisibilia, Esther Perel's Where Should We Begin?, Serial, S-Town, StartUp Podcast (actually anything produced by Gimlet Media),
Dear Sugar, Pod Loves America, Call Your Girlfriend.
- Blog or start journaling to record your feelings, emotions and ideas.
- Resist the urge to multi-task for half an hour. Try it. Mindfully take on what you’re doing and let your mind just focus on one thing for 30 minutes.
- Find a parent friendly workshop like those at Kin & Kind to recharge your creativity or spark your interest in a new skill
WHAT'S ON? A COUPLE OF IDEAS..
We’ve done a round-up of a few classes and events around Sydney which we think look interesting. Where there is a creche available, we’ve highlighted it (note to event planners - ORGANISE A CRECHE!) .. if you know of an event coming up you think our community would enjoy add it in the comments.
A weekday morning tea to hear from inspiring women talking about how women can influence media discourse. No creche, but grab a babysitting solution and get yourself into the city! If you can wangle extra time sans smalls, make some time to visit the amazing Kinokuniya book shop in the Galleries on George St.
Join clinical psychologist and expert mindfulness and compassion teacher Kathleen Cator to explore how cultivating skills in self-compassion can help us experience a sense of safety, calm and acceptance of ourselves and others.
Getting to grips with writing online copy. It’s a full day and sadly no creche, but for those of you with little peeps in daycare/school or offloaded to someone else then have a look. Warning – this one could blow the budget, but looks worth it.
Sit down for brunch and an open discussion about the very real juggle that being a mum in business is and how you can truly step into your own success despite the doubt, the guilt and the fear. Clinical Psychologist and founder of The Conscious Mother, Dr Kirstin Bouse, will get to the bottom of why we hold ourselves back from stepping into our own and what we can do about it. Creche available through the fab folk at Upswing.
Are you passionate about Instagram or have a small business and struggling with this element of social media? Join Jonathan Fleming at the ISCD for a 3 hour evening download re all things IG.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network has won the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize. The Network's Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi will accept the Prize and deliver the 2017 City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture. Also featuring Maxine Beneba Clarke and music from the legendary singer/songwriter Archie Roach.
Got a child who is nearing getting a driver’s licence (shock & horror!)? The City of Sydney has a free workshop for parents/carers of soon to be learner drivers.
From flexible working and knowing your rights to exploring new options, navigating emotions and daily logistics we bring together a panel of experts for the ultimate pep talk on reshaping your working life after a career break. And of course there is a CRECHE!
Members from the Mama Creatives community are invited to step into the spotlight, and share their true and personal story relating to the theme of courage. Hosted by Bron Mandile, editor, writer, blogger.
We go beyond the recycling rules and meet inspiring families who will fire you up with simple, practical ways to tackle overconsumption and waste in your home. PLUS our inaugural Kin & Kind kids clothing swap. With Creche.