Indulging versus Nurturing...

Indulge:  to enjoy something desired
Nurture: cherish (a hope, belief, or ambition)
I was very challenged earlier this year by a wonderful book called "The Divided Heart" by Rachel Power. In it, she speaks with many artists who are also mums and reflects back on her different conversations in each chapter. It's a must read for any mother/artist, whatever art form you may create in! I remember one of her interviewees said something along the lines of "women are really good at indulging ourselves, but terrible at nurturing ourselves" and that has really stuck with me these past few months. I think I often confuse the two! 

For instance, sleep. I'm not a morning person...of course I'm not, I'm a muso!! I like staying up late and totally hate waking up early. Yet the reality is I have two kids, including one who needs to be at school at 9am every morning. When I indulge in a sleep in (which I do quite often!) then our mornings are frantic. I get stressed, I rush the kids, sometimes I turn into a crazy screaming lady, I don't have time to deal calmly with the little hiccups that occur between two kids, we forget to return school permission forms and get to school late. You get the picture!! But, on the rare morning when I get up a little bit before the kids, have a quiet cuppa and just a bit of time to myself before the kids wake, it is ALWAYS Good. No exception. Always. Good. So I have to learn that indulging in an extra 40 minutes in bed is no way near as great as nurturing myself and my family by giving myself those precious moments to my self, no matter how much I think I hate mornings.

Here's another one: Food!! I like to indulge!! In fact, this past year has seen me invent my very own diet. I call it the "CH" diet...that is where you generally only eat things starting with a "CH"....cheese, chips and chocolate. It's not a very good diet, I know, and for the first time in my life (as quite a small person who has never had to think too much about my weight,) I've noticed a couple of kgs creep on, and a few favourite dresses not quite fit any more! I know it's because this year when I've been stressed, tired, overwhelmed, in need of some sort of comfort I have indulged myself with food, rather than nurtured myself with food! So what would a nurturing diet look like, I wonder? I have a feeling it would include many earthy foods..lots of things straight from the garden, things that give me energy, things that are full of vitamins, things that make my body and mind feel good!

I have also recognised only recently that I over indulge in technology!! Up until this year, I had resisted things like facebook, twitter, smart phones...I had never heard of Instagram and pod casts! I avoided social media for a long time, but felt that I was starting to "fall behind", so found it important to include some of these things in my life in order to remain connected in. Using social media has actually been great, and more enjoyable then I expected. I feel connected to loved ones, I've built up a larger following for my music and blog, and I can totally see how my recent creative venture "Hundreds and Thousands Magazine" would not have happened at all without the use of social media. But like many people who find a new thing that's kinda fun, I have indulged.... and indulged a lot. I have hardly been able to switch my smart phone off since I got it. I forget to actually enjoy moments, because I'm trying to take photos of them and then I'm busy choosing one to crop, filter and post on Instagram..and when I look up the great moment I just posted online has passed me by. I am often with my kids but not really "with them" because I'm checking something really important like my facebook page for the third time that morning. I have even been known to feel like sewing, but then think "Oh no, I can't because my camera and phone aren't charged", as if creating things is only of any benefit if I can share on the internet what I have made. This is madness!!

But. I know that when I put limits around these things, they can nurture my soul. Sharing things that I really care about with you guys on my blog, checking into facebook occasionally to remain connected, sitting down with a cuppa once the kids are asleep and enjoying all the lovely pics everybody posts on Instagram, rather then constantly looking at it all day!

So, to indulge or to nurture. That is the crossroads that I am currently at. I hope with all my heart that I can day by day consider more ways in which I can nurture myself, rather than indulge. There are so many things I know I can do to nurture my mind, my heart, my creativity, my body, my family!! I need to daily remind myself to choose to nurture, even if it isn't as quick, easy or as instantly gratifying as indulging myself!!

I don't normally write like this on my blog, but I know many of my readers are mums, creatives, women, partners, and I'm really keen to share my thoughts on this with you all, and to also hear what your thoughts are on the matter!!!????

Mezz xoxo

PS Still a few more days if you want to join in with my Christmas gift tag swap!!


  1. Hey Mezz, I think you'll find lots of us, if we're totally honest, will relate in some way to what you're saying. I remember learning about 'seasons' in life, and balance.It takes a while to get it right (I still stuff up sometimes), but we're learning right to the end. And, as you've recognised this as an issue, you're already half way there in doing something productive about it. You articulate it very well (one of your many strengths) and that could be so useful to whoever reads your blog....and maybe sees a kindred spirit in you! Life just keeps evolving, bringing up new challenges and ideas. All part of us growing into the best people we can be. As long as we don't beat ourselves up, it's great to learn new stuff about ourselves even if we don't like it that much. Only then can we make positive change. And while it's good to nurture yourself, don't be afraid to let others nurture you as well, as you do to others. Does that make sense?? Anyhow, love you lots. I think you are an amazing young woman and I'm sure the world is a better place because you are in it...imperfections and all. Hey, who's perfect??xo

  2. well said...thanks for sharing xxxx

  3. at least your on to it now, and you'll get the balance back! it's so true, it's easy to let things slip I think it happens to us all. Good luck, Heather x

  4. Yes there are good and bad points to all this, have some social media free days. You don't go on, look at anything, post pictures....works for me, also don't feel guilty about having a break ( also don't feel guilty that you love it too....now guilt, that's a good one for us mums!) :) x

  5. Hey Mezz, great post. This is all stuff that I have been thinking of a lot lately. I really miss Instagram, and especially as it was a great way to keep up to date with Melb peeps like yourself, but I have come to the realisation that I am an all or nothing kind of person. I'm no good at limiting myself and keeping within healthy boundaries so for me, social media isn't a good thing. I even sold my smart phone and went back to an old talk and text only phone. I love the indulge vs nurture idea, and another good one for me to remember is that I appreciate living slowly and in the moment. I think, though, that its prob something a lot of mums struggle with. We give and give and give until all we want to do is switch off, and technology is great for switching off. How nice is it though when instead of switching off we do something to feed our soul???
    (As I type this branny is next to me saying Mum! Cuddle?? Up?? Cuddle?? ooo, how they know when we are not fully present!!)
    Love to you and yours xxxxx

  6. Great post, is exectly the way i feel/ think about it.
    Us woman should nuture our selfs more
    This whole multi media thing can be addictif,its very importent to find a good balance in it
    Because it triggers the adiction part of our brain.My english is not that good but i think you know what i mean. Greatings

  7. Very True Mezz and well said. Sometimes I feel like social media turns me into a zombie. I lose moments that I could use to create and spend time with my little one and partner. Sometime I look at my little and wonder where has the time gone. He is growing so much every day and it will be over before I know it so it is really important to cherish those moments so that we don't regret not doing so later. I think that book is definitely one for the reading list. xx

  8. This is such a great post Mezz - I loved reading it. So relevant to all us creative Mums :) It is all about balance isn't it - you've got to feed your own creativity, while juggling (and enjoying) family life. Honestly, I don't know how any of us manage it all, hehe! I think we should pat ourselves on the back for even getting a little bit of it right sometimes :) Interesting to compare 'indulging' and 'nurturing' - that's made me stop and think - thankyou!
    Alison x

  9. I loved this post! Found the indulge/nurture differentiation was really helpful. It's a conversation I'm working though a lot at the moment from a ministry perspective, rather than creative (although I'm currently playing with a bit of knitting in my spare moments) as I work out what life looks like with a little one in tow. So thanks, another thread to add to the collection of thoughts.
    Miss you guys :)