The Mummy Excuse: Self-care is not selfish!

The Mummy Excuse: Self-care is not selfish!

“I have no time to exercise because I work and I have young children.”

I hear this quite often. You say you want to be slim and healthy, to feel energized and confident. To be able to run and play with your kids. Yet you have no time to devote to this mission for health and happiness. Young kids, a business, a home, work, family to look after. No time to yourself. I get it. I have all that too.

The harsh truth is, (and I say this with absolute compassionate love) If you can’t find a way to devote 30 mins per day to what you say you want want then it’s really not as important to you as you think it is.

Imagine, if you will…

If you really wanted to get slim and healthy and live an amazing energized life, you would move mountains to make that time, and jump when an opportunity presents that can facilitate that change.

How do I know this? Let me present a scenario. Imagine… You have just contracted a rare disease and you must create abundant health and happiness in your life in 6 months or you will die.  Drastic I know, but bear with me.

If you absolutely had to do this, and make it work with your current life: kids, family, work etc, how would you make the time to make the change then?

Who would you call to ask for help?

What would you get rid of? Let go of, or say “no” to in order to make the time?

A few minutes of Facebook and mindless TV are probably an easy place to start to shave time off the not important / not urgent category of tasks.

How would you get your kids taken care of so you have a few uninterrupted hours per week for whatever you needed to do to get well?


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It’s never a question of time or money.

It’s never a question of time or money. It’s always a question of your values and what is most important to you.

There’s no right or wrong in what you value and if you’re happy to put your health and wellbeing on the back burner while your kids grow up that’s your choice.  Remember that it is a choice. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the crushing exhaustion and heart-wrenching choices that come with being a parent. Especially if you have limited or no family support, my heart goes out to you. However, if you don’t model health and happiness to your children through your actions, you’re only teaching them to put their health and wellbeing on the back burner too.

The barometer of self-love.

Your health is a barometer of how happy and fulfilled you are in life. How much you value yourself. How much you love yourself and prioritise looking after yourself. Notice I didn’t say weight, I said health. Health & happiness.  If your health is suffering because you can’t eat clean more than you eat crap, and you can’t find 3 hours or a measly 1% of your week to do some kind of activity that makes your body feel good, then my bet is that you don’t really deeply love yourself.

I have seen too many beautiful women in my office in their mid 40’s, many carrying 5-20 extra kilos, tell me that they’ve lost themselves and don’t know who they are anymore. Too much of caring for everybody else at the expense of themselves. When mothers put everybody above themselves, they are not truly serving those people they love anyway,  because it is a behaviour of over-responsibility that teaches those you care for to be lazy, under-responsible and look for someone else to do everything for them, or to become someone who is over-responsible themselves and put their own needs last.

Self-care is not selfish.

After many years of work on my own self-worth issues I have chosen to (selfishly some may say) beg, borrow, buy or steal a few uninterrupted hours each week to look after myself, in addition to my time working from home, because I want to lead by example teaching my kids to look after, love and prioritise themselves. I want to teach them that it is possible to have a loving relationship, happy family, health and a successful business that inspires and fulfils you. Yes I often feel guilty when I am away for a full day, and I don’t let that mummy guilt get the better of me. I know that it too is a distortion that doesn’t serve me. My daughter is loved and cared for at all times, and mostly by me, but sometimes Mum needs time to do her own stuff too.

What underpins all of this change is self-love. Loving yourself enough to say no to that nasty, critical inner voice that says “You can’t!”, “You’re not worthy”, or “What makes you so special?” or critically “You’re the only one that can do it” Loving yourself enough to not settle for mediocre, but to strive for awesome. Awesome as you define it. The kind of awesome that makes your heart sing. The kind of self- love that is truly loving of others as well. That realises that we are all worthy of being cared for and having out needs met.  Value yourself as much as you value others that you love. Value yourself as much as you value your kids, or at least a really close second.

It only takes 1% of your week to start the ball rolling for this kind of change. It’s NEVER about the time. Your needs are as important as everybody else’s.

Agree? Disagree?

Please share your experiences of dealing with this mummy minefield and let’s start a conversation. And of course, if you like it, please share it and spread the love! 🙂

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