The Suburban Vixen Manifesto
You and I fit the same demographic. The infamous “soccer mom.” We are twenty, thirty or forty-something, have some children, a partner, maybe working some, mumming all the time; generally, we are all about motherhood. You may even drive a minivan. I do. People see us at the grocery store and think they have us all figured out. We see each other at the grocery store and immediately feel like we know each other already. We seem to lead parallel lives.
At some point, we likely made the choice to become mothers, although some of us may have been caught by surprise. We may have happened to become mothers with ease and impulsiveness or with diligence and intention. Regardless of how we made our way to motherhood, no one could have prepared us for the gravity and magnitude of the experience for all involved. Our focus on the health and growth of our children is often the sole and paramount consideration. We willingly sacrifice attention to ourselves for the well being of our families which is why we need to think sometimes about our own health. Read more here hypnotherapy Chicago and take a step in the right direction.
Contrary to how it may feel, care for your family and care for yourself is not an either-or proposition. The well being of your family is best served through the thoughtful care for all people involved, including YOU. As the mother, you do not exist outside the family system. You are a part of it: just as the rest of the family is growing and developing, as are you.
Keep in mind: physiologically your heart keeps the entire body alive and it pumps blood to itself first. This is not a selfish act, but one of necessity. If the heart is not nourished the rest of the body cannot flourish: as it is with you and your family. As the heart of the family, you must pump blood to yourself first, out of necessity. If mama is not nourished, no one can flourish. Or as they say, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.” No accounting for grammar, but whoever said that knows what’s up.
You don’t just deserve to focus energy on yourself . . .it is a necessity. If you don’t build that focused time for yourself into the daily working of the family now, you will be forced to do so at some point in the future when you have completely lost yourself and any life balance. The well being of your family cannot be considered to the exclusion of our own transformation and evolution. With the gravity of such a monumental transition in your own life, it is crucial that you honor yourself with patience, sensitivity and opportunity for reflection and growth.
Finding that balance is a challenge. You may already be struggling with the effects of disregarding your own growth and evolution. I did. As I have grown into my role as partner and mother, it has taken quite a long time to actively realize that I am still in there.
Interestingly, the experience of becoming a mother, which seemed sometimes to rob me of myself and at least call into question the very essence of who I am, was the path through which I grew to reclaim and own what is mine. Through the experience of losing myself completely, I learned the crucial importance of being exactly who I am all the time. Some of these epiphanies centered on my professional work. Some centered on my life’s priorities. And some centered on my essence of self and how I relate in relationships.
In becoming a mother, we feel the effects of such a transformation physically, mentally and emotionally. It is a comprehensive overhaul of our entire being. We may not immediately recognize that for a number of reasons like: we have made a conscious decision to start a family; we have been waiting a long time for the arrival of a baby; we may be taken completely by surprise that we are starting a family; we may think that having children is something many people have done and it is a natural process; we may perceive, as post-feminist women, that we can do it all.
There is no question that the experience of having children is the most disorienting, yet centering experience a woman can have. You may have wrestled with life’s big questions before you became a mother, but now the stakes are heavy duty; all the more reason to prioritize yourself and allow mental space for exploration and growth.
Becoming a mother is truly a transformational experience. We tend to focus on the growth and development of our amazing children. We read books. We compare notes with other parents. We keep track of heights, weights and developmental milestones. It is no wonder that our own development and metamorphosis takes a back seat.
Consider a similar focus on our own developmental milestones: the mama version. It seems laughable, but I believe if we paid even a fraction of the careful attention to our personal evolution as we do to the milestones of our offspring, we could avoid much personal and relational unhappiness and difficulty down the road. I am not advocating that we relegate our children to the back seat, but simply that we acknowledge that we are also developing and evolving ourselves. Selfless mothers do just that: completely lose themselves. That scenario is not good for anyone.
As difficult as finding that balance may seem, we should focus some energy on our own evolution. We must proactively reframe the current conception of motherhood to actively include our own well being as part of the equation. That is what it means to experience transformational motherhood.