Motherhood; The Truth

Featured

Tags

, , , ,

motherhood the truth, self-care for mothers, love, motherhood,

For most of us motherhood is a life-long dream.

You’ve imagined for years how amazing it will be.  How much you will adore the little people you’ve created, how you will laugh with them, sing with them, play with them, teach them, listen to them and cherish your time together.

Then something happened.  You had children.  The bubble burst.

Before you became a mother you had it all figured out, you’d watched others mothers’ and knew how you wanted to be and how you didn’t.   You judged, we all did.  But it wasn’t until you had your own that suddenly you felt compassion for all those mothers’ because now you get it.  Now you see why they shout and bribe and do all the things you will never do.   Until you do.

The thing is no one ever told us the truth about motherhood, not the whole truth.  Everyone is so keen to show their best bits and hide those parts of themselves that they aren’t so proud of but this creates an illusion; one where you feel like the only one who struggles, the only one who just isn’t ‘good enough’.

Motherhood is everything you dreamed it would be, you love your child beyond measure and you would lay your life down for them but sometimes when no one is looking and no one is listening, sometimes you feel alone, sometimes you cry, you might even pray for help.

It’s amazing how someone so small can make you feel on top of the world one moment and flat out exhausted the next.  Children are able to conjure up every emotion known to woman:

Pure unconditional love, joy, happiness beyond measure and then in the blink of an eye things can change, you feel powerless, a crumpled mess on the floor, half the woman you were just moments ago, exhausted you cry, you shout.  You do all the things you swore you would never do.

This dream you’ve longed for suddenly feels like a beautiful nightmare where your surrounded by adorable little energy vampires of your own creating that seem to have a sixth sense for the first sign of relaxed contentment, it’s as if a button on your ass sends a signal to their brain the moment you sit down ‘Warning: mother is sitting down.  Must cause mayhem.’

It’s crazy but it’s your crazy and you wouldn’t change it for the world.

For every low there are 10 highs.

For every sleepless night there’s a 1000 smiles that say ‘I’m worth it’.

For every ounce of guilt and worry there’s a little person standing there to prove you are good enough.  You’re more than good enough.

For all the negative traits that motherhood seems to draw out of you, there’s a cuddle and an ‘I love you’ that lets you know they forgive you and that all that really matters is love.

The real truth about motherhood is that it’s hard, really hard.  Nobody said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it and it’s definitely that!

I’ll be happy when….

I’ve been blogging for just over a year now about creating my dream life. I thought my dream was to become a published author but that’s just a goal.  I thought my dream was to inspire women to go for their dreams and to run my own successful business following my passion and living my purpose but it’s not that either.  Motherhood is my dream, it’s been a life-long dream but now I’m here some days it feels like a nightmare because the reality doesn’t match up to the image I had created of it.

I’ve been searching for external things to make me happier and calmer.  ‘I’ll be happy when’ can easily become a mantra but we can only be happy now. We can only enjoy motherhood now.  It’s so easy to wish it away thinking it will be easier when [fill in the blank ] but you only have this moment now, your child will never be this age again.  We have to stop projecting motherhood into the future and step into it in the present and that will be so much easier to do when we accept that the dream of motherhood is far different to the reality.  It’s the dream of motherhood that keeps us locked in the nightmare.

If you are constantly pursuing something outside of yourself in hope that you will be happier when you achieve it, it will never happen, yes you will achieve what you wanted but then there will be a new goal and a new challenge, this is especially true in motherhood.  Every age and every child brings new challenges to the table and we can’t look for solutions outside of ourselves, we need to look within.

The truth is motherhood is bloody hard work but nobody tells us that, I mean not really, so when we find ourselves knee deep in kids, exhausted and overwhelmed we feel like such a failure and like we are the only ones who feels this way.

How to be your best

Motherhood can be a lonely place but we are all in this together, our challenges and experiences may be different but our guilt, worries and fears are the same and we all have one thing in common, we want to be the very best we can be for our child.  Do you know how you can do that? By being the best you can be for yourself.  Until you look inward and focus on yourself and nurture yourself in meaningful ways you won’t be able to be your best for your child.  When you’re exhausted and overwhelmed that is what you give, when you are happy and full of energy that is what you give.

