Back in 2011, when my third son was around 9 months old I had a nervous breakdown. I had twins who were two and a half and their younger brother. I was under extreme stress of managing life and motherhood with the constant demands of three kids.
I didn’t want to change my situation. I had three very wanted children (my twins were a result of IVF following 4 years of infertility) and my third was a much wanted surprise. But I needed to be better.
One thing I needed to focus on was my low self worth and the low value I placed on my wellbeing.
By nature, I’m a striver. I work very hard. I like to be in control. I like everything to be right. I like to not get caught out so constantly putting solutions into place for all sorts of things. But never did I ever put things into place to look after my own wellbeing.
When we don’t prioritise ourselves because ‘there’s so much to do’, ‘I have no time’, ‘I feel guilty about asking for help’, ‘I can’t justify childcare support or a cleaner’…. Eventually your body will take over and will shutdown for you. It’s a bit like a knackered computer… slow to start, can’t turn on, is slow to function and can’t switch off.
Shutdown happens often as a result of trauma but also as result of extreme stress which becomes a trauma to the body. I now understand fully that my body went into shutdown mode to protect me (see here about dis-regulated nervous systems).
There was, however, loads I could have done to prevent this. Hindsight is amazing isn’t it.
When you’re like this, you are no good to anyone – you cannot mother in the way that you want to because you can’t get out of bed. It is that simple.
Sadly, we don’t live in a society where we are mothered, looked after, honoured for all we do. We not only need to mother our children, we also need to mother ourselves. Let’s face this – if we don’t look after our needs, then no one will. We can’t be the mothers and humans we want to be when our needs are not met.
Self worth is valuing yourself, respecting your needs and prioritising yourself in amongst everything else.
When our self worth is low, we will continue to look after everyone and everything else above ourselves meaning we are depleted, angry, resentful, exhausted, burned out and generally not great company.
When our self worth is high, we make the time to look after our needs. We prioritise us over work, housework, ‘jobs’, others needs etc.
Looking after yourself is the LEAST selfish thing you can do. Because the happier you are as a person, the more time you will make to pick up those books and read to your kids, sing silly songs, cook nice meals. The more miserable you are because you are completely depleted, the less effort you’ll make – ie switching on the tv will be your default not your emergency because you have something to do.
If you are ready to be saner, calmer, happier and feel fulfilled – enrolment is now open for the Thrive Mum Method – we start on the 16th August, max 8 places.
Much love, Tricia xxx
PS next week I’ll be covering what causes low self worth