Mum self-care truth: “If you’re not at the top of your priorities, you’re last”

Blogger Nicole Snyder with baby Ruby

When My Unfiltered Chaos blogger Nicole Snyder posted this cute picture of her newborn daughter Ruby, other mums began giving her a high-five right through the screens on their phones

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Let's talk 4th trimester and self care for a sec. Last night while in the car I was listening to @januaryharshe on her podcast. She said some things that resonated with me down to my soul, possibly because of the language. "Do no harm. Take no shit." and something along the lines of "If you're not at the top of your priorities, you're last."🙌🏻 The older I've gotten (and more children we've had), I've found this my internal mantra that I've never actually said out loud. === This morning we had two boys up at 5am plus the baby. Jason is off for the day so he was helping. I went downstairs, drank my coffee and started my daily grind of parenting and keeping small people alive. But I also desperately needed a shower; physically and mentally. So I left the hubs with the boys, got the baby back to sleep and went to take a long shower. === Jason popped in asking how long I was going to be and I didn't respond. I was taking this time for myself. I couldn't fill anyone else's cup and be the mom/wife they need unless I'm ok. It wasn't selfish to shave my legs and actually wash and repeat with my shampoo. It was necessary. === I got out and the once sleeping babe was fussing. I could've scooped her up and forgone the rest of my out of the shower routine, but she was ok. So I laid her on the floor next to me. Did my R+F routine. Combed my hair. Got dressed. THEN I hugged and snuggled and kissed on her. === I felt human again. Recharged. And she was fine. So if you've made it to the end of this post, and any of what I've said hit home with you, fill your cup. If it's saying no to something, taking a shower or aimlessly walking around Target alone; do what you need to do to be the best you! Have a wonderful Friday! I'm off to camp with all my people, it's sure to be an adventure with a newborn!

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“Do no harm, take no shit”

You might be surprised to learn that it wasn’t Ruby they were giving props to, as delectable as she is, they were signalling solidarity for Nicole’s timely self-care reminder.

Nicole had been listening to a podcast the night before and her takeaways were: “‘Do no harm. Take no shit’ and something along the lines of ‘If you’re not at the top of your priorities, you’re last.'”

She explained that these lines deeply resonated with her, summing up her sanity-saving approach to parenting pretty gosh-darned perfectly. They’re a survival guide for those early years, truth be told.

The daily grind

Keen to share how some gentle adjustments allowed for a bit of self-prioritising, and remind other mums that their needs counted, Nicole shared how her day played out – and how a few tweaks worked wonders.

Before we crack on let’s be clear, she’s a mum of four kiddos, so things are busy in her neck of the woods, on this particular day from well before first light. Let’s tag along:

“This morning we had two boys up at 5am plus the baby. Jason is off for the day so he was helping. I went downstairs, drank my coffee and started my daily grind of parenting and keeping small people alive. But I also desperately needed a shower; physically and mentally. So I left the hubs with the boys, got the baby back to sleep and went to take a long shower.”

So far so great. Of course, very often it’s when mums have finally got a little bit of space and time for themselves, just a tiny crack of opportunity that they’ve seized, someone needs them right this minute. That’s exactly what happened.

“Jason popped in asking how long I was going to be and I didn’t respond. I was taking this time for myself. I couldn’t fill anyone else’s cup and be the mom/wife they need unless I’m okay. It wasn’t selfish to shave my legs and actually wash and repeat with my shampoo. It was necessary.”

Good call, Nicole! Mums matter too!

Self-prioritising 101

How often have you shaved only your ankles because you know you’re due to be left holding the baby any second now, and an ankle shave is better than nothing?

Or maybe you shaved one ankle before everyone had a mummy emergency and spent the next two weeks trying to even things up?

Nicole was having none of it, realising that a little bit of sharing the load and waiting on mum was not going to do anybody serious harm.

“I got out and the once sleeping babe was fussing. I could’ve scooped her up and forgone the rest of my out of the shower routine, but she was ok. So I laid her on the floor next to me. Did my R+F routine. Combed my hair. Got dressed. THEN I hugged and snuggled and kissed on her,” she goes on.

See what she did there?! And it was just a teeny bit more of a wait for (much happier) mum snuggles.

“Fill your cup”

Look, obviously these snatched snippets of time are not optimal and it’s all a little bit under pressure, but it’s so much better than missing out on feeling slightly more refreshed. It’s also much better than being unwashed-yet-resentful! And there’s a principal involved – that mums needs matter too – so there’s that!

Nicole’s slightly tweaked responses paid big dividends for her in terms of sanity and self-respect and she’s spreading the word because all mums deserve to have their needs met. Surpassed even! Good one, Nicole.

“I felt human again. Recharged. And she was fine,” Nicole says of her attitude shift, urging other mums to rethink where they put themselves on the priority list – and take time for themselves as often as they can.

“Fill your cup. If it’s saying no to something, taking a shower or aimlessly walking around Target alone; do what you need to do to be the best you!”

Applause! We love your post, Nicole!

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Real life moment here…. My hair hasn't been brushed and I'm wearing stretchy pants that kept falling down in Target…requiring multiple awkward pull them up moments. === Ruby requires being changed and fed before getting into her car seat, no matter how long it's been since she ate last. 15 minutes or 2 hours…failure to do so results in screaming like she's on fire. === This 15-30 minutes we sit in the parking lot results in mass chaos for at least one child, at the moment Layne. He unstrapped himself, is pinching Jayce in this picture and just got ahold of a package of wipes to decorate the van with. === My husband always asks why there are dehydrated fries on the floorboard that will also puncture your knees when you strap kids in….well because on days like this when I can strap them in, feed them and then immediately send them to nap…I do!

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