All those things you are looking for aren’t out there to be found, they are already within you waiting to be discovered.  Motherhood is hard work so make it easier by going easy on yourself.  Stop beating yourself up and start taking some much needed time each day to rest and yes I hear you ‘I don’t have time’ but please hear me when I say you need to make it, you need to make the time for yourself each day before motherhood passes you by and you look back and realise your priorities were wrong.

Don’t focus on the mess focus on the moment.  Don’t focus on the lack focus on all the things you do have.  Don’t focus on what you would like to change about yourself focus on all the good things you already are.  What you focus on grows.  Focus on you and you will grow into the mother you know you really are instead of the mother you may have become.

Self-care is essential.  Do you have a daily self-care regime? If not it’s time to start one, start with 10 minutes a day just for you, do something you love or just sit back and do absolutely nothing but breathe!  Deep breathing is so simple yet so powerful.  If you would like a helping hand you can sign up to my newsletter below and I will send you a copy of my 10 minute deep breathing relaxation, all you need to do is sit back, relax and take a lovely deep breath in!

You are doing an amazing job; acknowledge that, love where you are at and love where you are heading.  The only thing your child needs is love; your love.

Self-care is exactly what my upcoming Breathing Space course is all about, so if you don’t have a current self-care regime and would like a helping hand on releasing the guilt for taking a break whilst learning some valuable tools to de-stress and enjoy being more present then check it out here.

With love and acceptance

Vicky x

Did any part of this speak to you? How can you squeeze 10 minutes into your day just for you? What challenges do you have that prevent you from doing that? share them and someone may just have the answer you need.  Motherhood doesn’t have to feel so lonely; we can reach out and help each other, even if at times that’s just virtually.  Reach out if you need to, I’m here for you x

button-signup2

mother me

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,

blue flower

I love the little synchronicities life throws in our path and I’m quickly discovering that when we are open to them and follow them, amazing things start to happen.

I’ll be totally honest with you, like I always am. Since my second daughter was born in June 2012 motherhood hasn’t been the blissful experience I expected it to be. It’s been hard, very hard at times. My children are my world, I love them more than any words can describe but there have been times when I wished I could just hide away. Being a mother is the most amazing and rewarding thing I have ever done but it’s also the most challenging, demanding and exhausting. However, there is a voice inside my head that nags at me, telling me it doesn’t have to be this way; it can be the blissful experience I thought it would be. I’ve learnt by now that when that little voice inside me starts to question things that life is about to take me on a journey of discovery. Here is how that journey goes…

Last year, just before my daughters first birthday, the doctor diagnosed me with depression, as soon as he said it I thought ‘what does he know!’ but as his words began to sink in the reality hit. Oh. My. God. I have depression. After 10 years of personal development, working on my mind and manifesting some amazing things in my life I could not believe I had depression. How could this have happened? So, I did what I do with every challenge I face, I asked myself what could I learn from this and how can I help others going through the same thing. I turned down the antidepressants, I was determined to make myself well.

There was one thing that surprised me more than my own depression and that was that when I confided in people, sheepishly telling them under a whispered breath ‘I have depression’ as if I was telling them a guilty secret, they all responded with a blasé ‘oh I’ve been on antidepressants for years’. They were all mothers. Why are so many mothers depressed? When I looked back over my year with truth and honesty, without judgement and blame it was clear to see why.

In my role as a mother, as a wife, as an employee and a business owner, I had given my all. Life had become a big routine of washing, cooking, cleaning, tidying, working, and worrying. It was non-stop. It was relentless. In all this time while I mothered my children and juggled all the things that come with the title of ‘mother’, who was mothering me?

When my children fall and hurt themselves I rub the invisible mark on their knee and with a gentle kiss I tell them ‘everything will be ok’. When they are hungry I feed them, dirty I clean them, scared I comfort them and anxious I reassure them. When they are bored I play with them, I make sure each and every one of their needs are met and the whole time I’m worrying that I’m not ‘good enough’. All the time the voice in my head speaks negatively to me, when I shout I worry I’ve ‘damaged’ them in some way, when I’m too tired to play I worry I’m pushing them away and not giving them enough of me, this voice is constantly judging and comparing, bringing me down deeper and deeper. No one is there to tell me ‘everything is going to be ok’, when my husband complains at the state of the house I hear ‘you’re not good enough’, when I’m just too tired to play I hear ‘you’re not good enough’, when my daughters writing isn’t as good as her peers I hear ‘you’re not good enough’. This voice inside my head, this inner critic is a bully. If I heard someone else talking to themselves or anyone else this way I would be disgusted. Is it any wonder I ended up with depression, when despite doing my very best, giving my all and getting no thanks for it, that all I hear is ‘you’re not good enough’. So, what to do about it?

