“We have to move away from the mum guilt and take care of our mental and emotional health.”
I chose to be a stay-home mum when I had my first child and rejoined the workforce nine years later when my third child began childcare in 2017. Unfortunately, this move ended up being stressful for my children and I had to leave the workforce again to reassess my priorities in life. I decided to run my own marketing consultancy which provided me with the time to focus on my kids.
In my road to self-discovery, I went through several mindfulness and self-awareness courses. I was captivated by the concept of slowing down, self-acceptance, and self-awareness in a non-judgmental way. This helped me understand my thoughts and triggers better. I wished for this to be available to all the mothers in my network. I started hosting and facilitating safe conversations for mothers in collaboration with others, advocating judgment-free sharing, empathy building, and self-care without guilt.
Providing time and space for myself made me a more fulfilled person and my kids could feel the positive difference. Twice a year, I spend at least two days alone on a personal retreat, to journal the last six months, and set personal and professional goals for the next six months. This allowed me to return refreshed and more empowered. The energy at home is more positive and through role modelling, there is mutual respect for each other’s time and wishes.
The recent pandemic has definitely added new challenges and my family is still in the process of learning and adjusting to a new normal.
I have learnt the importance to care for myself first in order to care for others. When we are overwhelmed and stuck, there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help and support. Sometimes, we just need a non-judgmental listening ear. We have to move away from the mum guilt and take care of our mental and emotional health. Only then can we be happy mums and in turn, raise happy children.