by Amie Mignatti
Becoming a mother is such a big life change, and often it takes time to step into our new role fully. The beginnings of pregnancies are filled with beautiful dreams of our children, and how we will be the best mom ever to this little bundle of joy. Soon after, in the first few months, come the fears and uncertainty, with thoughts of whether we are truly capable of being the best mom ever.
And then the baby comes. It’s a time filled with love and wonder: we have created this perfect being and we want to give him or her the best start in this world, and to be the perfect Mom.
Soon after, we are in the throes of spit up, sleepless nights, an inconsolable child, dirty laundry, and dishes (if we can even manage to cook a meal), and we start to wonder why we wanted to do this in the first place. We ride that wave of these months out, and are then faced with our own self and the question, “Who am I now that I am a mother?”
We reflect on our lives, the careers we were building, the friends we have (and those we’ve lost touch with through motherhood), our reality and our future. We look around us and see other mothers who seem to have it all, an easy baby who sleeps through the night and never spits up, an award-winning career, a husband who takes equal responsibility, a perfect daycare setting, who look refreshed and like they have slept, and who have time to work out, go to spas, travel, etc. And we then look at our lives.
“Who am I?” whispers a voice deep within. We feel pulled between our child, having another one, and/or finding our place in society: getting back into the workplace, perhaps starting something new, or staying at home and being with our child or children. Our inner world is being stretched in so many different directions. What are we, as Moms, to do?
A tendency that comes at this stage is to judge others, to look at what they have and see what we lack (or what we perceive to lack), and to try like hell to be like those women we find so inspiring. This often backfires, because deep down, it’s not what we truly want.
We must rise above this judgement. Judgement comes from insecurity and fear within a person. We judge others to make ourselves feel better about our situations, about either doing or not doing something that is validated by our social group. We judge ourselves for not listening to our own hearts and not standing up for what we believe in for fear of what others may think.
The path to find YOUR way forward is to listen very carefully to your own heart. You know what it says. It may totally go against what others do or say, but it’s YOUR way. Once you honor your heart, find your path and move forward on it, the strength and clarity you gain will become so apparent that others will be inspired by you.
Peace in your heart and life comes by listening to and owning your very own truth. Once you do this, nothing and no one can touch you. Judgement will not be something you use or need, and it will no longer matter to you how you are perceived by others.
It is often hard to find out what our truth is when we are bombarded with so many different feelings and ideas. What you can do is to write down what you love about your life, what fulfills you, what makes you happy, and where you shine. You can write down how you feel about your life right now, and what is missing from it to make you feel whole. This goes way beyond stay at home vs. career; this can be moving out to the countryside, having another child, taking a year off to travel, finding a new job. Whatever it is, sit by yourself and journal.
Reflect on all that you’ve done, all that you are, all that you have, and what your dreams and wishes are. Once you feel like you can see things take form, start to feel how it would be to take this next step. If you feel good about it, then start to take steps to make it happen.
If you start to feel anxious, overwhelmed, nervous, etc, perhaps this is not the right way, so try another path. Visualize different lifestyle scenarios for yourself and when one truly resonates with you by being much clearer and vibrant and feels good in your body, this is most likely YOUR direction, even if it is something abstract as living in a mountain hut for the summer. Start to make it happen, step by step, until you reach your goal.
Everything is possible if you allow for possibility!
Amie Mignatti is a free spirited woman with her feet on the earth and her heart in the stars. After traveling the world for many years, she landed in Munich where she wears many different hats: yoga teacher, nature coach, outdoor educator for children, English teacher. She also runs personal development courses for women in nature. She and her family are happiest outdoors with friends and campfires.
Check out her blog here.