I have been a parent for 23 years and I learned one very valuable skill. In our roles as moms we do one very focused task; we nurture and care for others. Yet that spiritual, heart and life nourishment that we give to those we love needs to manifest FIRST with ourselves. In my opinion, “mothering self” is at the heart and center of our own personal success in being able to balance all aspects of our lives. We simply cannot give from a place of empty.
Giving to others does not mean giving up on who you are. We are each our own best and most valuable personal asset. So in order to mother effectively externally…we need to mother internally at the same time. That internal mothering is our own personal place to thrive and continue to exercise our own value and personal curiosity with the world around us. Seeking balance? It starts in one space. Balance begins with our relationship to the person we know the best, our single longest relationship…ourselves.
Make no mistake. I, like so many of you reading this, made tons of excuses throughout my children’s lives as to why I could not do this or pursue that. I was too busy, it was not the right time, my kids or family needed me too much, who would do what I was doing if I was doing something else? Yet, all these conversations that I had with myself were exactly why I was not really mothering me. I was too busy micro-managing my mini-me peeps to possibly shine the light on myself. Somewhere lost in all those excuses was the true essence of the woman I had forgotten.
So how did I move past this?
One Essential #Truth: I let go.
I realized that I could not hold the reins so tightly on outcomes and control. I was so wrapped up in being Super Mom that I forgot to be me. I pressed the hold button on myself and on my career because I somehow believed that was the only way to parent effectively. I felt overwhelmed and stuck in a cycle…it was harder to give because I was not allowing for, our accounting for my own personal growth. Somewhere in all that mothering within my family I had lost ME! When I let go of the excuses, I was able to reconnect to this “forgotten woman.”
One Essential #Truth: I let go.
I accepted more at face value. I delegated out. House cleaning, babysitters, group events. I mindfully scheduled in time for me. Time to be alone. Time to exercise. Time for friends and adults of all kinds! Time to take a few classes and to travel more. Time to be late, to come early, to be me. Time to think! Guess what? Somewhere in that time and commitment back to myself, my creativity kicked back in. I knew that I was rolling toward a new chapter in my life. One I could really call my own. It did not make me less of a mother or less of a wife. It did not diminish my love for those in my life. It ignited my love for myself. With that recharged energy came possibility and opportunity. I was recognizing my own value and with that my own identity re-emerged.
One Essential #Truth: I let in.
What I discovered in making time to mother myself was that who I had become during my parenting tenure was quite a different woman than the one that existed pre-children. We don’t stop to recognize our own growth. We don’t stop to recognize if we are not growing. As mother’s we simply often do not stop! So, my message in all of this is that we need to stop. We need to put ourselves into the equation. We need to love whoever we are and to acknowledge the shifts in who we are becoming and how we are redefining ourselves.
One Essential #Truth: We need to let in.
When we do this, we shake hands with creating and recreating space for ourselves to be, and in so doing we evolve. When we let in we must be in the present moment in order to receive, which is a wonderful way to keep ourselves from wandering into tomorrow or recycling yesterday. It is in this moment, right now that we have the ability to thrive, to give ourselves the gift of love, abundance, curiosity and self-worth. We are our children’s first leaders. Teaching self-love, and confidence, and personal growth can only happen if we have the courage and commitment to mother ourselves and to model that behavior.
This is not selfish. Rather, it is an actionable way to stay current with YOU and to teach self-worth and personal commitment from a place of courage and independence. That same sense of self that you want your children to achieve in their lifetimes needs to be active in your own. #Truth!
Time to connect back to you and to redefine this chapter of your life? Ask yourself, what would you do if it were ten years ago?” Then do that!
How can you begin to mother yourself more between now and next Mother’s Day?
What can you let go of in order to re-connect to who you are now? What can you let in?