New year, same you or naa?!

Happy new year!

It’s that time of the year when people begin to set goals and make plans to be better or do better, let go of certain habits and generally take bolder steps in life. My dear single female breadwinner, as you made your plans, did self-love come up?

Self-love… do you even remember what that feels like? Do you remember who you were before you became a mum? Before you had kids? Do you remember the things you loved to do and all the other stuff that brought you joy? Now you are a single mum and it feels like there’s nothing more to you than just being a mum, sometimes it feels like a hollow feeling inside, like a part of you has just shriveled up!

A lot of times, it’s not because you don’t want to do them anymore, but being a single mum (or just a mum) with little or no help can be overwhelming and it just seems impossible! Earn a living, watch the kids, change diapers, feed hungry rowdy children, laundry, homework, hospital appointments….(the list goes on). You become a mum, learning to be the best mum on the job and believe that that is how it is supposed to be. There’s almost no time for anything else and even if you are able to find some time, you are too tired to try.

And then it begins to happen, slowly, very slowly, you lose yourself. In a bid to care for our kids and give them full lives, we forget about ourselves, self-love and self-care become alien to us. Or the guilt you feel when you try to do something for yourself. How can you possibly mentally justify spending N10,000 on yourself when every penny should be dedicated to your kids, or the feeling of being a horrible mum for simply wanting some time away from your kids? How can you possibly follow your dreams and still be a good mum? It just feels logical to push yourself aside and toss your dreams or store them away so you can be the best mum. Understand this…it is not a competition! No one gets awarded for being the best at tossing dreams aside for their children!

The thing is, after a while that emptiness – it begins to consume you. You feel lost and empty, your kids are doing super amazing but it all feels like a chore. You love your children more than anything in the world – but your life – you don’t really love it. It is important that we realize that it is impossible to pour from an empty cup and whether you realize it or not, our children can feel the negative energy we exude at such times no matter how hard we try to mask it. As we grow through single mum hood, we need to realize that we don’t need to put ourselves last in order to be good mothers, we need to put ourselves alongside our kids. We must understand that our goals and dreams are just as important as our children. This doesn’t mean that we should ditch our kids are run off to become comedians, but if comedy is something you love, then it still has to be a part of your life. Art, fashion, music, dance…if you love it and it feeds your soul, it definitely needs to remain in your life. Self-love is much more important than we realize, you need to be able to feel like a whole person in order to be the best mum you want to.

Provided they are not bad habits, taking as little as 30mins every day (or every other day) to feed your passion will do you so much good. Do the things that make you feel happy, that bring you joy and peace – you will gradually feel yourself returning, I promise!

And you will be a better mother for it!