Leeds, UK

I’d like to think as a late twenty-something year old woman that I’m accepting of who I am as a person, I’ve grown & developed, but something I’m not so great at is being kind to myself.

I’m writing this blog post after a huge pang of self-doubt at the ungodly hour of 4:30am - Thanks Amelia!

Let me set the scene - There I was pacing the downstairs of my house, trying to soothe my baby after a good 30 minute crying sesh - Yet again, thanks Amelia! Tears were streaming down my face, I was rocking the 5 hours sleep look (that’s a regular thing over here) and my mind was going into overdrive…
* Why can’t I soothe my baby?
* When am I actually going to get a full eight hours sleep?
* Who am I other than this little idiots mum? (I don’t actually think she’s an idiot, it’s just at the time I thought she was being a total dick!)
* Why won’t she sleep?
* Why whenever I have a bit of free time do I never do things for myself?
* When will I ever get the hang of this parenting/life balance thing?
And so on and so forth… I’m sure every parent has these pangs of self-doubt… Especially at stupid o clock in the morning when all you want is a bit of peace & quiet or a cosy bed to get tucked up into.

Any who it didn’t take too much longer for the negativity to vanish and for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Said light being the idea that I need to be kinder to myself.

I’ve always been like this. On the outside I think I’m quite a chilled person, I take things in my stride and people often comment on how like me they wish they were. All sounds good right? Well it’s a facade. Or partly anyway. Yes I am super chilled and laid back, but I’m also the sort of person that massively gets dragged down my negativity, whether it’s my own or anyone else’s - And as soon as I get myself on that lonely negativity train, I find it really difficult to get off!

So why aren’t I kinder to myself? Truth of the matter is, is that I don’t actually know?... If it was anyone else I’d have advice coming out of my arse (not literally) and I’d be kind and supportive to that person, but when it comes to myself I’m my own worst enemy. I think in my heart of hearts I think I’ve got too much going on to even think about being kinder to myself, when in reality this probably isn’t true – I just need to re-evaluate my priorities!
Now this is easier said than done, especially with a 3 month baby in tow, but there are a few ways I’m going to try and be kinder to myself.

Give myself recognition.
I’ve quickly learnt that being a parent is definitely the hardest job in the world. I knew it would be difficult, and even though it’s single handily the best thing we’ve ever done I didn’t realise just how hard it was going to be. I’ve spoken before on here and across my Instagram in particular of how I’ve struggled adjusting to my new life - The good days are amazing and the hard days are soul destroying, luckily the good massively outweighs the bad, but what I’m doing here looking after my baby solely for ten hours a day is a fucking achievement! We’re still alive, I’ve not pulled my hair out yet (don’t get me started on post-partum hair loss) and we’re actually pretty good at getting out and about and mingling with real people. I say real people because it feels like I’m in my own little bubble most days where it’s just me, Amelia and the pupper. Eeek!

I’d like to think my baby thinks I’m a brilliant mother, my husband tells me so every day, so maybe I actually need to start listening to him… Change the habit of a lifetime (sorry Dan) and actually take the compliments he gives me and give myself recognition.

Taking time out for myself.
I think as a mother, heck even as a woman there’s a massive pressure for us to have our shit together! We’ve all seen that meme where it says ‘trying to be a mom, excel in my career, maintain a social life, drink enough water’ etc etc etc – Well it’s very much true, and what I’m struggling with here is that when I do find I’ve got a spare half an hour I’m making the tea, or I’m emptying the dishwasher, I’m not actually doing anything for myself. It’s quite sad really, and thinking about it always sends me down that dreaded negativity path. Dan’s brilliant when he gets in from work or on weekends when he’s home as he’s very hands on with Amelia but I just can’t help myself potter around the house tidying & making everything spick and span. Don’t ask me why I do it, it’s not like we’re getting a visit from the Queen or anything - I think this is going to be the hardest habit for me to shake off!

Time out for myself means having a bath, a proper bath, not one of those quick dips before the baby starts crying type baths. Tonight I’m going to be filling the tub pretty much to the brim, popping in every bath product I can find and not coming out until I look like a prune!

