One of my favourite sayings I have heard since being a Mum is “Happy Mummy Happy Baby”. For the first few months of Darcie’s life I couldn’t quite work this one out, in those first months your babies needs are so high and you are so drained in every way that the priority really is just getting through each day and still be smiling at the end of it. I think in those early days it was hard to imagine being able to ever put myself first again but now 8 months on I am finally finding a balance that works for me.
Like anything in life, you perform better and give more when you are feeling happy. Just to clarify I definitely don’t think you can use ‘Happy Mummy Happy Baby” as an excuse, this isn’t me saying you should leave your baby to cry simply because it’s making you sad to hear it or anything like that. Please don’t do that. This expression isn’t saying that your own happiness is more important that your babies but simply that you are important too. You shouldn’t neglect your own well-being and happiness when you become a Mother. Of course you should make sure that your babies needs are met and that they are fed and happy, and then there are so many little things you can do for your own happiness that aren’t to their detriment at all and will probably make them happier too.
One thing that I do almost every day is to put on my favourite feel good tunes and dance round the kitchen while Darcie eats her lunch. She finds it funny and it instantly lifts my mood. She’s aware enough of the world now to see that her Mum is happy and she is amused and pleased by it. Another thing I try to do on a daily basis is make sure that for one of Darcie’s naps I do something just for me. Sometimes that means having a nice bubble bath or it could be writing this blog or just sitting on the sofa mindlessly watching the telly. By doing these things while she is asleep I feel recharged and rejuvenated by the time she wakes up and I have more energy for playing with her and keeping her entertained.
I think it’s so important for us Mums to focus on ourselves every once in a while. We didn’t stop being our own person the moment our child was born, and although I absolutely think we are right to spend the majority of our energy and time making sure our babies are happy, I think we can do that much more effectively if we are happy ourselves too.