We laughed, we cried, we shared secrets and we bonded like only mothers who have the courage to bare their souls can do. It was a gift to me to have met the women at a recent workshop I held at The Union in Highland Village. The feature of our gathering was award-winning author of The Enlightened Mom book/meditation series Terri Britt. Her motto is “When mom heals, the family heals, the world heals!”
It goes without saying being a mom is a demanding job, both physically and emotionally. It’s filled with sleepless nights (whether because the baby isn’t sleeping through, a child is sick, you are worried about your teenager’s social life choices or even college-tuition-induced insomnia). There is no shortage of sacrifice moms make every day to keep their children warm, fed, clothed, active, educated and socially harmonious.
The problem is as women we are wired to nurture and we are champions at putting others ahead of ourselves. We tend to let time constraints, mom guilt, and financial stressors override our ability to take good care of ourselves. We associate our performing as wife/mother/daughter/friend/coworker as a way to receive love and to feel accepted. We work hard to meet everyone else’s needs in order to affirm ourselves as “good enough.” In the process we can easily and often become disconnected from ourselves.
When we become detached from our inner wisdom and from our source (for some this is God, the Universe, our heart, and our intuition) we often begin to feel resentful or frustrated with our families, we have mixed up priorities, we lose direction and we can begin feeling overwhelmed as a result. All of this tends to have a negative effect on our relationships.
The weekend workshop was a vehicle that allowed the attendees to check out of their usual service for a day and a half in order to remember how important our role is as the emotional beacon in our families. We learned when we take good care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, our partners and children thrive! What starts at home (connected/solid relationships) then gets brought into our schools and communities.
So, mom, my advice to you as we head into the sometimes chaotic holiday season is to remember that you cannot give what you do not have. Taking care of YOU means carving out time for whatever feeds your soul. And if you don’t know what that is at this point, it’s time to scale back on your commitment to other things so you can figure it out.
You are worthy of love and belonging without having to sacrifice your physical and emotional health. Take it from a mom who knows…I have been absolutely in your shoes having to remember when I am run down I am no good to my family.
The healthiest, happiest, most important gift you can give your family is a woman who is clear in her boundaries and priorities, who uses her voice with confidence and who understands the value of standing in her light.
If this month’s column resonates with you and you’d like to learn more about the work I do with moms, I’d love to connect! Please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you and your family have a season filled with healthy connection!