Mum ditches daughter's award ceremony for the gym in the name of self-care

Mums matter too.
Mums matter too.  Photo: Facebook/Kirsten Hewitt

This year, I've had one child each at kindy, primary school and high school. Pick ups and drop-offs could be stressful sometimes throughout the year, but nothing has been as taxing at the end-of-year madness – times three.

Three lots of break-up parties, three lots of graduations or end-of-year ceremonies, three lots of baking for them to bring a plate (couldn't be on the same day, of course), three lots of stress.

The only thing that keeps me sane is going out for a run almost every day. If I don't get my run in, my kids know I'll be like a bear with a sore head. It's my time. It's peaceful and quiet, nobody talks to me, I get the blood pumping, and I feel good for the rest of the day.

So when I saw Kristen Hewitt's Facebook post about ditching her daughter's honour roll assembly to go to the gym, I immediately knew where she was coming from.

"So I did something crazy that some may think is selfish recently, and it felt awesome," she wrote. "I missed my daughter's honour roll assembly so I could work out.

"I started to feel the guilt creep in as I made this tough decision, but then I remembered ME."

Kristen went on to explain how hard it can be to deal with life's ups and downs, and how hard it can be to "not have one single minute to myself".

We all know that feeling, right?

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Kristen talked to her daughter about how proud of her she was, but also that she needed to take care of herself.

"Guess what," Kristen continued. "She understood, gave me a hug, and thanked me for all I do for her. She also learned by example today that SELF-CARE matters."

Kristen told Babble, "Time is the one thing everybody needs and don't have enough of. We as mothers always feel like we have to put everyone else's needs above our own. We take care of the house and our kids and everything else and we've forgotten that our needs matter. We matter. Taking care of ourselves is taking care of our kids. I just knew that morning, I needed some time to myself and to get away and clear my head. This was my way of doing it."

Kristen explained that her husband and her mum went to her daughter's assembly, so she still had family cheering for her as she received her award.

I went to my son's choir concert last week and spent an hour craning my neck struggling to see the top of his head as he half-heartedly sang his way through a few songs (and then I sat and listened to dozens of other people's children because apparently it's rude to get up and leave once your kid's stuff is finished). I know he only goes to choir because it gets him out of class and he couldn't have cared less about that concert. But still I went, when I could think of 83 other things I'd rather be doing.

But Kristen's post has me thinking it's about time I prioritised myself sometimes too, and not worrying so much what others might think.

"I was worried about putting this message out there because I thought a lot of people would say I'm selfish or would judge me, but I don't really care what other people think," said Kristen. "I needed to take care of myself and I'm guessing other women and other mothers need to do the same. I felt like putting this message out there would help inspire other people to put themselves first."