As a mother it’s quite common to lose yourself throughout mothering and motherhood. Taking care of yourself in all kind of ways is important. Although that relaxing massage, that one-hour yoga classes or that date night seems to be the cure, there is more.
I’m sure all mothers can relate how – especially in those first years – finding a good amount of balance to be both a mother and a woman is challenging. Let’s not even start about being a friend, a colleague, a lover, a partner, an entrepreneur or anything else but really focusing on being a mother, because in the end that’s your priority and being a woman, because that’s how you support both yourself, your children and environment. And I’m sure everything else will get attention whenever the time is there.
Becoming a mother
You’ve spent the last 9 months connecting with your baby in the womb, preparing to give birth and to ‘meet’ each other for the first time. Then right after those deep long, sometimes even dark hours of bringing your baby here on earth it immediately feels like you get thrown into the water and learn how to swim for the first time, together with your baby!
Before the baby arrived, we at least get the space to pause a bit more, reflect, heal and rest after such an intense transition, but that’s not what you get after birthing your baby. You get to do that with your baby and at the same time that’s where we already loose a part of ourselves. Mostly it doesn’t stop there. Especially in this modern-day society where we either need or want to do it all alone. We’ve learnt to not ask for help, we’ve learnt that we are on our own, we’ve learnt that we can. So, asking for help, putting yourself out there and being vulnerable and letting others in, doesn’t come easily anymore. Or maybe we haven’t created a beautiful soft web of loving people surrounding us by which we feel safe and held. Either way, as new mothers, most of us ‘do it’ ourselves. As soon as you leave the hospital, the maternity nurse or postpartum doula leaves and probably a few days later your partner leaves to work too, we will be “left alone”. Alone with our baby’s. Not having a clue of what to do but most of the times knowing from the heart how to take care of our baby. Slowly but steadily we seem to forget ourselves more and more, finding somehow peace hopefully in this raw and messy motherhood.
A new shift has started and before we even become aware of it, we forget how to really take care of ourselves. That yoga class can wait or that lunch with a dear friend can be rescheduled. We want to be there with all our hearts for our little ones. We want to hold the space for them to grow and flourish. We want to love them for who they are.
But do we show them true love if we don’t love ourselves for who we are? Giving ourselves some time and space to nourish and nurture our body, mind and heart. There is this continuous feeling of guilt, the first time we leave them with their grandparents, a babysitter, at daycare or (pre)school. As mothers we mostly feel guilty for not being there with them. Even if we do take time for ourselves to practice yoga, watch that movie, join that dinner or party, we sometimes carry this slumbering feeling of guilt with us.
It’s all about energy
Yes, we can book that weekend away, have a massage or go for a shopping spree. Either it comes from a place of urgent need (because honestly, it’s hard to be really loving and simply nice when we haven’t spend time with and for ourselves for weeks!) or it’s a new rhythm we have found as mothers (building me-time on a daily-weekly basis), as long as we still carry that (un)conscious guilt with us, we’re not free and our cup is still empty. Most of all, we pass that on to our children as well. They work as mirrors and so do we!
If we want to take real good care of ourselves and our children, we need to find ways to let them go energetically as well. We might be able to let go of them physically, as we had to after those 9 months in the womb, and maybe after months/years of breastfeeding and/or carrying them in our arms or on our hips. Perhaps even mentally, enjoying being present without them and not having to think about them 24/7. But how do we let go of them energetically, when we feel we are ready for it?
When you are truly ready
All is energy and the energy of guilt takes up space. Only in space we are truly free and we can truly enjoy the times with and without them. It doesn’t mean you “have to let go of them” when they are 6 weeks old or even 2 or 5 years old. It means that when you truly feel ready that you need that space, not only because you were used to it but most of all because you are ready for it now, you can create a ritual, a closure of the time spending so close, helping both you and your child to transition into that new phase.
Ways to energetically let go
1) Take a moment together with your child and be in space. Say how you feel and share your intentions. Give your child the space to receive and maybe share too. Even if they don’t talk, give them some time and space to take it in and respond in their own ways.
2) Go within! Take some time to be alone with yourself and either journal, meditate or use your tool to go within and feel where you truly need to let go or which phase you are saying goodbye to. Take a moment to enjoy what you are letting go of, feel gratitude for being there with you and say goodbye.
3) Energetically cut the cord to a phase. Use gestures, energy, movements, yoga, breath work, water anything to release and take some time to either stand with both feet on the ground or sit with your sacrum connecting to the ground (through a meditation pillow works really well if that supports a more peaceful posture). Use this standing or seating posture as a way to ground yourself in this new phase. Do it for a couple of days.
4) Create a ritual after this. Give yourself some dedicated time by love- bathing with flowers, essential oils and crystals. Book yourself a massage as a way of releasing or give yourself a massage as a way of coming home to yourself right now. Take a conscious shower and the let the water wash the heaviness away. Journal or meditate a few days and maybe spend some real quality and present time with your little one. Mostly when we are letting go, we create the space for something new. Maybe one of them is to be more present now we have a bit more time for ourselves 😉
Know that you KNOW when it’s time to create some space again. Don’t rush it, let it unfold, loose balance, dive deep and fly high, feel the urge, the guilt, the need, experience it all and suddenly you KNOW time is right! Your motherheart knows best!