First of all is acceptance. Accepting that good enough is good enough and I am more than that! I don’t want to spend the next 18 years worrying that I’m not good enough only to discover in hindsight that I was. So I accept that good enough is good enough and each day I tell myself ‘I did my best today and tomorrow will be even better’.

Secondly and most importantly, it’s time to mother me. The main thing I’ve learnt from this past two years and from my depression is that I can’t give all that I have to give, be all that I am meant to be and do all that I want to do when I am empty. When my mind, body and soul aren’t nurtured and loved I give from an empty well. I’ve discovered that to give my children everything, I first have to give to myself. I have to talk to myself in the same loving way I talk to them; I have to find ways to rub my knee and heal the wounds motherhood can create. I have to find time to play, laugh and grow as me, not just as a mother. Then I can be the very best mother to my children, when my cup is full, so will theirs be.

I’ve known all of this for a while, the words ‘mother me’ have echoed in my mind for over a year but I ignored them. I kept getting drawn back into the daily routine and by the time the girls are asleep im to tired to do a thing for myself, sometimes even running a bath is just to much effort but I know if I always do what I’ve always done, I’ll always get what I’ve always got. They say you have to be the change you want to see in the world, so I’m taking action. I want mothers to give from a full cup not an empty one. I want my girls to love and nurture themselves so I need to teach them how, children do as you do not as you say. To love myself more is to love them more and for them to love themselves too.

The first part of healing and nurturing for me has been writing this blog. As I pour my heart onto the page, as I ‘confess’ to not being perfect it takes a huge weight off my mind, it releases something and it allows my soul to express itself creatively, something we all crave deep down. Writing nurtures me in a way I would have never of known had I not taken the first step.

As the words of this blog were echoing in my mind, a friend and local doula and healer, invited me to a workshop she was running called ‘the wounds of motherhood’. Something in that title spoke to me. My first response was that I couldn’t go, it was on a Sunday afternoon which is our only family time in the week and I was working the rest of the weekend, but my ‘inner knowing’ told me I had to go and I listened. I followed that gut feeling, you know the one we all ignore too often. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was amazing, I healed a wound I didn’t even know existed and I have felt the shift these last few days. I left the workshop knowing that it was time to nurture myself fully not just the odd moment here and there; it was time to write this blog and take action. After the workshop I had a dream, it’s a reoccurring dream I’ve had for years. In it a tiger is on the loose and it stands face to face with me and i’m scared, I’ve never got to see how the dream ends because I wake with my heart pounding and i’m thankful to be alive. This time was different. As I saw the tiger escape I ran and hid. I found myself in a tiny room full of women, there was a large window with rickety blinds and the tiger stood snarling, saliva dripping off his hungry jaws, he was inches from me but my gaze was fixed on one woman. She was ready to scream, she was terrified, I held her gaze and with one hand raised reassuring her I whispered ‘everything is going to be ok’. The tiger left and I watched as the keepers caught it and put it to sleep.

It’s no coincidence that I had this dream the day after the workshop and the night I started writing this blog. The fear I have held for years has been released, I’ve faced it head on and now it’s been put to rest. In facing my own fears I was able to help other women do the same and we can now step out of the box, unafraid. Unafraid to nurture ourselves and follow our dreams; it’s time to let go of guilt for taking a rest, it’s time for us all to fill up our cup. It’s time to express yourself creatively, whatever that means for you. When we take steps to nurture ourselves and we refill our empty wells, we will be able to give so much more to our children and we will teach them how to give to themselves. Life shows us the way, it speaks to us through our intuition, our ‘inner knowing’, it talks to us in our dreams and it brings things into our awareness just at the right time. Learn to follow these little synchronicities and amazing things will start to happen.

