For the love of myself and everyone else.
Self-care. It is a word missing from most mothers’ vocabularies. Really it is a word missing from most women’s vocabularies. I have never been very good at it and always much worse when I was in a relationship. Everyone else’s happiness and wellbeing has always been more important to me.
Almost four months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I love her more than I thought was possible. However, becoming a mother took my level of self-care from a 2 to a negative 4. On top of that I was struggling with some form of postpartum depression/sadness/hormones/, whatever you want to call it; it was pretty awful. So here I am, a new mother, struggling to cope, sleep deprived, and mostly just really lost.
My husband was such a super champ during this time and tried to get me to nap, take a shower, just take a freaking minute to myself. But no, I was pretty stubborn and you know I was “fine”. Right… I was fine until 2am when I was so tired I wanted to scream at our daughter to sleep and leave me alone. I was fine until I was going on what felt like day 1,285 with no time to myself. I was fine until I wasn’t fine, because I wasn’t taking care of myself.
After almost four months of feeling this way and a lot of intentional internal work a small voice came with the wisdom “I did it for the love of myself and the love for myself is the same as the love for everything”, and that’s when it finally really hit me. My whole life I had believed that if I stopped and took care of myself I was diminishing my time and ability to take care of others. I now see through that.
Doing something out of love for myself is ultimately doing something loving for my daughter, my husband, and everyone and everything around me. Because when I do so I become a whole, healthier, and more balanced human being and when I am a whole, healthy, balanced human being I am able to truly give of myself to the people around me. Not the way I was giving of myself, when I was running on empty. But give real love, real affection, and real attention because I am not completely depleted.
Love yourself because that really is loving everyone.