There’s no getting away from the fact that being a parent can be tough. It’s full of wonderful bits too. But it’s also challenging and draining. Particularly if you’re a parent to a child who has experienced early life trauma. As parents, we have a tendency to put everyone else before ourselves. When you get on an aeroplane, the cabin crew will take you through the safety procedures before you take off. You’ll be told that in the event of an emergency, you should make sure your life jacket is on and secure before you try and help others.
It makes perfect sense as we can’t try and save someone who’s drowning, if we don’t have a life jacket on. And it’s the same in parenting. How can we look after everyone else, if we aren’t looking after ourselves? But the reality is, we don’t look after ourselves first. And mums are particularly prone to putting ourselves at the very bottom of the list. Which often means we’re left with an empty tank and no energy to help anyone.
However you come to be a parent, it’s full of challenges. Being an adoptive parents brings with it a whole different level of challenge. Which makes it even more important for us to take some time to focus on us and our well-being.
Self-care takes a backseat
I’m very bad at doing this. I managed to ignore the fact that I was perimenopausal for probably three years until it had literally brought me to my knees. I burned out badly during the summer of 2020 trying to spin too many plates. They came crashing down around me and I promised myself then that I’d make time for myself.
But I haven’t kept it up. I’ve felt myself becoming overwhelmed again recently and have been looking for some other things to do as well as my go-to help which are a long walk (preferably on my own), a bath with no interruptions, listening to Anna Marthur’s podcast or my favourite playlist.
I was recently asked if I wanted to review a book from a list published by Summersdale Publishers. “Self-Care for Busy Mums” written by Zeena Moolla piqued my interest so I asked if I could review it.
Self-Care for Busy Mums
The book itself is hard-backed and fits into your hand. A great visual representation of its content as the book is full of small things mums can do that will make a big difference to their well-being. It’s split into five chapters. The first looks at prioritising yourself, then finding your balance, everyday self-care, investing in yourself and then sustaining healthy habits.
I read about half of the book in the bath and only stopped reading because the water had gone cold! It’s the first book I’ve read like this for a long time! Everything about it is bite-sized and easy to digest. Zeena’s writing style is brilliant. Her words are full of humour and relatability. A self-care book that preaches isn’t going to persuade anyone that they need to put themselves first.
This book definitely doesn’t preach. It feels like having a good natter with your friends, sharing tips that work for them. From the incredibly simple things like making your bed when you get to help to improve your frame of mind. To using mindfulness as a technique for managing guilt and cloud glazing.
There are some lovely quotes dotted around the book. My favourite is one from Lucille Ball “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
So, if you’re a frazzled mum who needs some quick, easy, and effective tips to help you slot self-care into your day, this book is definitely for you. It’s available from a range of bookshops including Waterstones and WHSmith. Please note that the link to Waterstones is an affiliate one which means if you click on it and buy the book, I get paid a fee from them.
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