Walking into a business this week being complimented on how great I looked, then being met with utter confusion by the clerk as to how I could look so great when she found out I had 2 children (a 6 yr old and a 12 month old), made me ponder on how we women see ourselves when we become mothers.
A lot of women feel a sense of losing their identity after having children – they become someone’s mother. Some also believe it is impossible to maintain the same level of care for themselves when they become mothers.
Why is it that it is so hard for us to continue looking after ourselves in the same way we did prior to having children?
I can totally relate to the challenges motherhood and having children can bring, and the younger the children, the more there is to do for them. But are they truly challenges?
Many women who have kids can relate to the scenario of not being able to shower before 10am, sit down and enjoy a cup of tea while it is still warm or have a long hot bath with some beautiful candles and possibly a drop or two of your favourite oil.
Why don’t we do these simple things once we have children? Do children really stop us from living, or do we choose to make it all about them, and not about us?
For me, having children has made me even more aware of the way in which I support and nurture myself. It can be easy to get lost in the busyness of life, but I make a constant choice every day to make me matter, knowing I am just as important as everyone else.
My meetings with other women and mothers are generally full of “wow, look at you, you look amazing”. Yes, I do look amazing, but I am no different to how I was before I had children.
Our children are now 6 and 1 year old, both needing completely different levels of care from myself as a mother, but within that I create space for myself.
I make myself meals when I am hungry, I sit down for a cup of tea, I take time to get dressed, to catch up with friends occasionally, and to have a bath that is taken not because I had a big day and need it, but because I feel to have one. I even get time to paint my nails, which seems to surprise most mums above all else.
Being a woman should always come first. We need to honour, nurture and support ourselves, then from that livingness of the woman we are, we can then support and be with our children and partners in the fullness of ourselves.
If we choose to deny ourselves the nurturing and support, then we are denying ourselves to be, live and express who we naturally are.
We can be mothers, but we are and will always be a woman first.
By Nicole Serafin, Age 42, Tintenbar, Australia