Forgiving myself & my emotions.
Like I say I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to being kind to myself. I’m awful at it! And when I’m in my darkest times I can’t help but sob my absolute heart out. It’s not pretty, not by a long shot, but it’s what happens every God damn time. I cry because I’m upset, then I cry even more because I’m upset at myself getting upset. You see where I’m going wrong here don’t you.

What I need to learn to do is forgive myself and my emotions. It’s okay to have a cry and tell people about it on the internet, hence this blog post! And to be honest I think we all probably need to be a little more honest about our emotions.

Treating myself.
I can’t help but think of Parks & Recreation as I typed that bit out. Treat yo’self! Anyway, before I had Amelia a treat to me, from me would always involve spending a fair amount of money, which now I’m on a maternity wage isn’t all that achievable. And to tell you something I’m frigging hating it!... I hate not being able to afford the weekly shop, I hate having just about enough money to cover my side of the mortgage & I hate that the vast majority of the things we spend our lives doing in this day and age is dictated by money! But that’s a story for another day.

What I’m learning to do is treat myself in different ways, the ASOS hauls have been swapped for a Greggs coffee & cake meal deals (of which I’m having quite a few of these days – eek!) and now the weather’s getting a bit nicer I’m treating myself to dog free walks! I’d never have done this pre-baby. Who even goes outside just to get outside? Well me, now! And it’s brilliant to just totally switch off & to get in touch with both my surroundings and myself.

Taking care of myself.
Okay, so when I think of someone who takes care of themselves I think of someone who eats healthily, works out regularly and someone who doesn’t burn the candle at both ends. Now it doesn’t take a genius to realise that I am none of these people… But what’s good is that I want to be one of those people! I’m never going to be the person who only eats kale, or who pounds away in the gym 24/7, but I’m consciously making a few lifestyle changes to ensure I’m looking after myself. I still eat cheesy chips but I’m definitely packing the veggies more on my plate when it comes to meal times, and I’m cooking a lot more in general now rather than relying on something which is quick & easy. I’m also spending half an hour on an afternoon joining in with a Zumba lesson on youtube, much to my little girls pleasure, she finds it very amusing watching mammy doing silly dance moves and jumping around… My pelvic floor on the other hand! My god, nobody tells you about that after you’ve had a baby. I’ve nearly wet myself on a few occasions getting a bit too into it! As for burning the candle at both ends, this is something I still need to work on as my brain will literally not chill the fuck out – It’s so annoying! Please throw some tips my way!

As I’ve already started implementing change into taking care of myself I can definitely see the change, and even though there’s some way to go, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Telling myself I am enough.
Well that’s a bit deep isn’t it! I’ll keep this one short & sweet because I don’t want to get too bogged down in the emotional side of this one, but essentially I am enough… I’m not superwoman… I’m never going to be superwoman, and that’s totally okay.

Yes I have flaws, don’t we all, but I also have some qualities which make me a pretty good person – And that’s enough.

Believing in myself.
Last but no means least & probably the hardest nut to crack for me is believing in myself! I’ve struggled with believing in myself for as long as I can remember, I’m pretty sure it’s etched somewhere inside of me saying nope nope nope. I think success is equal parts hard work and believing in yourself and unfortunately I think the latter is somewhat holding me back. My husband is the most supportive person and is always telling me to believe in myself when I’m having down days. But there’s always something at the back of my mind niggling away thinking that he has to say that because he’s my husband. It’s such a difficult one!

If I’m totally honest I don’t quite know how to tackle believing in myself– I can only try!

Being kinder to myself has always been at the back of my mind, which I suppose is the problem here. I know I need to do it, but I’m just not doing it. I’ve started changing my lifestyle in small amounts to ensure I’m becoming kinder to myself, but I’m very much aware that there’s quite a way to go!
Wish me luck!

Are you kind to yourself?


Have you read any other of my more personal blog posts?
Mourning my pre-baby self.
Why University put me off my dream career.
Adjusting to my pregnancy body.

1 comment

  1. Claire, this is a fabulous post and one that every mother and many people in general I'm sure will say 'ditto' to.
    At the end of the day, you are not alone. In any of your thoughts.
    Our lives are forever changed, once you become a mum. Most responsibility does fall on us. But we are one bad-ass type of person because of it.
    But talking about it/things with your partner and other mums is always a good thing. :)
    You've got this!



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