Zoe Blaskey on Motherkind, her “self-care” support platform
Q. Tell us about how Motherkind came to be. And how do you recruit people for the Motherkind podcast?
A. I founded Motherkind last year because I couldn’t find what I needed when I had my daughter. I found the transition into motherhood very challenging and I wanted to start a supportive conversation about motherhood by talking to wellbeing experts. Every week on the podcast, I chat to experts to share their wisdom, experience and tools – I’ve been lucky enough to interview some of the world’s best, such as Julie Montagu, Chloe Brotheridge, Mel Wells, Marianne Williamson, Dr Kristen Neff and Madeleine Shaw, to name a few. I’ve receive messages daily from mums who tell me the podcast has changed their life – I cry every time!
Q. There’s been a real upturn in talk about “self-care”, especially aimed at mothers and women. Why do you think that is?
A. I think we’re finally waking up to the fact that if we’re constantly giving to others and not to ourselves as well we can burn out, experience less joy, feel stressed, snappy, depleted, anxious and even depressed. And that’s not what we, or those around us, need. Our family needs us to feel happy, fulfilled and healthy. So many women struggle with giving even 10% of the care and attention they give to others back to themselves – often that’s because it wasn’t modelled to us when we were growing up or we might have somehow got the message it’s selfish to look after ourselves. So by looking after ourselves, we’re showing our children how to do it and we’re in a far better place to care for those around us. It’s a win-win.
Q. Are people more anxious than ever before, do you think?
A. Yes, without a doubt, and the data reflects that. Some experts say we are living in an “anxiety epidemic”. The pace of modern life, the “always on” work culture and social media are major contributors. Many of the mums I coach through my three-month programme come to me with anxiety and by the end of our time together feel transformed. In my experience anxiety is often trying to tell us something and when we shift the focus from trying to push it away to accepting it, amazing changes can unfold.
Q. How do you practise self-care?
A. I do three acts of self-care every day: a short meditation, a gratitude list and journaling (free-writing my thoughts down onto paper). I’ve learned how to fit these in with being a mum and I’m a better mother, wife and friend because of it. On the days I miss, I notice I start to feel overwhelmed, anxious, guilty and experience much less joy in my day. My number one tip for time-poor mums is to start doing a gratitude list, looking for and listing things that are great in your life, however small. It’s also a lovely activity to do with children and makes such a difference; our minds are wired for negativity, so by looking for what’s good – everything can change. Oprah said this simple practise changed her life. If it’s good enough for her…