Allow me to introduce you to another self-care advocate, Emily Rose Yates.
I 'met' Emily (we haven't actually been together in real life but we have skyped and chatted online plenty) a couple of years ago when I joined one of her seasonal cleanses. I had been wanting to set aside time for a bit of a physical reset ever since I finished breastfeeding my youngest babe and Emily appeared at the perfect time for me.
As a naturopath, herbalist, nutritionist and homeopath (yep, she's one knowledgable woman!), Emily guided myself and a beautiful group of women through a cleanse and then a month-long whole food eating plan.
It was such a supportive time for me and apart from bringing a lot more intention to my physical nourishment, it helped me to identify some unhealthy thought patterns and behaviours that I was able to release which was an unexpected bonus.
Emily and I share similar messages about incorporating self-care into our everyday lives - nourishing ourselves so that we can nourish others.
When we hear people talk about self-care, it is easy to tune out and think that it is unobtainable to us in our current season of life. We can equate self-care with tropical holidays, a day spa visit, week-long retreats or daily classes at a gym. To this we can mentally reply, but I'm too busy.. I have small children, I am caring for others, I'm working two jobs etc.
Emily echoes Nourish and Nest's philosophy that self-care can come in the form of small daily rituals that are accessible to everyone (although holidays and retreats are pretty fabulous too!)
What I think gives Emily's self-care message even more credibility is that she lives it. And she lives it as a business owner with three young energetic boys. Plus, during her early years of motherhood, her husband lived away for work. She could have easily ignored her own needs but instead she has learnt to nourish herself in realistic ways and so I am very pleased that she is sharing a glimpse into her motherhood journey here. Enjoy!
Are there any ways that you have noticed motherhood has changed you?
The question is, are there any ways motherhood hasn't changed me? I feel motherhood truly changes you on a cellular level, so then everything is your life is different, your relationships, your connection to yourself, your outlook, the things you care about, I often feel concerned about the quality of the planet and the environment we are bringing our children into. I also felt like when I became a parent I could feel the changes within my parents that happened due to that. There really is a major ripple effect throughout the generations. Super powerful.
Short answer, in every way possible. HA!
What were the most difficult transitions for you when becoming a mother?
The most difficult for me was the yearning to be the best mother possible and feeling quite anxious about most decisions I was making AND confronting all the stuff you need to work through from your own childhood to become good parents. My husband and I had a rough time with the first baby working through our own stuff in order to be in a relationship with one another and to be good parents.
How do you practise self-care?
I have prioritised my self care more and more after every baby, I learnt the hard way through burning myself out a few times that actually I was the most important person in the family and that it can't function without me being energised and happy. So I block out a 4 hour block of time every week on a Sunday afternoon where I go missing from the home and either go for a walk with my girlfriend, swim in the ocean, have a meal out or see a movie. It's SO important and I love that time. I also prioritise my meditation, and try to grab 5 or 10 minutes each day in amoungst the chaos to meditate.
What is one of your favourite small rituals? (a simple act that brings you joy)
My morning cup of tea or bulletproof hot chocolate (recipe below!)
I started it after my second baby when I was living away from my husband due to work commitments and I had a toddler and a newborn. I made sure I served myself up a hot cup of tea before I did anything else for anyone. It's remained that way since then.
Do you have any family rituals?
Yes we do! I LOVE rituals and when I was introduced to the journey of a ritual in my early 20's I felt like I was coming home. So I felt passionate about instilling it in my children from very young. On birthdays, full moon, christmas, easter or if a friend is leaving we create a circle in the backyard, surrounding crystals, essential oils, sage and palo santo and chant together and share what we are grateful for. Sometimes its total chaos and other times its bliss. We have had some really beautiful moments of presence with each other around a ritual.
What do you find your greatest challenge in motherhood?
My boundaries, I want to give them the world and always say YES, thats my nature, so I'm constantly working against that to provide healthy boundaries for them so they feel safe and secure.
Is there anything that helps you connect with yourself as a woman (beyond your role as a mother)
YES, dancing, I'm an ex-dancer, and when I move my body in a dance class I feel deeply connected to myself and I find now I am surrounded by 3 boys and my husband I crave women's circles and doing anything that involves being with groups of women.
What piece of motherhood wisdom (whether shared with you or learnt) has served you well?
I think the best piece of advice I read was that our children are our mirrors, they show us the beautiful parts of ourselves but they also expose the darkness and to pay attention to your own energy within the interactions with your children.
Want more of Emily? Find her online here. She is based in Sydney but offers online consultations.
Emily's bulletproof hot chocolate recipe:
Mix together 1 tbsp raw cacao, 1 tsp MCT, coconut oil or organic butter, honey to taste and hot water.