Some of the MumsDelivery readers may recognise my name. Others may not. Either way, that’s okay 🙂
Until 15 months ago, I was writing positive blogs for this page. On a very regular basis. My pieces were always focused on seeing the good in every negative situation. In learning from every challenging moment of parenting.
15 months ago, I couldn’t do it anymore because life simply got too hard and overwhelming.
I was juggling being a mother of 3 young children, working as a freelance writer, and also studying to become a Youth Worker.
I’ve always written with purpose and I felt that I didn’t want to write for the sake of simply writing.
I wanted to take time out for myself.
And then something happened. My world fell apart. Childhood trauma I’d been carrying for 20 years could no longer be kept inside.
Just one year ago, I finally started coming to terms with trauma that had broken me for most of my life.
As I struggled to make sense of my identity, I had to continue to do school runs. I had to continue to care for others, when I was really hurting and grieving on the inside.
So, I put off my studies for a little while. The freelance writing went on the backburner.
But what did I also do for the first time in my life?
I put myself first.
I sat in cafes sipping on coffee and eating delicious food. I caught up with friends – I cried and I laughed. I sought professional help. I let my husband comfort me. I truly began to let people in and to see me at my most vulnerable self.
My loved ones have expressed amazement at the positive attitude I’ve had my whole life, my positiveness in my writing, my strength and my courage – and I tell them this:
“I’ve learnt that when you have nobody to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. That’s where my strength comes from. I always believed in me and what I had to offer the world. I kept fighting even when it would’ve been so easy for me to give up.”
I’m writing about my story openly and honestly because being a Mum is tough. We are reminded so often, “there are no sick days”. We are reminded that there is no holiday pay. We are reminded that even a trip to the toilet won’t be alone!
So, when we have a bad day, a bad moment, a heartbreaking tragedy, mental illness, or any other form of challenge – we are still trying to keep our head above the water.. but barely.
But if it weren’t for those moments where I practised self-care and self-love…. Where I dined at cafes with friends or alone…
If my counsellor hadn’t reminded me that I’m important and that I matter – I wouldn’t be strong enough to write this today.
I know it’s hard to have time to yourself. To go to a café without kids. To find a few minutes to read a book. To carve out that time for YOU.
But, find whatever time and activity you can – and do it.
Don’t let your wants and needs be pushed aside. Don’t think that you don’t matter because you’re a Mum.
You DO matter.
You matter so much to those young people in your life.
Don’t be ashamed to admit that life is hard at the moment. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
Don’t go to sleep believing that tomorrow is “just another day”.
Tomorrow is a new day. It’s a new start.
And tomorrow is a chance for you to do something for YOU.
You’ve given so much to your children. Don’t forget to give back to you! 🙂
This article was written by Thuy Yau, who is a freelance writer and mother of three. She loves helping other mothers grow from their own experiences. She is also studying to become a Youth Worker. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter, and check out her personal development blog at Inside a Mother’s Mind.