Kindred Meets launched its first program last week, and we opened with the ever-so-lovely and nurturing Calm Mutha hosting a workshop on parental self-care. When we started to carve out what we wanted Kindred Meets to be, the idea of providing a program that was as much for parent as it was for baby, was central to our thinking. Any new parent will tell you that it feels impossible to find any time for yourself when there’s a baby to care for - in fact most parents would admit that they are at the bottom of their own priority list. However, taking care of yourself and showing yourself some love means that you are more able to offer love and care for others.
So, Calm Mutha passed on some of her wellness wisdom and we've been working on implementing it all week...
A question on all new parents minds is: how do you make time for yourself, when you already have no time? To start with, it’s good to identify what it is that makes you feel relaxed, what is it that allows you to switch off? And what are the things that need to be put in place in order for that to happen? For example, if you’d love a 10 minute soak in a big bubbly bath - to maximise your bath time, can your partner prepare it for you whilst you’re putting the baby to sleep?
As well as making time and prioritising yourself, one of the most important changes you can make in the step towards self-care is to think about how you talk to yourself - what does your inner voice say? If you find that it is negative and critical, then perhaps some reflection on how you can turn the criticism and negativity into some positive thinking will help with how you feel day-to-day.
One of the biggest challenges when you become a parent is to trust your instinct. We are bombarded with opinions and advice from everyone, whether that’s our nearest and dearest or an old lady on the bus! It can be helpful to seek advice from those we trust, but it’s also important to learn to trust your own instinct and tune into your intuition. One of the best things a friend said to me before I had my baby was: Remember, you are the expert of your own baby!
If you’re reading this thinking that it all just feels like more tasks to add to your very long and tiring day, then maybe take a step back, and ask yourself: is putting a wash on/tidying up as important as your own health & wellbeing? Is there someone who could hold the baby for 10 minutes whilst you went for a quick walk? How about taking up your friend’s kind offer of helping out?
And if you're just having one of those days where you really do have no time at all, then always remember that self-care can be as simple as closing your eyes and breathing deeply.
Words by Clare, inspired by a Calm Mutha Wellness workshop
Calm Mutha is the ultimate wellness service for mothers and mothers-to-be. calmmutha.com