You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup: How to Take Care of Yourself First

By Jayne Robinson

Good news, Framers! The ladies from Project Love are back onboard with more of their self love advice. If you can’t make their MumHood workshop, here’s the rundown from Selina on how putting yourself first can make everyone in the family better…

Most of us women have a natural tendency to give, give, give, focusing more on the needs of others than on the needs of ourselves. And when we become mothers it gets even worse. We seem to stop thinking about ourselves altogether, as if that is what is required in order to be a ‘good’ mother.

Most of us seem to have an in-built programming that gets triggered as soon as we become parents, that tells us that we should now think only of our children… That we shouldn’t need to practice self-love, that we shouldn’t need anything more than the fulfilment of being a mother. Our families come first and our role as a mother should be all the fulfilment we need.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
A mother who doesn’t feed herself up on love and who doesn’t practice self-care, is an exhausted and unhappy mother. A mother on a short fuse – stressed out and distracted, a mother who will burn out on a regular basis and have little to give at the end of the day, to herself, her partner or even her kids.
Neglecting her own needs so that she can focus on the needs of her children, sacrificing her own happiness so that she can be the ‘good’ mother, doesn’t work.
What works is learning to love yourself and practice self-care. To take that delicious and abundant love that you pour into your children and turn it in on yourself too.

Because a mother who looks after herself and her needs, who nourishes herself, who takes care of herself and who feeds herself with love, is a mother who is happy. And a mother who is happy, creates a happy and healthy home for the rest of her family.

So how, as mothers, can we start to create healthy self-care and self-love habits (because let’s face it we really haven’t got a lot of spare time!)?

Well, here are 5 simple things to start with:

1. Feed yourself well and with the right stuff.

You know this one, but it can be so easy to get the kids fed and forget about you. So it’s all about doing a bit of pre-planning and learning some smart, easy tricks to easily keep yourself fuelled throughout the day. Frame’s MumHood are all over this – make sure you are following them on Instagram for top tips on how to make sure you’re keeping yourself fuelled up so that you can deal with your day with the energy that you need.

2. Exercise! 
Never has exercise been more important than when you’re a mum. And not to get the pre-baby bod back, but to flood your body with feel-good chemicals and release stress the healthy way. Again MumHood are leading the way with this with Mum’s Club classes that you can take your bubba to and great 20 minute routines that you can do from your living room to get your heart racing and those endorphins flying.

3. Relax
. Make time to relax every day. The easiest way to do this is to have a soak in the bath and just let yourself go for ten minutes. But even two minutes to sit with a cup of tea in your hands, close your eyes and take three long slow deep breaths will help to bring you back into your body and back into you. Try it right now.

4. Give yourself a weekly treat
. At the start of the week plan something lovely you are going to do for yourself (eg buy yourself a bunch of flowers, take yourself off for a manicure, go for a walk in the park on your own, have an early night and read a book, have a dance party in your living room for half an hour – with or without the kids – etc). Planning and doing loving things for ourselves gives us the message that ‘I matter, I am looked after, I am loved’.

5. Check in with yourself weekly. 
Take time at least once a week to check in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re doing and what you need. A great way to do this is to take a blank piece of A4 paper and write about how your last week was – what you enjoyed, anything you struggled with and what you have coming up in the week ahead – what you’re looking forward to and what you need to do to feel happy and healthy this week. And then make sure you give yourself what you need that week.

Try these out this week and just feel the difference.
And let this be the beginning of you becoming a mama who is a master of self-love and self-care!

 And if you’re in London, keep your eyes on the MumHood event page for future workshops with Project Love.

X Selina

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