This week we rounded our fifth week with our little darling, Minnie-Jane, and I finally managed to get approximately one hour to myself.
I’m not going to lie – it was amazing!
In fact, since that hour of freedom, I have been looking forward to writing this post and sharing my thoughts on the topic of “self-love” (I know, insert eye roll), as it’s something close to my heart and something I think that we, as mothers (and women in general) need to take more seriously.
Let’s talk about love… self-love (no eye rolling please)
I know that this topic is terribly clichéd and that the last few decades have funded a multi-million (if not billion) industry based on people “finding” and/or “loving” themselves, yet I still think it is something people need to talk about and explore further.
I didn’t always fully appreciate the importance of this concept, but I now realise that before having children, “self-love” was something that I unconsciously/instinctively practiced- not because I was “selfish” or particularly good at it, but because I just had no one else to look after but myself.
That’s not to say that I didn’t carry around insecurities, self-doubt or judgements about myself, but I was definitely more in-tune and better at actioning what made me feel good at that particular stage in my life.
How going from single to partnered changes the self-love journey
If I’m really honest here, my journey away from self-love and doing the things that fed my soul probably started when my partner, Jade, and I first got together. As I’m sure is common for many new lovers, I wanted to spend each and every moment by his side.
Before I got swept up in our relationship, I would never have compromised attending my favourite gym class, I would always spend time with my girlfriends and basically did things that made me feel happy and fulfilled on a regular basis.
It must be said here that I don’t blame anyone but myself for this self-neglect and I recognise that this pattern of behaviour regarding relationships formed long before Jade came along. In fact, if anything, Jade has always been the one championing both our need for space and time-out as individuals (something I didn’t always quite understand or appreciate).
The awakening – me without the mother/wife label
It wasn’t until we had Audrey that I fully realised the importance of having time to myself and that seeking fulfilment outside of my relationship and role as a mother is an essential, core ingredient to a healthy, loving relationship (and key to maintaining your sanity as a parent!)
So yes, life as a bachelorette will and should change once you’re in a relationship, and again once you have children.
It is therefore even more important to remember to strike a balance between the old and the new and to regularly unlock the doorway to one’s self, sans the mother/wife/partner label.
What did I do with my hour of freedom? I’ll tell you next post…
Do you feel like you have ‘lost’ yourself? Love to hear your thoughts… just comment below.
Myjanne Jensen is a full-time journalist and mum of two girls, soon to be four (twin girls due April 2018).
Myjanne has written for She Society (formerly She Brisbane) in addition to her full-time role for more than two years, where she has focused on writing about life as a mother to two young children and has covered a range of other topics such as physical and mental health and well-being, relationships, beauty, fitness, societal trends and issues.
To follow Myjanne, visit her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/myjannejensenjournalist/), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/myjannejensen/) Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/myjannej/) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/myjannej)
Myjanne has a strong interest in a variety of different issues ranging from women’s rights, social justice, health and wellbeing, multiculturalism, human behaviour, music and the arts.
Connect with Myjanne on Facebook, Twitter or read some of her other published work on her blog.