At some point we were sold the lie that we can't decide how we feel. That we have to wait for the motivation to strike. That "motherhood is ALL about sacrifice", so we should lower our standards of who we can be and what we can achieve. Because if we aren't immersed in sacrifice how can we be really be meeting everyone's needs
But...What about us?
The idea, of the mum who puts everyone above her own needs, scurrying around to ensure all that she has to do is done, never leaving anyone wanting in any way. That really destructive thought process has seeped into our subconscious and become all that we are about, the only thing we seek to achieve. As if sacrifice is all that matters.
Yes I have chosen to sacrifice parts of myself since I became a mother. I choose to parent in a way that feels good to me, it feels instinctive and relatively guilt free so I go with that. But the focus for me is on the choices I've made, the things I've gained from those choices, not the things I've left behind. The choice to go to my child when he cries, to stay in night after night because it's me who can settle him. Are these sacrifices? or choices?
But most importantly those things are not all of me. I can choose not to sacrifice the core of who I am to my children. I can choose to make space for my own thoughts, my own needs.
I am more than the people who surround me. I have dreams and goals, and at times I will sacrifice my time with my children for those. To show them that it's important that we listen to the ideas that gnaw at us, the ones that beg us to act on them, to work on myself so that I don't run away from those ideas and plans. So that they no longer daunt me.
To show them that being who you really are is important, that sacrificing your dreams is as destructive as sacrificing who you are. Both lead to a more frustrated, dissatisfied mother, a less complete and assured woman.
Don't confuse sacrifice with being the mum your kids need. They need to know that it's important to look after themselves too, and not just our daughters, our sons too. What do they learn to expect from the women around them if these women do not claim their space in the world.
We need more female voices, we need to see and to experience things from a feminine perspective, to see that there are different ways to do things, to shine a light on the half truths that threaten to consume us at times, that exist to limit us.
"I'm just a stay at home mum"
"How is your little business?"
"Are you a full time mum?"
"So you're at home part-time?"
"Are you on your phone again?"
"I hope your kids get some of your time too"
Don't wait for the motivation, start now, start small if you need to. Shuffling into the person you know you really are. When doubts, questions and fears arise. Lean into them. Explore them. You're brain has all the wisdom you need. It's the expert on you.
You are not small
You are not limited
You define success for yourself
And you define what your balance feels like. No one else.