I became a mother at 43 years of age which means I had a lot of time to grow, have fun and focus solely on me. As an older mother, I am very contemplative and conscientious about my daughter's well being but as conscientious about my own.
I am fully committed to my happiness FIRST.
How did reading that make you feel? I know how it makes me feel...free. I’m not the perfect wife or mother, sometimes suffering from mother's guilt and wife guilt ( yeah that exists too) but I am perfectly committed to my wholeness. What does that look like on a daily basis? Here’s a few very “self-ish” things that I do-
I’m honest, to myself and to others, about what I’m feeling. I am transparent about my feelings with both my daughter and my husband. I’m an affectionate mom but some days I am emotionally “full”, holding on for dear life, and literally being touched can drive me over the edge. It will be those days when my daughter, who is not lacking love and affection from me, seeks more attention. When I don’t have it in me to give it to her, I say plain and simple “Mummy doesn't feel like hugging right now honey, give me some time”.
I say no, because I don’t want to. I say no because I can’t pretend that I “feel” like it. I say no, because I know that I fill her love cup all the time. I say no because I have dominion over myself while simultaneously teaching her that mummy is not just a vessel for her to take from, that how I feel matters just as much as how she feels.
So the days that mummy can’t give anymore of herself, she doesn’t and I do not feel ashamed about it.
2. I hold space for myself!- “Holding space” means being physically, mentally, and emotionally present for someone. As women, we tend to hold space for everyone besides ourselves. We seem to be hardwired to assume everyone else’s problems, emotions and needs.
I hold space for my husband, my friends, my daughter, my parents, my clients. Holding space for others, although a blessing and a gift, when without boundaries, can be exhausting.
So I also hold space for ME. I give in to my feelings- sadness, grief, my fears. I allow myself the indulgence of feeling sad or frustrated...for a day. That’s my limit. After 24 hours, I let it go!
Validate yourself, validate how you feel
3. I take space- for myself. Literally. I can become “full” quickly so I have to be honest about when I feel overwhelmed. During this endless quarantine, I have to handle a 6 year old child who is a Chatty Cathy with unlimited energy, invest energy in and with my coaching clients, manage the household, continue to evolve my business, study for my class etc. etc. etc. When I feel like I am not functioning at an optimal level, I get annoyed that, had I just said “ no”, my plate wouldn't be that damn full! I go for drives by myself, I ask my husband and daughter to not speak to me until I can get it together, I sit out back and take in the sun and NO my daughter is not allowed to join me lol.
I refill my own cup.
4. The most important commitment to myself has been completely scheduling my day. The order that has been created in my life by just scheduling has been immense. Date nights are scheduled, projects are scheduled, virtual schooling is scheduled and the spaces in between allow me freedom to give of myself to others fully and without resentment. Because my time is usually measured and allocated, I feel less and less overwhelmed or under pressure. Committing to your Self isn't easy but it's honest.
Does this resonate with you?
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