Saturday, January 26, 2013

My response to Michelle Bridges blog post - "Children and Empowerment"

It's Australia day today and my day has, so far, been like this:

5am - alarm went off - I planned to get up and run ...... re-set alarm for 6am (yep, I'm human)

6am - alarm went off again - this time I got up, showered, got dressed and left home a good hour before I started work

7am - found a beautiful spot on a rock down at Maroubra and spent the next 20 minutes meditating. A new thing for me, but something I have wanted to learn about and do for sometime. So, for my own sanity, wellbeing and growth I went last weekend to learn and have been practicing twice daily since then.  I feel great having made the decision and carried out the action to do this for myself.

8am - hit the park and spent the next hour training all of the wonderful mums that had also made the decision to make time for themselves before embarking upon the weekend with their families.

I'm not feeling so wonderful today but I know I have taken care of myself, I know that these feelings will pass and that I will come out the other side. Whilst browsing the net I found myself on Michelle Bridges' blog and her last post was one entitled 'Children and Empowerment' which I wanted to share with you and comment on because I really couldn't agree with what she is saying more. An exert from her blog, 14th January, 2013;

"It strikes me that mother’s are put under a lot of pressure to a) be a good mother to their child under the scrutiny of, well, under the scrutiny of pretty much everyone it seems, and b) to get themselves fast tracked back into the physical shape they were at conception, or even before."

I am sure that pretty much every mother out there can resonate with this. I talk about this a lot, in fact the very first chapter of my book, How to Love your Body as much as your Baby (after the introduction) is entitled 'Be a little Selfish', here is an exert from that chapter;

"Selfish! That’s not a word that mums are allowed to comprehend let alone use. I’d like to, in the nicest possible way, challenge you to be a little bit selfish and to put yourself at the top of the list every single day.

Being a mum can be all consuming.  From the moment you wake (that’s if you made it to sleep in the first place) to the few moments you get to your self you are constantly thinking about your child.  No matter what kind of mum you are or what kind of parenting techniques you use we all have one thing in common - we want to be the best possible parent we can for our children.  

This starts in pregnancy, often even before conception, when we devour book after book about how to prepare our body best for birth, what foods to eat, what exercise to do, what vitamins to take...the list is endless.  We read books on the development of our babies as they grow inside us, then we start on the techniques, theories and ideas on how best to parent them, how to teach them to sleep, when they should eat, how often they should poo....what this means.... what that means and it goes on......   All the while we are still pregnant and making sure we are taking care of the vessel which is currently carrying them - you.  You prepare your meals with care making sure you include all of the valuable food groups, you rest regularly, you have your personal trainer or pilates instructor firmly scheduled into your diary, you take regular time out to relax with friends or wind down over a great book and life is great. You are nurturing and loving your baby through your care for your body.

Then, your beautiful baby arrives and everyone's focus is on this little bundle of joy but no one has more focus than you. No-one could care more about doing the right thing for them than you. So you continue to devour books, ask questions, fret over the right things or the wrong things, worry if they are sleeping too much, eating too little or haven't poo'ed for two days. Your baby is loved, nurtured and cared for in every way you see possible.  

The difference is now your baby is outside of your body, you don't have the determination, drive or energy to focus on you any more.  There is no time when this little person is so demanding and so important.  But what you forget is that the body that once carried this little baby internally is now the lifeline that carries them externally.  Your whole life is centered around them and will continue to be for the next 18-20 (or more!!) years in one way or another.  You are the foundation by which they will learn life, be nurtured and grow into this world.  Your health and wellbeing has NEVER been so important."

Add to this the pressure we put onto ourselves and feed off from the media about what a post-baby body 'should' (and apparently, can) look like in the shortest span of time possible. We can (and do) drive ourselves nuts in a world where we have lost our sense of self yet somehow strive to be super mum!

The very valuable moral of both mine and Michelle's message is that it is 100% OKAY to look after YOU. To make sure you allow yourself time to help yourself to feel good and to ensure you keep your head above water. Take a little time today to think about what you do in your week on a regular basis to ensure you are nurturing you.  

How to Love your Body as much as your Baby will be released chapter by chapter via ibook in the upcoming weeks. I am inviting you to be part of my editing process - through our facebook page and direct email you will be able to give feedback, ask questions, share your experience and start a conversation about anything that you read in order to shape the final version of my book. You will get the opportunity to talk directly to me so that we can create the best book possible, which will, in turn, help you become the best mother you can be first for you and then for your children and families. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

I write for you so I'd love to hear your thoughts and views on my blog posts. Please feel free to comment below or one the Body Beyond Baby facebook page!

1 comment:

Julian Levi said...

Nice article... I like your blog and inspired too... thanks for great sharing.
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