Dear Beautifully Distressed Mother,
I know what you’re thinking, as you drop your six year old off at school in the morning, in your pajamas, with wild hair & makeup still under your eyes from yesterday. You have your big bug-eyed sunglasses on in hopes that you don’t run into The Joneses next door in the car loop. Who has that time anyway to have such a perfect look at 8 o’clock in the morning? Apparently she does.
You go back home with your younger ones & just want a moment of peace. So you go into your bathroom and shut the door… “I have to hurry because the laundry needs to get done, I need to teach my two year old how to read, the pile of dishes is growing by the minute, that dust absolutely cannot wait…”
And then you hear… “Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! MOMMMMMY!” as her little hands bang on the bathroom door. Then those perfectly God made fingers slip under the door as if she could squeeze herself under there into your presence. She found you! There’s really no escaping her. You can run & hide momentarily, but she WILL find you. Your children can smell you from a mile away (sweet, isn’t it?).
Nap time finally rolls around & you have just a second to catch your breath. “I think I’ll finish the last chapter of my boooo…” before you can even say the word “book” you remember that you never finished the laundry from two days ago that you said you’d finish this morning. Great. Now it’s all wrinkly and you’ll have to iron it all… “Actually, no! I’m just going to rewash it…”
You want to pull your hair out. You just want a short break, is that too much to ask? Maybe you want to scream at the top of your lungs (like I’ve felt before).
“When did my life get to this point?” — There was probably a time where life was all about you. You bought the newest and most stylish clothes every season. You got your nails done regularly and you never saw your natural hair roots or split ends because you always had time to get them taken care of. You ate out at fancy places and drank foofy cocktails with long extravagant names along side coworkers who were also without child. If you wanted to sleep in on Sunday morning, you did it. You worked out more than once every two months and only leading up to special occasions. You did what you wanted to. And you did it when you wanted to. No regards to the outside World at times. Life was good, and life was for living.
But even though you had this great life, you had this deep yearning for more. You pictured yourself becoming a mother and you scoped out potential husbands at church, in class, at the grocery store, through your gay guy friends who were always able to pick the good ones out of a crowd…
And then you got what you asked for. You married a wonderful man, “settled down” as it’s called, and started a family.
You didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did! You lost yourself.
You lost yourself in your child, in being a wife, that pile of laundry & never ending dishes, dinner that won’t make itself. You lost yourself driving to and from baseball and dance lessons. At night when it was the perfect time to get intimate with your husband. You lost yourself the moment you decided, inevitably, unconsciously, in your nurturing, feminine, motherly demeanor that another human’s life was more important than your own.
And that is perfect. It is our job as mothers to put forth our best effort and unconditional love, with what we know and the resources we have, to fill our babies’ every need. But in putting yourself less than first, you lost yourself. And that is not okay. Because before you were a wife and a mother and every other job accompanied with this “fairytale” lifestyle, you were a divine feminine woman. You were sexy. You had desires & dreams. Aspirations. Passions.
Halt! Before you feel like jumping on me for the mere idea of putting yourself before your kids (which by the way, is not what I am getting at nor is it a horrible thing to do for the sake of your sanity) please exercise this idea… You are sitting on an airplane getting ready to take off. The floor belongs to the stewardess who goes over very important safety information. She gets to the part about what to do if there were a loss of oxygen & change of cabin pressure… what does she tell you to do? She says and shows you how to put YOUR oxygen mask on FIRST and then proceed to help others. It is only when you have free flowing oxygen into your body via the mask that you are able to assist others. If you do not have your oxygen mask on, you will begin to lose consciousness. You won’t be able to see straight or think clearly. It would be close to impossible to take care of another human being in the moment that you stop being able to take care of yourself.
So what does this metaphor look like in real life? It means, spending as little as 10-15 minutes out of your 24-hour day on yourself engaging in meditation, quick yoga, deep breathing, hot bubble baths, a glass of wine after the kids are in bed, or hell, even as you’re making dinner, dancing to your favorite music, laying down for a quick power nap, whatever that God-given feeling of joy means for you…
Engaging in activities such as these (and I know every woman has her own woo-sah’ing techniques) chill your mind… they take you out of go-go-go mode, stress mode, never-ending work mode, mom mode, and center you back into functioning human-being mode. I could list benefits for days, but what exactly would this look like for you?
Could you put aside a few minutes a day towards your own well being for the well being of your kids? If you parented from a more relaxed and joyful state, how would that be for you and of course how would that be for your kids?
It’s okay to re-FIND yourself after motherhood. To be quite honest, it’s been one of my favorite parts of my own journey; re-finding myself and to go even deeper, really discovering who I am to begin with. I’m coming into my own; my divine power.
But let’s get back to you. Listen, you are doing a hell of a great job. You love those kids like crazy. You would jump in front of a bullet for them. You would go to the ends of the world to make sure their every heart’s desire has been met. You love them up, cuddle them, kiss their boo-boo’s, laugh and cry at the same time when they reach new milestones all while scrambling for your iPhone (or Android) to get them on video. You look into those big beautiful brown eyes that remind you of yours and tell them how lovable they are, how special they are, how they’ve changed your life forever. And that is the most beautiful thing of all; the transformation into motherhood and having bestowed upon you the blessing of caring for a child.
So here’s my point in all of this… keep being that wonderful mother. But also, keep being that divinely feminine, sexy, fun, light-hearted, WOMAN — whatever that looks like for you. You might want to feel alive, connected, luminous, free, grounded, empowered, joyful, abundant, vibrant, chill, revitalized, sacred, whole, warm or wonderful. Whatever that woman inside wants to feel and desires, let her OUT! She has greatness to share with the World! And most importantly, above all else, you highly deserve to be at your best. That’s something that’s never changed nor will it ever change… You will always be worthy.