When you become a mother life can feel overwhelming.
In addition to all the physical changes you are going through (and I include changing sleep patterns (a nice way to put it!) in this realm, there are all the emotional, identity, relationship and logistical changes that motherhood brings with it.
The combination of hormones and romantic messaging from family, friends and social media lead us to have more romantic expectations of what motherhood might be like.
So when we find ourselves feeling those not-so-nice feelings, we get down on ourselves. We layer I-should-be-enjoying-this feelings on top of the not-so-nice-feelings! And in doing this, we often become our own worst enemies.
While it is impossible to unravel the emotional-identity-relationship and logistical ball of motherhood challenges, the easiest place to start is at a logistical level.
Because the most practical shifts in our lives happen at this level.
For instance, let’s take a look at our morning routines.
Where our pre-kid mornings used to feel leisurely. Stretching, then taking a longer-than-3-minute-shower, taking time to prune ourselves (hair styling included) as we listen to the radio, enjoying our breakfast with the paper, strolling to work casually… Sigh.
Remember those days?
In contrast, today mornings feel like a combination of mentally holding onto the back of a high speed train that is constantly under threat of being derailed while actually dragging a 10-ton pile of bricks on a broken down wheel-less trolley through the dunes of a dessert. In other words, our mind is on hyperdrive and our kids or in slug mode.
We grapple with this reality and then when we lose it or arrive late or forget a lunch or I don’t know, get to school in our slippers, we’re hard on ourselves.
To put it politely, we become annoyed and frustrated at not being able to get it all done, let alone to get it all done “right”.
Just the way we yearn for our pre-child freedom or pre-baby body, mothers also tend to grasp onto pre-parent standards that we held for ourselves.
This blog is a reminder that getting it all done is really, really hard.
And getting it all done “right” is impossible. This blog is a call for us to let go of the pre-parent standards we held for ourselves and to get real and embrace our new realities.
This, I believe to be relevant to all mothers, not just new mothers.
I mean, it took me near to 8 years of parenting to take to heart three truths that helped me to gain a healthy perspective. And by this, I mean a perspective that allowed me to redefine what “getting it all done right” looked like, and in so doing, to be kinder to myself (and those around me).
Truth #1. You are no longer just one.
This may feel like such an obvious truth. Clearly when you multiply and grow your family, you are introducing other humans in.
Nonetheless, this truth is one that we tend to forget when we blame and shame ourselves for feeling frazzled, forgetting, being late or simply not getting it done (let alone getting it done right).
I mean think about it…it takes us near to two decades (or more!) to learn how to simply take care of ourselves properly! And then, within minutes, hours, days (and sometimes without any training or much support!) we are expected to know how to take care of another!
Everything basic need you used to tend for, for yourself, you now need to tend for for another (or many other) human beings.
This is a big deal! It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of work, because…
Truth #2. Little people’s needs are complicated.
We cannot simply duplicate what we do for ourselves (as my husband so often wishes and attempts?!) for our children.
This is especially true with little littles who don’t have teeth, have different sleep routines, wear diapers, etc…
Or for toddlers and school aged kids who can’t take nuts to school, lack any clothing sense or simply don’t feel the cold (any parents with kids who want to wear shorts in sub-zero temperature? Yup.), or do the crazy hair day thing.
It’s a lot to do and it’s a lot to think about!
Truth #3. No training.
We train for years to become professional whatevers. However, and only if we’re lucky or especially organized, we take a few-week long course to prepare for child birth, breastfeeding and (maybe) the early days of babyhood.
There are very few (if any) parenting and motherhood courses that help to prepare you for the mental chaos, emotional demands, logistical complexities, and shifts in identity and relationships that motherhood brings with it.
You are going in – at least partially – blind.
Besides, each child is different and every day is different! Once you jump one mama hurdle, another pops up – often a bit higher or on rougher terrain.
So dear Mama, hold these truths in mind and in heart and be kind to yourself.Recognize that motherhood ain’t easy. It a challenge and that it’s a learning process.Click To Tweet
Embrace the learning. Know that mistakes are ok.
Know that your love and efforts are what your child most needs. Know that you are enough.
Also know that you do not need to muddle along in the dark alone.
There are ways that you can support yourself towards more mind clarity and Mama presence. Tomorrow I will begin a new and improved version of the Clear Mind | Present Mama Challenge – a free 5-day on-line program that is designed to help
It is based on what I learned on the back of my stressy messy first 8-years of parenting.
All the tricks that help me to organize my mind, my energy, my time in a way that allows me to be present for my three little (not so little) monkeys. I wish I had had these tools from day one!
To learn about how the Clear Mind | Present Mama Challenge works, please visit this page. You can save your spot there, too.
This is a great way to be kind to yourself, Mama!
Hope to see you there!
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