A blogger I love has just posted that her second baby has arrived and she is blue. All the comments have been very supportive and nearly everyone has said: “Be kind to yourself”.
I’ve been feeling a bit stressed over the past few months and this phrase has struck a chord. The person putting all the pressure on me is me, so why can’t I just be kind to myself? I’ve spoken to a few mummy and non-mummy friends about this and it seems like we’re all at it. We’re all worried about things not being done properly, we’re all stressed about our workloads, we’re all guilty that the people we love aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Why do we do it to ourselves?
I’ve been trying very hard to follow my mum’s advice about replacing every negative thought with a positive one.
When I left the wee man crying at nursery today I firmly told myself he’d be fine in a few minutes, he loves nursery and I would be back for him in no time. When I took a break from my work to make a cup of tea and sneak a few chocolate buttons, I sternly reminded my conscience I do three exercise classes a week. I’m going to try very hard not to feel guilty about taking tomorrow off to take the wee man to an appointment and just play with him the rest of the day.
I wonder where this pressure comes from. Let’s blame the media shall we? In fact, let’s blame Victoria Beckham. She has four children, a tiny waist, a fashion label, a gorgeous husband, millions in the bank and a sunny life in LA. Sure she’s a grumpy cow whose husband cheated on her but you can’t deny the image is good. Or shall we blame the government? The economy is on its arse, everything is extortionate from childcare to petrol, and we all must run as fast as we can to stand still. If I’m honest – brutally, look yourself square in the eye, honest – I blame my pride. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am, I must keep the standards up. I must ensure my business is a success, my house is clean, my hair is shiny. I must raise a well-rounded, happy child, support my husband and go out, be sociable, have a laugh and still be me.
On the whole, I reckon I’m managing all this pretty damn well. My life is full to bursting. Business is good for both Rod and me, the house generally is pretty tidy and clean and we have a fantastic social life. As for the wee man – when he throws his arms around my neck and presses his wee mouth against my cheek I just want to whoop at the top of my voice. He makes me so happy. Seeing him jump on his daddy makes me joyous. Watching all the new things he discovers makes me so proud I could burst. Those are the feelings I need to remember when the bin’s overflowing, the dishwasher needs emptied, there’s nothing for dinner and I have a deadline to meet.
I’m going to be kind to myself. I hope you are too.