I sit and write on this too warm Sydney evening after spending a night and entire day in the selfless service to my now nine year old daughter for her birthday today. I emerge exhausted. She’s exhausted ( after a beautiful day) but can’t sleep, maybe it’s the heat although my girls also have a friend staying. After what feels like the 59th trip up to their bedroom, I wonder what motherhood is really all about. I’m pushed to the edge of my patience, I’ve used every conscious parenting technique under the sun to no avail and am now just frustrated, even angry. Why do I try?
In preparing for this Friday’s mother self care workshop, I have been giving so much consideration to the karma yoga that we practice as mothers. As mothers we are known to be our child’s first guru. Most of us go to such lengths to give our children the framework, not only physically but emotionally, from which a well balanced child can grow. But at what cost? How much do we really give back to ourselves and how necessary is it? Let me tell you, very.
Without taking time to nurture ourselves, it is very hard to give and support others. We know this, yes? Of course we do, but the demands of motherhood don’t stop when your child is at school or with Grannie and Grandpa or even with their dad. There may be a stolen moment for one’s self during these times but how regular is it? Our best chance is to find ways for self nurture that don’t always rely on our children being in care.
Have you ever thought about meditating while you wash the dishes? Concentrating on every movement and sensation of your actions? You are also practicing relaxation anytime you are completely present in what you are doing. So the next time you cook dinner, turn off the phone and the music and lose yourself in your actions. Or if baby is asleep, try going for a walk on the beach with them and be completely present, no phone. A little yoga nidra or meditation on the senses while feeding your baby can be equally nurturing. Practicing a little yoga with your baby or child can not only get your body moving but also starts to create a positive awareness for your child of such a practice. What becomes familiar practice to a child stays with them for life. Or maybe a meeting of other like minded mamas might nourish your heart.
As mothers , in order to give well, we must give to ourselves. It will never be the same as before we had children but in accepting this, the small moments we create for ourselves allow us to step forward in this role of motherhood with lightness.