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Filling your cup as a S.A.H.M

Pondering over Brisbane City
Pondering over Brisbane City

How are you "filling your cup"?

I want to start off this post with asking you this common but very significant question. Seven months ago when I decided I needed to start working on a better version of me, I really didn't have an answer to this. Rather, I had unrealistic expectations of my self, I was neglecting the most important parts of myself that needed attention and I had been so occupied being a people pleaser. I was in a state of mind where I wanted to eat my heart out but be skinny, I wanted to sleep late to have [me time] but wake up happy in the morning. Throughout this blog I share with you a very personal journey that brought me to where I am today.

"I was a kid when I had a kid"

I became a mother at what some may consider a young age, it was all in God's timing of course but till this day I truly believe I was not ready for a child from a maturity perspective - it's almost like "I was a kid when I had a kid". Having a child was a sudden and major change in my life. It was at a time when I was personally going through self growth and development. Suddenly all of that meant nothing and I gave my all to motherhood and continued to do so for the next decade. Throughout this journey, though I have taken much pleasure in being responsible for my little humans it most definitely has come at a major sacrifice and that sacrifice in its entirety has been "me". The issue is, we need to as mothers take motherhood as an additional identity rather than an entire identity because the result of this is a loss of balance that eventually becomes self sabotage.

My personal self-sabotage + depression

To be more raw with you, after becoming a mother I hadn't done a skin care routine for 10 years despite previously doing one regularly pre-children. In 10 years, I've sadly only had 6 hair cuts when I once upon a time used to go to the hair dressers every 6 to 8 weeks. There have been many times where, I only brush my hair because it'd been matted from never being brushed and constantly tied up into the messiest bun you will ever see. I never implemented exercise because I believed I truly didn't have the time, hell there have been days where I didn't even get to brush my teeth till midday. I never even made an effort to change out of my pjs.

The repercussion of these habits eventually led me to becoming unhealthy, overweight, unfit, unhappy, a bigger binge eater than I already was, unenergised, angry, triggered and frustrated. It effected my relationships not only with those around me but the relationship I had with myself too. I recognised that I am no longer me which is notably understandable after being a mother but I also wasn't the person I wanted to and needed to be. I have had this realisation many times throughout my journey of motherhood but have always felt "stuck" and incapable of being any better. In fact, there were many times where I would share my feelings of perhaps being depressed with others around me only to have it be frowned upon and invalidated because as a mother you are never allowed to be ill or incompetent.

Depression is a heavy emotion that is used far too commonly these days and it wasn't until a much later age at 33 that I really considered whether what I was experiencing may have been depression. I have never been clinically diagnosed but the symptoms that brought these thoughts up for me personally, was the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, procrastination, wanting to always escape and the regular negative self talk. There were many times, I would secretly cry under trees on my own, during family outings or even just at nights before sleeping. Depression is something at the time I never completely understood because it was never a topic discussed throughout any part of my life prior. Amidst these feelings, I thought maybe being a full time S.A.H.M wasn't something I was good at and that perhaps I should work full time instead to feel better. However, I quickly realised that going back to my career was going to be an issue - I felt ugly, over weight and had no confidence to apply for any positions. Thus, for the next two years, I was occupied with building a new home, ate my feelings away and swept everything else under the carpet until I hit rock bottom once again 7 months ago. Except this time, I knew that I needed to make some major changes and I needed to seek professional help. I wasn't going to allow my self to spiral again, I was determined and still am to show up for my kids and most importantly be a better person for myself.

A work in progress

The first initiative I took to make my self feel better - was to every morning do one thing for my self. I began with buying skin care products to start a skin care routine and getting out of my pjs into a dress every single day. I began reading the famous "Atomic Habits" and it completely changed my mindset. It helped me to understand that the goals I was trying to achieve were actually setting me up for failure because it isn't goals that we should be setting rather it is systems that we should be creating to reach an end result. It taught me to never under estimate even the smallest of habit changes, as they are all atomic in the bigger picture. Relatively, it is crucial to understand that life is a collection of problems and we choose which ones we place value in the most. This is a confusing analogy but the best way to explain this is for example, you buy a home close to work to solve your problems of travelling to work but then your new problems involve trying to pay the mortgage of that home. Problems never stop and are relevant in all aspects of our lives. They never end, rather they are either exchanged for new ones or upgraded to others. With that, I have gradually begun to move my energy towards the problems that are going to be fulfilling to me and reasonably the ones I enjoy solving.

