2 months ago my life changed and it will never be the same. Two months ago I discovered that my physical and mental strength were greater than I thought. The entire process of labour leaves any woman feeling like a super hero, because let’s face it, we are! Giving birth to my beautiful son was by far the most exciting day of my life and the days following have given me the type of happiness, I will never be able to describe in words. NEVER!
However, ever since his birth I have encountered other thoughts, emotions and realizations I never knew I would. For example, from day one, people asked me what type of birth I had. I noticed how I had an urge to make it sound well justified because it ended up not being a “natural” birth but a c-section. I also noticed that almost every person who we met the first few weeks would ask me “are you breast feeding him?” and boy, did I ever feel a relief to have the answer I think they were looking for; “Yes, I am” and in a- under-breath I would add ” I am also supplementing with formula”. In the last few weeks the conversations have been less about the milk and more about my body. I have also noticed my same sense of urgency to “bounce back to my normal body as fast as possible or else…”
Last week I came across a nice article titled; “There is no Trophy” WOW did that article ever spoke to me. Ladies, in case no one has told you yet, THERE. IS. NO. TROPHY. No matter how your beautiful child came to this world, how you feed them, how quickly or slow your body recovers, what you do for a living, how much you do in one day, how good you are at multitasking or, how much you take on….at the end of the day, there is no trophy and all we have is our beautiful selves. So, I am wondering, WHO ARE WE COMPETING WITH? Who are we comparing ourselves to?
It is easy and it is most women’s nature to do too much, to take on more than what we can handle because we all want to be the successful professional, the perfect mother, the sexy lover, the social butterfly, the happy human. We want it all, and we create high expectations for ourselves. With those expectations come disappointments. Because somehow, we convince ourselves that nothing is ever enough, that we are not enough.
I caught myself thinking the other day of taking certain photos because they would make great instagram posts. Is this what life has come to? making moments fit in with the social media demands?
I also noticed my baby being fussy couple of nights ago while I was feeding him. I thought that was unusual behaviour for him as he is usually at his happiest when being fed….when I looked down I found the cutest pair of blue eyes looking to connect with mine -that for a moment – were too busy scrolling down a screen and not looking at him. Oh no, I will not miss on locking eyes with my son. I will not continue to miss showing up to my life with full presence and awareness. I will also stop this urge to behave as if there was a trophy waiting for me and instead, I will celebrate all the lessons that come with my imperfect actions.
I may be new at this, but here is what I have learned so far about motherhood; Despite its complexity, it is the most undervalued job in our community. In our urge to be perfect we have forgotten that the single most important job we will do as mothers is the raising of our children, as they hold the future of our community. Raising a good human takes time, dedication, patience, love, imperfect actions, but most of all, it requires our full presence…and mamas, here is what I know about being in the present; .YOU CANNOT show up to it if your mind is cluttered with expectations, comparison and perfectionism. If you insist in being perfect at something, let’s master the art of self-love and let’s model self-care so that future generations do not grow up thinking that caring for one self is a weakness and that BEING is boring. And ladies, since there is no trophy, to hell with over doing, over thinking and over anything! Less is more and we are more than enough!
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