I’ve been lucky to have had some powerful mentors in my life. Strong, loving, soulful women who live life in the arena. As I travel further into motherhood, these are the pieces of advice that have helped me the most. They have nothing to do with parenting ( that’s a whole OTHER post!) but how to do life when small children need you to do EVERYthing for them. I hope this advice proves to be valuable for you as well!
You can have it all, just not all at the same time. While some may disagree with this, everything has a season. There is a time to be young and wild and free, a time to pour your heart and soul into a passionate business venture or creative project and a time to spend every waking second in awe of your child as they bloom in front of your very eyes. There is a time to run off in search of yourself and a time to stay grounded in who you are. There is a time to be a daughter, a mother, a grandmother and a lover. Staying present to the spot we are at on the long road of life will help us to find joy in every moment. I know as a mother who also has a business, sometimes I get frustrated that I get NOTHING else done besides being a mom. But hey, being a mom is a pretty big deal. This is my season to be a mom to babies who need me. I won’t regret being present for them, but I may need to stay up late some nights to get other things done.
Take care of your body. It is the only place you have to live. Need I say more? Not only does pregnancy and nursing literally suck all of the nutrients out of us, but it also depletes us in every other way possible. Throw a whiny toddler and a spouse that forgets to say thank you for making dinner in there and it’s a recipe for tears, sugar and endless cups of coffee. But here’s the thing- that makes us feel worse. Eat good food, even if it means throwing a few superfoods in the blender just to get in the essential nutrients to start the day. Don’t go crazy on caffeine, it will contribute to adrenal fatigue. This is a hard one for me. Find a few minutes wherever and however you can to take a walk and breathe. I’m in awe of what I’m able to accomplish with little sleep these days, just because I’ve learned to eat very well and take some time to breathe and stretch.
Meditate. I know. Are you tired of hearing it yet? None of us have time to sit peacefully for twenty minutes with screaming kids around. Find ten. Find a way to do it while nursing, or in the car. Headspace.com can help you if you don’t know where to start.
There is a difference between being vulnerable and being a mess. You’re allowed to ask for help and say you’re having a really hard time and bitch about your partner and cry a lot. That’s what our friends are for. Get it out. Being vulnerable is okay. You are not a mess, but you will become one if you don’t give yourself permission to do these things. You can say your gratitudes when you’re done.
Have messy closets. Okay, you don’t have to have messy closets but something has to give. One of my very dear friends is the woman who does it all. She is a wonderful mother, friend, wife and businesswoman. She opened up to tell me how she managed it all, and said the secret is….wait for it….. she had really messy closets. That was an area of her life she was totally okay letting go of. Mother’s can’t possibly hold it ALL together, so find one area of life you can relinquish control over and LET IT GO. I am still not totally okay with this, but I’ve loosened up all of my standards for household order. The floors get dirty and there’s often crumbs all over my countertops. There are toys everywhere. The boys bathroom has urine on the seat. I don’t like it, but I know if I’m constantly tidying up I will not get the things that are important to me done. One clean sweep at the end of the day is good enough.
Be grateful. You knew it was coming. It’s the fastest way to pull yourself out of a funk, and the easiest and most important thing we can have on a daily basis. When we say thank you for what we have it is also a universal sign to send us more of the good stuff! Woohoo!