You have a will + a choice

God has given us all free will and every action we take in our lives is our own choice. If I have a choice then I am going to make it wisely. My choice seven months ago was to become a happy, healthy, much calmer, stronger, faithful business woman. This entire identity wasn't going to be bestowed upon me and it required me to re-evaluate everything in my life at that moment. However, to take on this role I needed to identify as everything it entailed. That's when I decided to see a health coach for three months, who taught me more about how to fill my cup, listening to affirmations, using tapping techniques to avoid binge eating and most importantly to believe in my self. There is never any pity for a mother and therefore if you want to succeed in becoming the person you want to become you must first believe in yourself. You are going to come across many intrusive thoughts in the process because of the conditioning you have received through the years but when you learn to challenge the resistance it is indeed an empowering feeling.

Where I am at today + the changes I've made so far

Whilst I'm still at the mere beginning of my journey to self-healing and self-discovery - it has been incredibly challenging to make these new changes in my life. I still at times want to escape, I still deeply criticise myself, I am still tempted on many occasions to binge and do give in sometimes. However, it's unrealistic to expect your self to never make mistakes or be perfect, we must recognise that life is full of ebbs and flows and we have to live through it all. Accept that it is ok to rest and it is normal to have resistance because your subconscious mind is not accustomed just yet to these new adjustments in your life. Most importantly, it is crucial to remind your self that it is common to be mediocre and quixotic to be perfect at everything,

My to-do list now includes things to do for me. I ditched the morning clean up, tie it up with my evening clean up and now I try my best to walk at least three times a week right after school drop off. I aim to get to other chores when I can because it's not like they're ever going to go away no matter how regularly I clean. Relatively, I do not want to be attending to those chores when I am not feeling happy within myself because whilst the chores are necessary to complete they end up feeling like burdens. Taking action on those tasks when I am in a better state of mind makes my job as a S.A.H.M far more desirable. I continue to do my skin care routine and change out of my pjs every day. I start my day with my morning prayers to have a blessed day and give gratitude for what may become of that day before it even happens. I also am slowly implementing affirmations into my morning routines to assist with the intentions I create for the day. I sleep early where possible and make an effort to fuel my body with what's going to keep me energised and feeling good - this doesn't just have to be food, it can be soaking up some sun, sitting by the ocean, a walk in nature or even just positive self talk.

When I am having a bad day, I brain dump in a journal and this has most definitely been life changing for me. I don't know the trick behind it but I immediately eliminate all bad thoughts as soon as I have it written on paper. I have made effort to slowly change my environment to one that is going to trigger me to become the person that I want to be. I have created a routine that includes me and I am now slowly learning to set my boundaries in order to not feel guilty for doing things for me. Unfortunately as many of us woman have been brought up as people pleasers you will find the feeling of guilt quite over powering. It is a learning journey though and eventually we as mothers will break this cycle for our upcoming generation of mothers.

I have come to accept that although I am not where I want to be in the future, where I am in life in this present moment is exactly where I'm meant to be. I am learning to love me for who I am today and not waiting to love my self in the future. I am therefore doing things in my life that will only ever continue to "fill my cup" such as writing this blog today. I acknowledge that when you don't believe in yourself don't expect others to either, nor expect any magical changes to happen. You have a choice to be the person you want to be, today. It is up to you to wake up tomorrow and decide who you want to be. When you decide who you want to be, even if you're not there yet, live as that person every day! Before you take action in any task you do throughout the day, imagine the person you want to be and ask yourself "Would they be doing this right now?" For example before I eat a meal, I ask my self, "Is this what a healthy person would be eating?". If I'm watching a soapie, I ask my self, "Is this what a successful business person would be doing?".

How you can "fill your cup"

So my advice to you is, "fill your cup" with the what is fulfilling to the person you identify as. Don't rely on others or wait for the right moment to make changes, make the change today to live the rest of your life as you want to. Don't look at time, it's never too late for anything and time is passing anyway. I learnt this from a book written by a holocaust survivor who started living her life as she wanted after being through hell and back. You have a choice to create the life you want to live, today.

I want to disclaim that in this post as a mother, I am not seeking validation or pity but I do seek respect and appreciation. This post is not to be interpreted as egoistic but rather a journey you can relate to and reflect on to help assist you in living a life you deserve in the identity you want to be.


Books I mentioned throughout this blog that can help you on your journey:

Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.


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