Last week I attended a Power of Moms Retreat. It was an amazingly inspiring conference, and I wanted to share the highlights in a series of posts.
I arrived late, and the topic of discussion as I entered was 'Nurturing the 'Me' in Mom'.
The focus of the conversation was to remember that 'Mommy is a Person Too' and as such has the right, and responsibility, to be the best person she can be.
Becoming a great person requires that we not 'sacrifice' ourselves as martyrs on the alter of motherhood. We need to realize and remember that taking time for ourselves - to rest, rejuvenate and pursue personal interests - is actually good for our families.
Rekindling some of those past passions (you know, the one's you had before you had kids) can actually help you to become a better mother.
Here are some important points to remember:
- Pursuing passions beyond motherhood are not meant to replace motherhood or escape from it, but enhance it through your own personal development.
- Some of your interests you can share with your kids - they don't have to be put on a shelf until the kids are grown.
- However, remember that you can only do what you can do. There is a time and season for everything. I LOVE photography, but sometimes I can't capture all the shots I would like during our travels because I'm holding a baby or comforting a child. I also would like the Mark II instead of my Rebel XTI. But I focus on what I do have, and what I can do (it's hard to take pictures without a camera)
- Make sure your interests and pursuits benefit the whole family. Yes you are your own person, and yes you should pursue passions, but not to the detriment of your loved ones. You did choose to have children, and you should take that responsibility seriously and make the most of it.
- Raising children, though it seems never ending, only takes up 1/3 of your adult life. You'll still have time to engross yourself in your personal interests.
- When you are with your children, be with them. Then they won't feel resentful of your time doing your thing.
- Set time limits for working on your stuff. You don't let your kids watch Diego all day long. Even if they throw a tantrum, you still turn it off after time's up. Don't throw a tantrum yourself when your 'time's up' for working on your interests.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help re-ignite your personal passions. Take some time to write down the answers that come to you:
- What are my passions and interests?
- What did I 'give up' pursuing when I had children? What did I do before kids?
- What interest of mine can I share with my children? (Dance, art, service, travel)
Don't feel shackled to doing what you've done before, or even what you're 'good' at. What would you really like to do? You don't have to be an expert at it, and it doesn't matter what others think.
Learn to dance to the beat of your own music. Set your own 'Pandora' station for your life. Create your own expectations to live up to.
We all have discretionary time. If you feel that you can't pursue an interest, ask yourself what do you spend your discretionary time on? Are you watching your favorite tv show? Expending energy living up to others expectations and requests on your time?
You may need to learn to say 'no', and create some white space around your life so you can focus on what matters most - developing yourself and raising your kids.
What ways have you found to nurture yourself?
Interested in a monthly virtual meetup to discuss Deliberate Motherhood?
Topics would include:
- Family Systems - legal/discipline & economy
- Strengthening Family Identity
- Finding 'Me' Time to Be a Better Mom
- Mothering on the Road
- Finding Joy in Motherhood
- Much More
Sign up below if interested.
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