One thing I wish I did better as a Mum - Sydney Lifestyle Photographer


I am not one to look back and wish my life was different. I've had many successes and failures. I have embraced the highs and tried to learn from the lows. I don't regret those questionable choices we made as we always grew from our mistakes. I don't look back at my younger years and miss the so-called glory days; I look forward.

But if I had to pick one thing that I wish I did better as a Mum, I would have to say self-care. I wish I took better care of myself. I wish I had not let tiredness, and the chaotic routine of babies/toddlers/kids be my excuse to do it "tomorrow". Tomorrow never came, and it became a habit to use this excuse. It became a habit to busy myself with the kids and not do the exercise. It was easier to deal with toddler tantrums, and after-school routines then face my inner demons of self-doubt. I wish I ate more fruit and less chocolate. I wish I'd gone to bed earlier, and rested more.  I wish I'd put the oxygen mask on myself first, as they instruct you to do on the aeroplane, and then dealt with the family.

I thought of this recently as I struggled to walk up a hill, a very steep hill. It was a 2km uphill bushwalk. I was out of breath and puffing like a steam train. I wasn't sure I would make it. It made me feel old and unhealthy. My husband was patiently waiting for me, and I got so angry with him. I said some irrational words, and I stomped off. But I wasn't mad at him; I was furious at myself.

Why haven't I taken care of myself?

Honestly, I don't know, and it hurts to admit this as I am a caring person. I have a caring heart, and yet I haven't looked after me. I write this as I know other Mums do the same. You put yourself last on a long list and then wonder why you feel so tired all the time. You grab snacks in between rather than eat a healthy lunch. You drink cold coffee all day rather than sit to enjoy a one good one. And deep down you know you can't do your role as Mum if you don't invest time in self-care. It's just not possible.

After the tears on my bushwalk, I started making small changes. I changed to a eat a plant-based diet, and I have not eaten any chocolate for eight weeks. ( Seriously, that is huge for me). I am going to bed early, and resting when I need it. I am drinking more water and taking better care of my skin. I am moving more and sitting less. I am not trying to change the world or move mountains, but I am putting the oxygen mask on first. I am embracing my pretty and, I feel so much better.

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Cindy CavanaghComment