When I became a mother for the first time almost 8 years ago,
I had no clue what was ahead of me.
Like so many fiercely independent women, I thought the adjustment into this role would be a rather easy one.
I’d always done well at accomplishing the things I put my mind to. After all, I was trained to help others set goals and do what it took to succeed. I was so sure mothering would be another worthy challenge, and one laced with achievement for me.
You’re smiling now aren’t you.
You know where this story goes … for no good can ever come from a smug, self assured parent-to-be, haha …
Whilst I sailed reasonably joyously through pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding and beyond absolutely pummelled me to the ground.
The wings of self assurance I once had, felt clipped and broken as I plummeted face first into,
“I don’t know what the f@ck I’m doing!”.
I was humbled. I was exhausted. I was lost.
I often refer to my first year as the one that shattered all illusions of self and mothering. It was also the pivotal turning point that eventually lead me to find my path of Grace.
Before having children, that word (my first daughter’s middle name incidentally) was nothing more than a pretty arrangement of letters.
I’d heard of the quality of Grace and certainly met women who’d embodied it, but I’d never considered it a necessary trait – not for an over achiever like me.
That is, until I had a session with a life coach as I teetered on the edge of post natal depression.
I remember the day so vividly. My husband was away for work, so it was just me and my 10 month old daughter, walking the streets of Brisbane. She howled and hollered in the pram as I paced the blocks desperately trying to get her to sleep.
With dark sunglasses hiding my tear filled eyes, a sign in front of a small office caught my attention:
“If you’ve lost yourself, don’t worry, I know how to help you find her”.
For the first time in almost a year, I felt my nervous system relax.
I took a photo of the words and practitioner’s details and called the number when I got home. In the 3 sessions we spent together, this whole-hearted, angel of a woman helped me redefine who I was as a mother.
Together we realised that the expectations I had on how things ‘should’ be, were completely robbing me of the joy I wanted to feel with my baby. I was still living as the old me, the A type personality me, the perfectionistic, highly organized me, in a world that could no longer accommodate such a version of myself.
It was time to not only reclaim me, but also redefine me.
Whilst I grieved the loss of the life and self I had once known, the deeper, wiser, more real part of me started to flourish. I began to understand that motherhood had not taken from me, It had simply changed my perception of life.
What now stood at my feet, was an opportunity. Where before I felt like I was falling in to a hole, now, with a small shift in my awareness I began to see life through the eyes of Grace.
Grace in place of resentment. Grace in place of grief. Grace in place of loneliness.
The unmistakable essence of unconditional love, presence and divine union.
That’s not to say motherhood became easy from that point, we all know that’s NOT how the story ends. I now have 3 girls and it is a daily practice to choose Grace over frustration. And sometimes I nail it, and some times I end up in a tear stained heap.
But one thing is for certain ….
The more I practice the things that help me feel aligned with myself and Spirit, the happier I feel – REGARDLESS of what’s going on around me.
The moment I lifted the veil off the expectations I had, my world as I knew it, improved.
The instant I rededicated energy to the activities I used to love, like yoga, meditation, sacred dance and my spiritual work, my heart began to flourish.
The second I redefined what freedom meant to me, I began the oh-so-necessary journey back to my most authentic self. and the biggest lesson …. I accepted support. I stopped trying to figure it all out in my own head and chose to find a solution to my pain.
So today, dear sisters from the mama-hood, I not only bow to you in deep honour of the path you are walking, but I write to remind you of this simple truth ….
The only barrier that exists between you and your happiness is your expectation of how things SHOULD be.
The moment you are willing accept reality as you know it, you begin to take back your power.
For it is in the moment we stop resisting, stop fighting with reality and surrender to what is, that we start to make choices that will change the way we look at things.
Restore your heart to one of gratitude and Grace by meeting yourself where you’re at (without judgment) and being courageous enough to make small necessary shifts in the direction of your sense of self.
As the late Wayne Dyer said: “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at, change.”
With so much love,
If you feel ready for receiving support, you can learn more about my services here.
If you’re looking for a gift for YOURSELF this Mother’s Day, you can visit my shop here :).
Photo by the incredibly talented Hanna Hervall