We believe that self care is a necessity, it’s a fundamental pathway to well-being and can help to make up for the fact that work life balance is generally a myth. This myth includes you sacrificing yourself to meet the needs of children, work, partner, home, family… the list goes on.
We are mothering in modernity and it often looks like this:
- Wake up (check social media 👀) wash get dressed
- Wake child/ren up
- Start breakfast
- Shout a few times to make sure they are up
- Remember everything for everyone
- Check work emails/ diary wonder how this will be achieved.
- Listen to complaints about itchy tights/ socks / one looked at the other and smirked 😐
- Child gives you letter about something giving you little or no notice about said something
- Take child to child care or if you are fortunate enough you do your school run 🏃🏿♀️🏃🏾♀️🏃🏽♀️
- Race to work 🚗🚂🚲
- Smashing your way through tasks
- Attend meetings (that could have been an email/ phone call)
- Check social media lust after the extremely edited / curated / staged highlights of someone you don’t know. Tell yourself you need to do more, hustle like a boss etc, then realise that actually you just need to go to bed early, read more, more intentional time with your children, family, friends and social media less!
- Leave work (stop work if you work from home) but take work home with you. Rush to school or after school club
- Child greets you with ‘What’s for dinner’ and groans as you ask how their day was
- Homework (often a battle)
- Side eye your children and partner when they moan about having chicken and rice again. Remind partner it’s their turn to cook tomorrow so they better be on some cordon bleu shit!
- Make sure your child washes properly
- Remind to bush teeth
- Read story
- EAT DINNER
- Partner wants to snuggle but you have work to finish
- 11pm finish work feel tusky 😉 go to bedroom, partner sleeping. You feel slightly relieved as you were too tired anyway tbh
REPEAT X 5 and times that by approximately 46 weeks of the year. Ok it not as bleak as that… but actually it kind of is but with warm fuzzy, lovely and funny stuff in-between.
Does that look conducive to good health? In that sort of schedule how often are you able to intentionally check in with yourself? When do you process how you are feeling/ responding to life? How are you managing your day-to-day load along with your emotional load? The little niggles you have tucked away but, creep out when your subconscious is triggered and the trauma from what you convinced yourself is a niggle slaps you in the face only to be suppressed again.
How does your juggle work when you feel emotionally stuck and isolated because we do not only transition in our teens, we are constantly transitioning, evolving and seeing things from a new perspective? My 30’s have been more of a head fuck than my teens tbh.
How does your juggle work alongside watching black people being slain in America and remembering that police brutality based on racial bias happens on our streets too?
How does your juggle work when dealing with racially and gender based micro aggressions daily?
How does your juggle work when you feel too tired to hold on anymore but have to? When your child wishes they had lighter skin? Straight hair? Your year 9 son is labelled as disruptive when in actual fact he’s bored because his teachers are not giving him work that is challenging him so he finishes his work quickly and then chats to his friends?
How does your juggle work when you feel like you are constantly repping your race and just wish that you and people that look like you could be seen as individuals rather than a monolith?
How does your juggle feel when you are supporting a loved one with their mental health (again) meanwhile you are screaming inside, crumbling whilst the world praises you for your strength when all you really want to do is walk away and keep on walking?
How does this juggle feel when you have been taught that you mustn’t cry, chat your business or ask for help because you are a Strong Black Woman from a line of Strong Black Women that endured way more than you will ever realise and should be grateful because you have it better now?
It feels cumbersome, heavy, tight, restrictive. That’s why as well as doing things like having a nice bath (Almocado do some brilliant bath teas check out their range of holistic care here) or going for a massage we need to take care of our emotions too and therapy is a meaningful way to do this.
Our lovely friend Jendella introduced us to Dawn Estefan-Barker, she is an experienced psychotherapist and is running a free therapy group specifically for Black women at the Maya Centre in North London. Applications need to be in by the end of the first week in December 2016 and the group will take place on Tuesday mornings from 11-12.30.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 281 8970
They will be running an evening group at some point so follow Dawn on twitter @dawnestefan to keep updated.
Be well xx3