As May has come to a close and we are heading into a "Joyful June" (hint hint.... watch this space)., I thought I would do a quick wrap up of the month of May... and all things MotherHood. Across the month of May I have conducted two interviews with Mothers, and have also held a zoom call for mums to learn about thriving through Covid-19 times!
But amidst it all I had the pleasure of having many frank conversations with Mothers, and from this, I have come up with a list of 5 key elements to thriving through the journey. Because let's be real.... there are some days where we are underwhelmed and overwhelmed all at the same time, and the journey that felt easy the day before feels like quicksand as you drag your body through it to get to that glorious bedtime. So here are my (Dr. Ali's) top 5 tips as taken from a few different mums over the month!
1. It's OK to need time away to be your best self
I think that one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves as mums is that we can only deserve time to ourselves if we have 'earned it'. Everything in house is down, kids are fed and happy, all the needs are met. But you know what... sometimes we just mother and parent better when we have had time to ourselves to regroup and reconnect with our own centre. When we have rediscovered that sense of EASE within ourself, then we show up differently for our family. Taking time to acknowledge that we are better when we have had this time.... that's true mothering. We can't care for others if we don't care for ourselves.
2. Village = Survival
I really think a key to surviving this motherhood journey is bringing in your village. Having the ability to tap into that village atmosphere is key, and really can help to bring about the greatest in your mothering times, and also support you in those times of struggle. I acknowledge highly that many of the mums who have had new babies born this year haven't had the opportunity to make those village connections, so finding a way to get that... it really makes a difference.
3. The lie of Automatic LOVE
Now I don't want to sound like a pariah of the modern day motherhood movement, but for some women, they just don't fall absolutely overwhelmingly in love with their child the second they lies on them. And that is OK!!
For some women we develop that LOVE for our children over the next hours, days, weeks, months and even years. Their is nothing wrong with us if this is US. As a society we have been fed that if we don't fall overwhelmingly in love with our children the second we are born, there is something wrong with us and we are a failure. This is a lie. You are a great mother, and no less of a mother if you build this love up over time.
4. There are Never too many Cuddles
I know I know.... this one comes from the second generation mums, yep that's right the Grandmas! You can't cuddle your kids too much, and don't ever think that you can! Shower them with love, show them you care, scoop them up and smother them with kisses. But loving on your kids can't be the wrong decision.
5. Be Kind to Yourself... Your Joy = Their Joy!
I feel that I go on about this one often, but your joy does equal their joy. You know that time that you are playing music in the kitchen, loving on yourself sick as you remember that great song from your early years, and how you just get into it... and the kids do too! Thats JOY TRANSFERENCE. It's totally a thing, and honouring the joy within yourself to spark their joy... BRILLIANCE. So be kind to yourself, find your Joy Thermometer, and make a special JOY time in your house to really get that fun back into your mothering.
It's been a great month exploring many concepts with you all. Remember, I post on our practice facebook page most days, so don't forget to follow us to get all the good goss.
And for June.... lets harness some JOY EXPLOSIONS together ... and really get into our FUN sides!
Yours in health,