Self Care…..

Published November 20, 2014 by thefamilyof5

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?




8 comments on “Self Care…..

  • by sitting still with myself and not forcing me to DO things to avoid feeling me, is a first step
    for me, when in overload, I find that first I have to sit and avoid the need to rush and to fill and to do, or to find new things to do for others

    while being social CAN fill a need, it can also be an escape for me and a trap, from dealing with my own side of the street

    the same sensory processing balancing things can get me grounded and ready to engage, I try to find the next right thing in the smallest bit or effort, so that It’d doable and manageable, then I fill my toolbox with these items…one thing at a time

  • It sounds as if you might enjoy a book group as you love reading. I’m not a member of one but I know lots of people who are and the social side is as important as discovering books they wouldn’t ordinarily read. And me? My thing is singing, and I’ve sung in a few choirs since I adopted. All sorts from pop and show tunes to classical repertoire. It keeps me sane and it takes me out of the stress and into another place entirely. Hope you find something you enjoy.

  • For me it’s going out cycling, I can go alone or in an organised group. I also (thanks to hubby) have a lie in on Saturday mornings – at least until we maybe get adopted child number 2

    If you like reading why not see if there is a local “book club” where you can meet with others to review a book? Wrt volunteering I expect they’d be grateful for whatever time anyone can give so do not worry about all your appointmentso

  • I usually have one of three things that I do, depending on how ‘stressed/tired’ I may be. I love to read thrillers & that is a form of escapism for me, to lose myself in the book. A second is to go out for coffee or lunch with a friend. All my friends know our situation & I can listen to their ”normal” life & give forth as much or as little of my ‘problems’ as I choose. Or, finally, I sit & do nothing for a short while ( a bit like meditation, but not so disciplined). I just think of all sorts of things, some useful, some dreams but I do feel better afterwards, Until the next time…… X

    • Im lacking in the friend department these days, they all hit the road when it got a bit tough :/ I think I may actually meditate without knowing it lol I often put the telly on, zone out and ‘wake up’ when the telly starts bleeping because ‘no action has been performed for a long time, your screen will time out in 10 seconds’ lol

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