Today I want to talk about THE defining moment in a woman’s life. An indescribable moment that defines her for life, with joy, fulfillment, and infinite love.
For the moment I am talking about is called Motherhood.
I remember it like yesterday. Many years ago, a close friend had just had a baby, and I was completely enamoured by the love around her. Her joy, her elation, her sense of completeness and protectiveness at this time of her life. So much so, that a year later, I too experienced my Labour of Love, and gave birth to my first son Noah, who I also fell in love with immediately. He was the single most precious gift that I brought into the world, and I felt so lucky and so blessed.
Did any of you ever feel the same?
Since then, I believe that Motherhood happens to be one of the greatest and most challenging experiences of our adult lives. As mothers, we play the vital source of providing emotional, mental, physical and spiritual nourishment to our children. Our affectionate kisses and hugs feed their security and our love and attention becomes their source of self esteem.
I also remember how challenging it was to get back into shape, as it fed me with anxiety to leave my baby in the gym creche, while exercising in a gym. I had always looked for a class that fuelled the bond between a mother and her baby, but I could not find the right kind of class for me. So, you can imagine my delight last night when discovering Kangatraining! Mothers having the opportunity to move with their babies by their side, at a time when an infant equally needs to be physically close to its mother to feel safe, happy and secure was so wonderful to see!
In addition to Kangatraining, we were also introduced to Christine Kininmonth, the inventor of the Manduca Baby Carrier. These lovely carriers hold the baby in a comfortable, secure position, again, close to the mother, while supporting the mother’s body and spine as well. The philosophy again, is simple, that baby’s need physical contact with their mother to grow and feel nurtured. So, I think that Kangatraining and the Manduca carriers go perfectly well together! Don’t you?
Motherhood can also be challenging…. no matter if your have two or four kids… if you are married or single .. as we are thrust into being role models for our children …the single most important role in our children’s lives.
And we pray to the universe that our efforts are well worth the hard work and time we put in!
So how can we get excited and motivated by this responsibility when it is so challenging, when it seems to take over your life, and sometimes even your DREAMS?
Kathy McKenzie, our resident life coach, spoke about what happens to mums when they want to go back to work after having their children, and how to redefine themselves after they become mothers. She suggested that we should take things slowly, and only make career decisions AFTER the fact, as our priorities change when our bundles of joy arrive. I definitely would have to agree with this! From personal experience, I didn’t realise just how consumed I’d be with my first baby! I felt like I was touched by a slice of absolute heaven. I just wanted to stay home and feed him, give him baths, and hold him all day! I couldn’t even think of leaving the house, let alone go back to work!
Of course, as our babies become toddlers, we start to enter another phase as mothers, which we need to be mindful of, and this phase is the Comparison phase. Comparing our life to one of another mother, especially a mother who has gone back to work, while we may be itching to have a bit more stimulation for ourselves while staying at home with our toddlers. Especially in the modern digital age, where we can get lost in social media comparing our lives with someone else’s, where Martyrdom is king, the benchmark of what we are supposed to aspire to become. To be Wonder Woman. The working mother AND the housekeeper. To be everything to everyone. These feelings can cause anxiety for mothers. But like Kathy says, to keep a healthy state of mind, the only person you should be in a competition with is YOURSELF.
Which brings me to give you an insight into your post-natal Health and Fitness. When you first enter a gym or fitness studio after having a baby, you may choose to go back 6 weeks later, 6 months later of four years later, as I did when my fourth child began kindergarten. You are entitled to choose what is best for you, without comparing yourself to others. In reality, we each have our own minds, needs and priorities in life. If you aim to get back into shape, then by all means challenge yourself, but do so to grow and become a mum with a HIGHER purpose, do so to get stronger inside your mind and your body, so you can be a superhero to YOURSELF and your children, just by being authentically YOU.
Like the saying goes, if you are looking for some competition, look in the mirror. Your children’s spirits are also a direct reflection of you. They are a mirror to who you are. This gift of responsibility is very confronting…and it takes real “Spiritual Release” to dig deep down into your soul for self acceptance to pass only love and light onto your children.
And to do this you need to love who you are, warts and all. You need to make peace with your real self.
George Gintilis, from A Relaxed Mind, talks about the concept of releasing the true essence of who you are through his sessions. If you are feeling disjointed, not comfortable in your own skin, or feeling somehow lost, unbalanced, or extremely lethargic, George conducts sessions where he aims to release the bad energy around you, to make room for your authentic energy to come to the fore. But this work is very intricate, and it takes a lot of work to let go of whatever negative energy you have unknowingly suppressed deep inside your heart, especially when that energy comes from another person. But once you have released and unhooked yourself from that person, or situation, whether it was when you were young, or in your recent past, then you will have started your journey to getting your authentic self back, leading you to positive self-acceptance with those you love, including your children.
Positive self-acceptance takes courage. So make an imaginary list inside your head of the qualities you like inside yourself and infuse them into your actions everyday and let your children learn through your example. Alternatively, write your negative feelings about yourself down on pieces of paper and then throw them in the bin, because there is nothing exciting about judgmental feelings about yourself. They are the most boring parts of you, they lack infused energy and have no place in your relationships, let alone in your children’s innocent, spirited lives.
Let energy feed energy and light feed light… keep on infusing your love into your children, and just indulge in the hugs and kisses and proclamations of love that return to you in a myriad of ways as they grow, and just let it flow between you, without any expectations.
Soon enough, the love you transfer will grow even bigger, and will bring even more light and love into your life.