Do you mother yourself?

Mothering can be a hard gig, hey? Someone once said to me it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love. Would you agree?

As mothers, many of us tend to give, give, give until our own cup is empty. Or with only the cold dregs left. It can be really difficult to remember to save for ourselves some of that unconditional love and generous energy we pour into our kids, so that we can fill up our own cup and have more of everything we need to keep going.

But it’s super important that we try to learn to ‘mother’ ourselves. Try to leave plenty in the tank for our own health and wellbeing. As the old saying goes, ‘If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’, right?

I came across some terrific words about mothering ourselves in Dr Christiane Northrup’s best-selling book, ‘Women’s bodies, women’s wisdom’. Dr Northrup is one of the world’s leading authorities on women’s health and wellness so she knows her stuff.

Here are the words …

Mothering myself

In a society preoccupied with how best to raise a child

I’m finding a need to mesh what’s best for my children with what’s necessary for a well-balanced mother.

I’m recognising that ceaseless giving translates into giving yourself away.

And, when you give yourself away, you’re not a healthy mother and you’re not a healthy self.

So, now I’m learning to be a woman first and a mother second.

I’m learning to just experience my own emotions without robbing my children of their individual dignity by feeling their emotions too.

I’m learning that a healthy child will have his own set of emotions and characteristics that are his alone.

And, very different from mine.

I’m learning the importance of honest exchanges of feelings because pretenses don’t fool children.

They know their mother better than she knows herself.

I’m learning that no one overcomes her past unless she confronts it.

Otherwise, her children will absorb exactly what she’s attempting to overcome.

I’m learning that words of wisdom fall on deaf ears if my actions contradict my deeds.

Children tend to be better impersonators than listeners.

I’m learning that life is meant to be filled with as much sadness and pain as happiness and pleasure.

And allowing ourselves to feel everything life has to offer is an indicator of fulfillment.

I’m learning that fulfillment can’t be attained through giving myself away

But, through giving to myself and sharing with others.

I’m learning that the best way to teach my children to live a fulfilling life is not by sacrificing my life.

It’s through living a fulfilling life myself.

I’m trying to teach my children that I have a lot to learn

Because I’m learning that letting go of them

Is the best way of holding on.


My favourite line is, ‘I’m learning that life is meant to be filled with as much sadness and pain as happiness and pleasure.’ What’s yours?

Are you good at mothering yourself? What’s your secret?


The girls over at Champagne Cartel are ass-kickers when it comes to helping women prioritise their own health and wellbeing. They’re all about making sure girlfriends and good times are included in the mothering mix. You might like to look them up.

Natalie Bartley