Looking after number one

It's been a week of blah.  I'd planned my regular reasons to be cheerful post, but all the things I hoped to feature did not happen.  I have to wait.

And some of the waiting is leading to stress and a few glasses of wine.  But mostly I'm using the time to look after myself.  Because for the first time in many years I finally have some spare time: I'm not doing any paid work now, and my two teenagers have - so far - been to school every single day since the new term started.

So I'm trying to retrain the way I think and not feel guilty about taking time out.

When I was working in a well paid job, I happily enjoyed some 'me' time every day, even though I had 3 young children.  But that changed once I became a lone parent, and even more so after I lost my job.  I felt that I had to justify my existence by doing Mum things 24/7, especially as the voices in the head reminded me of all the people over the years who had told me that I was cold, horrible, lazy, mean, useless and worthless, and other stuff like that.

Counselling helped, but until now, even my counsellor failed to persuade me to take a proper break.  I just couldn't do it!

You see I'd begun to believe all the things they said and the only way I could keep those demons at bay was by doing things for other people, especially my children.  If I did anything for myself I found a way to justify it in terms of the children:

...Going on Facebook meant that I was looking for new ideas to help them.
...Blogging was to keep me sane so that I could be a better Mum.
...Ditto seeing my friends.
...Exercise was to keep me healthy so that I can take care of Smiley for a very long time.

So to cut short a lot of self-reflection, I've finally accepted that I didn't deserve to be told those things, and that my worth does not solely depend on what I do for others.  Just being me is enough.  And doing things just for me is perfectly okay.

I think that counts as a good reason to be cheerful, don't you?


Reasons to be Cheerful



21 comments:

  1. I think it sounds like a perfect reason to be cheerful. I would love you as a favour to link this post up to Striking Mums over on my blog as it is so relevant to this week's theme of voices.
    Hope lots of good stuff comes your way in the coming week.

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    1. Thanks so much for the invitation Kate, and for your good wishes x

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  2. I so agree us single parents have to put ourselves first sometimes for everyone's sakes :-)

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  3. This is a really good insight - as mums we forget ourselves, and that must be huge when you have sole parental responsibility. Seeing it written down really highlights how we need to be people, doing things for our own benefit because it's ok, and we're entitled to it. :)

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  4. You absolutely deserve to do things for yourself. You are so giving to others and work so hard for your family. I'm so glad you are taking some time to relax. Enjoy it!

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  5. You absolutely deserve "me time". In the words of my yoga teacher, as girls we are taught to always look others so now we have to learn to look after ourselves. Cheers to that!
    Truf

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    1. Cheers indeed, and thanks for dropping by again Truf, it's lovely to see you xx

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  6. Don't you dare forget about you..... and don't you dare feel guilty. Life is all about getting that balance... and although I realise as a parent of special needs kids, it is harder to get that elusive balance... it really is SO important to try!

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  7. The little bit of me time is essential in keeping ourselves sane! #R2BC #StrikingMums

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  8. Yes, it does count. You're entitled to have some 'me' time and I'm glad you're getting around to accepting that ...and allowing yourself a couple of glasses of wine :-)

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    1. I always managed to allow myself the odd glass of wine :-)

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  9. Wow I think you are amazing to come so far after all you have been through. I too have been through something similar, enjoy your children and wine :)

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  10. Omg I can not believe what you have been through and you are braver than you think to have come through it and how dare anyone say those things to you they just dont have the right x

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    1. Sadly it's more common than you might realise, the main thing is to come out the other side x

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