What does it mean to be a mother? It is important to discuss the meaning attached to motherhood in our communities. This includes both your personal views on motherhood and the wider cultural beliefs. Mothers face many pressures and challenges. This is especially true for women who have been further marginalized by their race and class. Last week during a mothers’ support group the women who gathered together expressed how society makes them feel that they are not “good enough” mothers. They shared how they feel the need to me superhuman and to never make mistakes. Other challenges that mothers are facing include unemployment and violence.
It is important to remember that motherhood is an individual experience that is unique to each woman. How we choose to be a mother is a personal choice. Mothers come in different forms and women may decide to adopt either by choice or out of necessity. Whatever your ideas about motherhood are, taking care of children is often challenging and it is important to take time out for yourself. Here are 4 ways that you can self-nurture.
Take some time every week to do something that recharges and revitalises you.
What helps you relax? What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing? By scheduling some time every week that is just for you, you can make it a habit to take care of yourself. As everyone is different it is important to choose a way to spend your downtime that is best for you. You could choose to go for a run or cuddle up in front of TV to watch your favourite movie. You may want to spend time with friends or to set aside some alone time. The important thing is that you take some time to focus on yourself and to do what you enjoy.
Know where to go for comfort
Where do you get your emotional support from? It is important to have people around you that love you unconditionally for who you really are. Friendship satisfaction plays a vital role in self-care. Knowing where to go for comfort is also important. This could be a friend, family member or partner. Having someone who values you for more than just your role as a mother is vital to your emotional well-being. In addition to making you feel valued as a person these people also offer you a safe space to discuss your feelings. Sometimes just taking time out to talk everything through can offer great emotional release.
Rediscover your hopes and dreams
What are your hopes and dreams? The hopes and dreams of mothers often get pushed aside. It can be helpful to revisit your dreams and identify the skills that you have to make your dreams a reality. This can be a useful reminder of what is important to you. You may want to start working towards your dreams or you may choose to put them somewhere safe so that you can start working towards them at a time that is right for you.
Evaluate your beliefs about motherhood
It is important to evaluate your beliefs about motherhood. The beliefs and ways of thinking which feel supportive are good ones to keep. The beliefs that are causing you anxiety or making you feel pressurised need to be examined further. Ask yourself where this belief comes from? Sometimes finding out the root of the belief can help you to analyse it and break it down. Is it a belief that was passed down from your own mother? Sometimes the stories told to us by society are so powerful that we believe that they are true without questioning them. By questioning the authenticity of these beliefs you can create a space to be a mother in a way that feels right to you.
It is important to remember that you are the expert of your own life. Everyone is different so some methods of self-nurture may work for you while others may not be a good fit. These suggestions are to get you started on the journey of self-care so you can start adding your own to the list.