Keeping Mum – Self love and care in motherhood
Keeping Mum – self love and care in motherhood is written by guest blog post author Claire Pestana.
Claire is a life and authenticity coach for mothers and a Mum to two teens. She supports fellow mums to navigate the challenges of juggling motherhood and livelihood. Her one-to-one coaching sessions help busy mums with the restoration of balance in realising their own needs whilst continuing to meet expectations and obligations arising from other relationships. Find Claire here.
Self-Love and Care in Motherhood
A common ‘saying’ and judgement when I was growing up, and at the time that I became a mum back in the early noughties, was about women who ‘let themselves go.’ I had mixed feelings about it. It seemed to both inspire and irritate me all in one go. I understood that it referred to how women ‘kept’ themselves – mainly in terms of their appearance, whilst remaining in devotion to their children. To ‘let yourself go’ was to stop tending to how you looked and it brought a certain shame on you.
The irony was, that the saying came from a generation of women who had been taught to believe that self-love and care was a selfish concept. It originated at a time when self-preservation was fundamentally about how you were seen to others, and external approval was the be all and end all.
A decade later, I realise how loaded that statement was… a weapon both targeting women and held by women based on popular belief indoctrinated by a patriarchal society that has decided how we should be seen. Women were avoiding themselves in service to others and yet still armed and ready to judge each other based on appearance.
Keeping Mum no more
Mums today are trapped between two schools of thought: The ‘selfish’ one passed down to us that many of us still hold in our belief system and which was witnessed and reinforced through our lived experiences growing up; and the very real one we are living by today, where self-love and care is encouraged and no longer about being externally approved, but about our inner state – our mental and emotional well-being. It’s about our identity, authenticity and self-awareness.
Amidst the joys of nurturing and caring for others, it’s crucial for mothers to prioritise their own well-being, self-love, and self-care. This balance is often overlooked but is essential for a mother’s overall health and ability to care for her family.
Self love and care
Self-love in motherhood involves acknowledging your needs and embracing the idea that taking care of yourself is not a selfish act but a necessity. It’s about setting boundaries, knowing when to ask for help, and making time for activities that bring personal fulfilment and rejuvenation. Whether it’s a few moments of solitude, engaging in hobbies, exercising, or simply indulging in a relaxing activity, these moments are essential for recharging and maintaining mental and emotional balance.
Self-care in motherhood is a deliberate practice of tending to your physical, mental, and emotional needs. This might include proper nutrition, adequate rest, regular exercise, and seeking support from friends, family, or professionals. Moreover, self-care involves cultivating a positive mindset, letting go of perfectionism, and accepting that it’s okay to not have all the answers or be flawless.
Understanding that self-love and care are not indulgences but necessities allows mothers to become better nurturers. When a mother takes care of herself, she models self-respect and resilience to her children, teaching them the importance of self-worth and balanced living.
My experiences of self love and care in motherhood
I hold my hands up to that loaded weapon, that I somehow lost myself to the raw beauty of motherhood. But I do it with my head held high and I reach out to dismantle it. I have come to accept it is something most of us do to differing degrees, on this heart swelling, nerve-jolting journey filled with love, joy, fear, doubt, and countless precious moments.
Looking back, I realise that surrendering yourself to that raw beauty is par for the course and totally okay. What is not okay is the perception and belief that: once we are mothers, we can’t be anyone else; that our role in society starts and stops there; that our status in society is purely about serving others and not ourselves; that we must quash our self-interests, passion and potential, lye low, play small, conform and then judge one another for doing anything different. If we can rise above these beliefs, teach ourselves to self-love and serve and to keep a vision for our own personal development and life journey, we will be honouring not just ourselves but everyone we cross paths with.
In the whirlwind of family and working life, it’s crucial for mums to carve out time for themselves, even if it’s just a few moments each day. Prioritising self-love and self-care is a testament to a mother’s strength and her commitment to her family’s well-being. It’s a journey of finding equilibrium, and nurturing herself in order to better nurture those around her.
Coaching Support for Mums
I became a life and authenticity coach for mums because I wanted to support them to: rediscover and reconnect with their authentic self; to live by their own values and truths; to help them to build their own internal support system in order to navigate the many challenges that motherhood brings; and to achieve their personal goals and ambitions outside of their role as mum. Coaching can provide support, guidance, and motivation, and help mums build resilience, confidence, and a growth mindset. It benefits not only them but also their families and communities, as they become more empowered and fulfilled individuals.
Support through challenging times
Motherhood can be a tough journey, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. Coaching can provide a safe and supportive space for mums to share their struggles, feelings, and concerns. A coach can help mums develop coping strategies, build resilience, and manage stress levels.
Goal-setting and planning
As a mum, it can be easy to lose sight of personal goals and dreams in the midst of caring for children. A coach can help mums identify their values and priorities and create a plan to achieve their goals, both personal and professional. Coaching can help mums find a balance between their responsibilities as a mother and their own aspirations.
Being a mum can sometimes make you feel like you’re not doing enough or that you’re not good enough. Coaching can help mums build their confidence and self-esteem, and provide them with tools to overcome self-doubt and negative self-talk. A coach can help mums recognise their strengths and accomplishments, and encourage them to celebrate their successes.
Managing time and priorities
Mums often have to juggle multiple responsibilities, including childcare, work, household chores, and personal commitments. Coaching can help mums manage their time more effectively, prioritise their tasks, and develop strategies to make the most of their time. A coach can also help mums create boundaries and learn to say no when necessary.
Developing a growth mindset
Coaching can help mums develop a growth mindset, which is the belief that they can learn, grow, and improve. A coach can help mums see challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth, rather than obstacles. This mindset can help mums become more resilient, adaptable, and open to new experiences and opportunities.
Where to find Claire:
If any of this resonates with you, you can:
Find out more about me and the coaching I offer
Download my free workbook on rediscovering your authentic self
Read more relevant blogs
Sign up to my monthly Love Letter, Wild Whispers. It provides inspiration, tools and techniques to help you navigate womanhood, motherhood and livelihood.
All at my website www.clairepestana.com
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