One Decade Of Motherhood: Finding My Personal Wellness
A month ago I turned thirty nine years old. I’ve never been one to shy away from being honest with how old I am. In fact it feels easier to embrace and celebrate another year of being alive. On the eve of my birthday I decided to dedicate this last year of my thirties to my own personal wellness.
Over the last decade I have had three babies, raised those three babies, moved three times, bought a brand new car and worked a mix of full time and part time at the same job as a labour and delivery RN. Nothing too dramatic for one person at all. There has honestly been no big regrets over this past decade. Which, obviously, is really a fantastic way to end my thirties.
That being said, ten years of pregnancy, postpartum and active motherhood has meant that I’ve put myself last most of the time. Not being a martyr here in anyway, just keeping it real. The high risk pregnancies, the overnight feedings, the morning school rushes out the door, the night shifts at the hospital with little sleep to recover. All of these things added up over time and it became normal to always feel like I was running on empty.
Realizing It’s Time For A Change
One thing I know for sure is that mothers somehow manage to survive and live on empty for a very long time. The idea of personal wellness almost seems impossible when you are in the middle of raising babies. In fact, some mother’s out there run on empty for way too long with no chance of a break. It doesn’t seem to matter if mothers have one kid, a gaggle of step kids or five kids space apart or even back to back. Motherhood requires sacrifice and the ability to constantly change whether you want to or not.
We eat leftover bites of our kids breakfast instead of nourishing ourselves with a plate of our own. Mothers are notorious for rocking the mom bun for days at a time and having too many dry shampoo days. Mothers are unintentional masters at using yesterday’s mascara as today’s smokey looking eye. The list could go on. If you are a mother and you are reading this you will know this to be true.
The Opportunity Is Now
On the eve of my birthday I had a realization that left me feeling excited and hopeful. My kids are getting to an age (10,6 and 3 years old at the time of this post) where they can most definitely do more for themselves. Which means, there’s a good chance that some of that physical time that used to be put into taking care of three tiny humans could be made available to me.
While time for myself looks a lot different than it did a decade ago, I’ve changed what is important to me right now. For starters, I just wanted to be able to wash my face before bed and apply all my fancy serums and night masks instead of exhaustedly collapsing into bed like a hot mess. Sounds so simple but being able to do this has been a game changer to my wellness.
Basic self care that used to easily happen eventually disappeared when my third baby was born. Actually, I am sure that act of personal wellness went out the window when the first baby was born. All three children would be bathed and put in fresh pyjamas on the regular, however, it was always seemed easy to forget about myself.
Mothers Are Universally Strong
The last ten years has taught me that I can be pushed outside of my comfort zone and live to talk about it. It is possible to have less and still enjoy life more as a whole. A decade of motherhood has gifted me with the ability to be able to feel uncomfortable and to be totally okay with being in that space.
Thinking about mothers around the world I’m overwhelmed at the idea that we might just go through a similar journey. While motherhood looks different depending where we live in the world and what experiences shape our lives, the essence of motherhood is universal. Mothers will do whatever it takes to care for their children.
No longer am I in the trenches of babyhood, my kids are getting older. I am looking forward to this new season in my life. With that, I am excited for more potential moments of wellness that are just for me. Here is to hoping that seeking out wellness for me will allow it to overflow into my family. I wish the same for you.
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