“Ah I remember those days” she said.
I looked up blankly at the lady standing staring at me in the queue as I waited for my coffee. Grabbing a rare 5 minutes before I had to make the dash to the school, I’d taken myself into the nearest cafe and ordered the largest coffee they had to offer.
“The days are long but the years are short” she whispered as she nodded her head at my shoulder. I looked down and realised that I had dried up dribble in a big patch, like a bird had delightfully dropped one from above. Great.
I looked myself in the mirror behind the counter and noticed, between the various bits and bobs on the shelf, my scruffy hair and weary face. How had I even come out the house looking like this?
It was at that point that I realised I was a mess. I mean, for a stranger to come over and let you know in a round-about way that you won’t look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards forever, that it is bad.
I decided right then and there that I was going to make more time for myself. I was going to pick up all of the little pieces of myself and put myself back together again.
Where do you even start?
There doesn’t seem to be a handbook for this. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere to tell you how on earth you find yourself again. Trust me, I looked. There are plenty of books letting you know that it is normal, that motherhood is hard, but nothing to tell you how in the hell you can dig yourself out of the trench!
After a lot of reading and late-night searches online, I made myself a plan. A plan to find my way back to being me again. Not the pre-kids me, but a brand new ‘I am a mum and I am also awesome‘ me.
5 steps to finding yourself again
It isn’t easy making time for yourself. You have to grab the chances when you can but you also have to learn to make the time. Ask for support from friends and family, even for an hour, so you can do something just for you.
Here are 5 things you can do to help pick yourself back up again:
– Put on makeup every day. I’m telling you, this was a game changer for me. Just by putting on a little BB cream and some lippy, it made me feel like I could conquer the world.
– Dress to impress – yourself! I have a video all about this and it is something that has made my confidence soar. If you make an effort with your outfit each day you will look and feel great.
– Exercise. Now let me tell you, I have always hated exercise. So this is coming from a place of understanding for anyone who recoils at the mere mention of getting active. But let me also tell you that starting aerobics has been the best thing I have ever done. So many happy hormones!
– Write a journal – specifically a gratitude journal. By making a note of all of the great things in your life and things that make you smile each day, you will increase your overall happiness.
– Talk, talk, talk. It was only when I opened up to a friend that I realised how low I felt and how much I needed support. Motherhood changes us all and it is so very overwhelming. So chat to friends – chances are they are feeling just like you.
I am sure that there are still days when I leave the house with a big dribble patch on my shoulder but if I should catch myself in a mirror now, I would see a happier mum smiling back at me. Life is still hectic, my eye bags are still there, but I make the time to brush my hair, put on a nice outfit and surround myself with mums who just get it.
Motherhood is tough but you are tougher. You can do it, you just need some lippy and a whole lot of coffee.