Single Mothering Like A Boss
Why self care is so important as a single mum
Talk about trying to survive and thrive as a single mum when life kicks your butt. I lost my mum suddenly recently. She died of a terminal illness, an ongoing untreated mental illness. My mum did her best (what her illness allowed to be her best) at being a mum and I will always hold onto that. It upset me that she didn’t acknowledge her illness and do anything about it, however, I also understand that her illness prevented her from doing this.
I’ve thought a lot about mental health awareness and taboo. One thing I’ve taken away from this hideous experience is how important self care is. If we can’t care for ourselves and love ourselves, how can we care for anyone else or love anyone else. Hence, I think it is just so important for us as single mums.
We often put ourselves last, trying to do a million things at once, sometimes making unhealthy choices that we think are reducing our stress. Loneliness can be a monster of a beast and anger even more so. Resentment can sneak its toxic little head in too every now and then. We need to prioritise ourselves sometimes, looking after our physical health, as well as our state of mind.
The various techniques often talked about, such as diet, exercise, sleep, massage, therapy, yoga and meditation etc are all very important, and can be really helpful, depending on what works for you.
However, there are so many small things you can do to put a smile on your face and let you either take a breath, sit and think about something, release some tension or just feel damn good.
Here are some I do regularly to make sure I make some time for myself, even if for a few minutes or half an hour. They are little things, but they make a huge difference for me.
- I wake up 20 minutes earlier than I need to everyday and make a coffee to bring back to bed and catch up on anything I follow online/social media etc. Laying in bed with a coffee is one of my favourite things.
- On my one day off a week or on weekends, having a bath in the middle of the day is luxurious. I do it during the kids’ tech time or while they’re out or occupied on weekends and make it clear I’m not to be disturbed.
- I listen to Podcasts while completing chores around the house; cooking, hanging out and folding laundry, vacuuming…you name it. Invest in a good set of wireless headphones and you won’t regret it.
- Buying myself a bunch of flowers. Because I feel like it and they look pretty.
- Reading a magazine. Crappy, inspiring, educational…it doesn’t matter what. Sometimes the crappier the better as we don’t always have to be educating and motivating ourselves.
- Having a cup of tea in the sun. The outdoors to my front entrance has a great spot in the sun for most of the day, when there is sun, and I like taking five to ten minutes out just sitting there.
- Patting and cuddling my cat, when he’ll let me. I find it only second to cuddling my kids and very calming.
- Colouring in. I bought myself new top range pencils (they weren’t mine for long) and some adult colouring in books and I find it really relaxing. Sometimes I do it alone and other times I do it with my daughter.
- Dancing around the lounge, dining and kitchen areas to really loud music is always a great release, singing loudly as well of course.
- Putting on a face mask. I use serum soaked sheet masks as there’s no prep, mess or fuss. You simply lay the sheet over your face, lay down for 10 minutes, take the sheet off and rub the serum into your skin and…voila! If you’re feeling fancy pants, a couple of cucumber slices over your eyes feels pretty good too.
- I’ve also taken a recent liking to planting. This of course requires a bit of prior preparation so sometimes if I’m at the hardware store I’ll buy a couple of plants and pots, or I put my hand up for consideration if they come up on my local Buy Nothing FB group. Then when the feeling strikes, I’ll spend half an hour planting. Dirt feels good.
We’re allowed to put ourselves first sometimes. Not only are we allowed to, we need to. Our physical and mental health depend on it. And those kids of ours depend on us.
What are you going commit to doing this month to look after yourself and be happy?
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I’m Lou Lou
Hi there gals. I’m Lou Lou and five years ago I lost my best friend, the love of my life, the father of my children and my stability when my husband died very suddenly and my world was completely torn apart. I literally had absolutely no idea how I would move forward and honestly didn’t think I would. I wanted to fast forward my life to a minimum of ten years on.
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