Aeroplane safety talks (apparently, as I’ve never been on a plane) tell parents to sort out their own oxygen masks before helping their child with theirs.
Every book about adoption/trauma that I’ve read, every expert I’ve heard speak, every adoptive parent I’ve spoke with has told me the importance of ‘self care’.
So why is ‘self care’ so important? Its simple, in order to be able to help others you must first ensure your strong enough to do so. So why haven’t I done this?!
I’ve worked so hard at trying to be the best mum I can be, that I forgot to take care of myself. I don’t mean I forgot to brush my hair or shave my legs (although I’m not saying I always remember those either), what I mean is that I forgot to look after my own emotional health. I forgot to preserve ‘who I am’, whilst putting in all that effort to help the girls work out who they were. Somewhere along the way, buried beneth all the trauma and loss, smothered by the girls emotional baggage that they offload on to me daily, is me, is my personality, is my confidence and my self esteem, buried deep deep down at the bottom of all that, is my resilience.
It’s time I start taking care of me, the only way I can give my girls everything they need, is if I am strong, and well, and regulated.
So, how does one take care of ones self? I’m not in to sport, in fact I prefer to move as little as possible, so sport and gyms are out. I don’t have a whole host of friends I can call on for coffee. I can’t knit, or sew or even cut and glue very well. I’m not in to spa treatments or massage or anything that requires me wearing less than a full covering of clothing, I don’t mind my hands and feet being on show, so long as it’s not too cold. I’ve considered volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen, I like helping others but with so many appointments to fit in for the girls I’m not sure how reliable I could be. I love reading, I used to volunteer at a school helping children with reading, it’s not very sociable though, well unless I wanna chat about moshi monsters and starwars lego, and actually, seeing the average development levels of some of the children, just made me feel sad for mine.
So, I turn to you, oh great world wide web of followers and supporters. Give me some ideas, how do you take care of you?