Bet you never thought you’d see a how to be a good wife in a post from me, yeah? LOL. Me either. But hold off on clicking away, I haven’t gone mad… Not much, anyway. Haha. The headline promises to tell you how to be a good wife, daughter, sister, friend (you could add mother, but I really don’t want to tell you mother types what to do, not being one and all) and I’ll do that. It could almost be one line;

You have to put yourself first to be a good wife.

It has zero to do with dinner on the table, a tidy house, well-presented eyebrows or candle lit sexy time. Zip. And to be honest, if that’s what it was about there’s no way I’d be writing this. You know me, damn THE man to the end. Luckily, that’s not the case.

To be great in life, to be a present and caring person in the front row of your life you have to be taking care of yourself first. Numero uno. Not debate about the pressing needs of parents, of spouses or children. You need to look after yourself and to be a crazy ninja type, with mad defensive skills to protect your right to do that. Full stop.

Now I’ve gotten myself into hot water on more than one occasion taking on too much. This week has been a bit like that for sure. Lasting on only a few hours sleep per night, especially towards the end fo the week, I was wrapped up in the million and one project I had running and forgot to care about myself.

The honest truth of it is that I’m so unfit at the moment it’s not funny. A simple walk, over a reasonable distance, will leave me flushed and a little out of breath. Red-faced and blotchy is not the life I carved out for myself.

I’m not sure what happened but somewhere along the way I lost the drive to live a healthful life. I compromised myself for a range of things that hang in the balance if I don’t get my backside (literally) into check.

You need to be about you. You need to be undivided in the attention you pay yourself because you matter. And you are a heck of a lot better for those around you when you are well, full of health or have some room to breathe. There is nothing team player about being too exhausted to participate in your life.

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Lately, I’ve been cranky. Like next level cranky, irritable and downright snappy. I get pushed over the edge ridiculously fast. Not fun to be around at all. Not for long anyway. And I can no longer blame it on a lack of sleep, or numerous simultaneous deadlines. I am not taking care of myself and it’s starting to show. And not just in my attitude.

I arrived at the pool the other morning, after getting over the initial shock of the cool water, I started to swim. Within 50m, I was finding it hard to do more than 2 strokes to every breath. Hmmm. On the return trip my pace slowed and my arms felt heavy. It’s going to take something to get back to where I was, I thought to myself.

And it will.

It’ll take making time for myself every day. Not to drink wine as a way to wind down, but to exercise and cook and take care of myself mentally. I’ve lost a lot of the fitness I was proud to call my own and I’ve been hiding that from myself and from others wherever I could.

In a lot of ways, this post is about coming clean. About fessing up and saying that no, I haven’t been living the life I want to lead (not in all aspects anyway). I will look after myself so that this blog will continue to operate. I will take better care of my mental health because I know that being exhausted is a major trigger for me. You can expect me to do better because around here we lovingly demand that of each other.

That, my friends, is how you be a good wife, a better sister and friend, an awesome mother and daughter. You recognise that your self-care has gone somewhat out the window (when it has) and you readjust. I will take better care of myself because I deserve it and because those around me deserve the best version of myself. For the longest possible time.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy or cool about burn out.

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