We need to learn to date ourselves before we expect others to date us.

Learning to love myself just as I love and respect others has been one of the greatest lessons that this year has given. I had no idea that Motherhood was relentless.

Everyone promised me that when the kids went to school that things would get easier. They promised me when they slept through the night, exhaustion would fade and the sun would peak through the dark clouds on the horizon. We talked for five years about what we would do when he went skipping off down the school path.

But they lied.

They all offered me an expectation that was unachievable and I grieved the nomad lifestyle I had when my babies were small. I had no idea that school hours would become so restrictive and the goal posts grew smaller with fundraisers, discos, jog-a-thons, crazy hair days, collections for the Vincent de Paul, homework folders, swimming lessons and the list grew daily.

This year I had to learn to block out time for myself, to find the depth of resource that was hidden in my soul, to once again grow.

Growth is painful. It is like a stretching of our courage to believe that we can once again do more. Growth increases our capacity, to juggle and bend. It makes us more flexible and this is an undervalued quality in a person, that no one tells us is required.

Above all of this, however, I am learning that if I do not find ways to look after myself, to refill my tank and to take the time to date myself, no one else will want to hang around with me.

Do you fill your days with tasks for others?

Do you then feel ripped off when no one reciprocates for you?

It is easy to forget that we need to prioritise our own needs above that of those who are around us. That is why when travelling on an aeroplane, we are told over and over to put on our own mask, before trying to fit someone else’s. If we are unable to breathe how can we help someone else?

Every Christmas season I find myself depleted at the end of a season of growth. Adulting is stretching and to just stay sane, takes a lot of deep breaths and patience. That is why for the last fourteen years I have planned little dates with myself to recalibrate and recover.

This year I have created a workbook, pro forma to help you retreat away from the crazy and find your voice again.

It is called New Days.

If we keep doing the same thing over and over we cannot surrender to the new.

It is a journalling pro forma.

An opportunity for you to get it messy, to draw, to explore, to refine and to recover.

Set a date for yourself today.

Download your copy here.

Or order your printed version here.

Enjoy dating yourself this Christmas and let’s together continue to grow in the way we are kind to yourself.

Also, my friend Rebecca Ray has released an amazing tool to help you be kinder to yourself, you can sign up for it here.

Amanda