It is time to mother me.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this; share your story or tips on how to you create time to nurture yourself. I’ll be sharing my nurturing tools over the coming weeks and months so if you want more please sign up using the follow option on the right handside and you’ll never miss a post!

With love, gratitude and nurturing

Vicky x

For more details on the ‘wounds of motherhood’ workshop and similiar please visit rebecca’s website, I highly recommend her x

photo credit: mclcbooks via photopin cc

Lessons from a shoebox

shoebox

When my daughter came home with a leaflet about the Christmas Shoebox appeal it brought back fond memories of doing them as a child.  And now that I have my own children it brought even greater meaning to be able to offer such a gift to a child who, mostly likely, has nothing.

I bought a beautiful Christmas box and filled it with some lovely things that any little girl would love and when my 3 year old came home from nursery she asked for a look.  After explaining what it was for and that she wasn’t able to keep anything from the box I took the lid off and she squealed with delight!  She hugged the baby doll tightly to her chest “I love it” she said “my want one”.  As she rummaged through the box oohing and ahhing I watched her little face, it was filled with sheer delight, at what I thought were such simple things.  Things she has many of.

That night I thought about how happy she was with such a small box of gifts and the pressure most parents feel at Christmas to get ‘enough’ for their kids.

I don’t go mad on presents, I set a limit and stick to it, but I do find myself worrying that I have bought ‘enough’ and that it will look like ‘enough’ when they walk in the room on Christmas morning.

The truth is my daughter would be more than happy to have received that shoebox for Christmas and what my girls get is way more than the 700,000 street kids of Guatemala will get in a life time or what the Syrian refugee children will get this year.

Less really is more.

Enough is enough

I know by the time my girls get presents off ‘Santa’ and all their family and friends they have too much to play with and some of it, I’m sad to say, never gets touched.   I really think a few well thought out gifts is better than a pile of ‘just because’ presents.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t spoil our children, I’ve waited my whole life for mine and I’m sure as heck going to enjoy them, but I know that what children want more than a pile of presents for Christmas is our presence.  And not just at Christmas, but every day.  Imagine if we weren’t so crippled by consumerism, we’d spend less time working for the presents that the kids don’t really need, want or will ever play with, and we’d get more time to spend with our kids.  This goes for mums and dads.  I know we work for more than just Christmas presents but do we really need all of it?

I remember as a kid watching my mam and how hard she worked, she never stopped and no doubt got herself into a lot of debt to buy us all that she did.  I know she sacrificed a lot for us and I’m extremely grateful (thank you mam, I love you x).  I think part of my own expectation to buy lots stems from this, we always woke up to a huge pile of presents and I feel the need to do the same.  But I also see it all over social media too, photos of presents literally piled high for children no older than 2 and mums posting ‘is this enough?’ photos.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else gets for their child or how many presents they have to open; it’s the thought and love that went into choosing the gift that counts.  We’re instilling habits and values that will last a lifetime, so choose wisely which ones you want their sponge like minds to absorb.

It seems we are suffering from an epidemic, which I will term ‘not enoughness’.  We never have enough money or enough hours in the day, we don’t feel like we give enough to our children or spend enough time with them.  There’s never enough of anything.  We are never enough.   We need to break this damaging ’not enoughness’ mentality and realise that we are enough, we have enough and we do enough.  Enough is enough!

How do we end ‘not enoughness’

Personally I think the biggest culprit of this epidemic is comparison.  We constantly compare ourselves to others and especially to those that have more than us.  There will always be someone who has more and always someone who has less, a lot less, so I guess the level of your ‘not enoughness’ is based on which side of the scale you compare yourself too.

After seeing images today of refugee children sleeping on the streets, I know that my children have more than enough, that I give them more than enough and so next time I catch myself thinking thoughts of not enoughness, I’ll remember to turn my focus to the other end of the scale.  Those images will haunt me for a long time, I prayed for them and asked god to show me ways in which I can help; that’s all I can do for now and it’ll have to be enough.

With love and enoughness

Vicky xx

For all my wordpress followers – I have moved, so if you have followed me on wordpress and would to continue too come over and find me at http://www.motheringadream.com where I will continue to blog x