I’m always on the lookout for advice on how to survive this crazy ride called motherhood!
How is it that everything becomes about other people so suddenly and for such a sustained period?
I asked the amazing Paola Espinel, who specialises in helping busy mums create their best selves, for some advice!
1. You specialise in helping women nurture themselves in the crazy years of having small children – why are we so terrible at doing this?
By nature women are nurturers. We were designed to give and care for other people and things. It fulfils our spirit to be of service to others. And when we become mothers of little children we give all we have, we put on the ‘new hat’ of being a mother 24/7 without any instructions to guide us, but with big expectations upon our own hearts. Then we experience how our whole world changes – radically. We are always busy, tired, sleep deprived so we drop our needs to the end of the list, and in many cases we just take them out of the equation.
I have also seen (and experience it myself) that a lot of women want to control life and are afraid to delegate and ask for help. We want to be super woman but we can’t. When we are so busy giving to others, and we forget to nurture ourselves, over time our ‘cup gets empty’ and we have nothing good to give to our loves (just stress, anxiety, anger, frustration and negativity). That was my experience as a tired full time mum and this is why I feel inspired to share my message with other women who are transitioning into motherhood.
Because I want them to enjoy and blossom in this new stage of their life without feeling drained or empty inside. I have written my eBook the H.E.A.L.I.N.G Formula because I want mums to enjoy and blossom in this new stage of their life without feeling drained or empty inside. Get your free copy here: www.bewisebehealthy.com
2. What are the biggest health and wellness issues you believe women face post-pregnancy?
Through my experience as a health coach working with mums of young children, I see that losing the baby weight and claiming their body back are the main concerns among new mums. Losing weight can take time and requires healthy lifestyle not a temporary fad diet. It is important to point out that new mums have more factors against them when trying to lose weight: there is lack of motivation to engage in exercise because mums are tired, with low energy, sleep deprived, busy, with responsibilities looking after babies/toddlers, and most of the time they lack on simple knowledge and skills to survive in the kitchen.
Check out my 10 wise choices to help you lose your baby weight here.
I also see the temporary loss of identity as professionals and the struggle to connect with our soul, dreams and desires as a big challenge (unfortunately not openly discussed much). When we become the ‘mother of a child’ we are also giving birth to a new person. Our whole world and life evolves and we become a new woman as we write another new chapter in our life. I am currently working on an e-course to help busy mamas shine and live vibrantly while raising young kids. I will be sharing my best healthy living & happy mothering strategies with mums who are ready to reinvent themselves. If that sounds like you, join my mailing list to know more about my upcoming e-course.
3. It seems no one has any ‘time’ these days – how can we overcome this and make time for self-care?
Time management is a big challenge for all of us and learning to manage our time wisely is a skill we can develop with practice.
When we become a mum, our time is not ours any longer and that is really hard to digest! Our days now involve responding to our child’s needs, keeping them clean, fed and happy. We also have work commitments/housework (lots of laundry, preparing fresh meals, keeping your home tidy). It is not easy, but we can still find time to relax and look after ourselves.
To me self-care equals self-love, self-responsibility, commitment to listening to my body, connecting with my mind and being present.
I am not teaching people to go on a retreat or indulge in expensive treats. I truly believe that anything is always better than nothing and you can start by taking 10min/day off your Facebook/TV time to connect with yourself and feed your soul in many simple ways.
Making time for self-care is all about committing to make it happen! You are not creating more time but simply rearranging priorities and this can be done! I created a weekly planner for busy mamas taking into consideration the different roles we play in our life. Download your copy here so you can start planning your week in advance and cross more things out on your to-do lists.
4. What are some really easy ways we can nurture ourselves when it feels like everyone else is taking so much!!?
My self-care routine is simple, and I have to admit I fall of the wagon some days as we all do. But I do my best to engage daily in small purposeful actions to nurture myself.
- I wake up and take 5 minutes to stretch in bed and say a prayer for the day
- I greet myself in the mirror and say ‘I love you; you are doing great, keep going!’
- I drink hot water with lemon juice and then make my breakfast: green smoothie with toast and eggs
- I eat at certain times – without skipping meals
- I drink lots of water throughout the day
- I dance and listen to my Spanish music or local radio
- I get fresh air and sun every day for at least 10 minutes
- I go for a brisk walk at least once a week
- I meet up with my sister weekly and skype with my parents almost every morning
- I put my girls to bed at 7pm
- I have a quick catch up with my hubby after the girls are sleeping
- I watch an inspirational movie or listen to an audiobooks on YouTube while I clean the house
- I am true to myself, my beliefs, and doing what I feel is right
- I connect with my dreams and goals
These little things are powerful enough for me to uplift my mood, make me feel grounded, keep up my energy (and my sanity!) and contribute to my wellness and happiness.
I created a self-care manifesto for mamas and I read it myself at least twice a day.
It’s a great reminder that you are worthy and you need to recharge your energy, feel refreshed and alive to be able to give your best to your family. You can get a copy here!
5. Finally, do you have a favourite wholefoods family friendly dinner recipe?
I don’t know if I was an Italian in my past live but I LOVE pasta and all my family too. I like to make a homemade sauce from scratch to sneak some veggies for my picky eaters.
Paola Espinel is a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach at Be Wise Be Healthy. As a mother of two young girls, her mission is to empower mums of young children to reconnect with their inner wisdom, develop new skills and love themselves truly so they can thrive in life, experience abundant health and become great role models for their love ones.
Through her supportive coaching, she inspires overwhelmed and tired mothers who are finding challenging to lose the baby weight and look well after themselves helping them to make small gradual positive changes in their diet and lifestyle to create long lasting healthy habits. Visit her site for more inspiration, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.