Some of my darkest times were in the early days/years of motherhood. I lost myself. I loved my 4 kids, loved being a Mum but the conflict between being present with the chaos, demands and even mundane nature of my day to day, and the pull I felt that there was so much more to me, was intense.
It wasn’t motherhood per se that was the problem. Rather the problem was that I lost sight of my heart, my needs and my longings and told myself a story that I had to come last, others were more important and that it wasn’t until everyone’s very last need was met could I feature for some self love. I also assumed it was other people’s responsibility to see I was struggling and meet my needs. Now this all sounds very clean cut but the truth is I felt like I was drowning every single day and this reflection only comes a long time post those early days of motherhood.
What I do know though is that had I seen my own pattern of self denial, and more importantly been willing to make a different choice for myself where I cared for myself first (or at least somewhere in the top 10), then life could have been different. But I wasn’t willing. I had a long-held childhood belief that I was not willing to challenge. Beliefs around women, their roles, sacrifice for others and motherhood. These beliefs needed challenging. They needed me to see the lie that I was less important than others, that I could let my own light go out rather than inconvenience someone.
Motherhood is intense, there is no doubt about that. The truth here though is that we all have these stories that hold us back and deny our worth. Mine showed up in motherhood. Where is yours? Where do you struggle with owning your power, putting yourself first (or at least in the top 3), loving yourself enough to let your needs be important? Who do you put ahead of you? Partner? Kids? Boss? Anyone with a pulse? Where is the emptiness, numbness, sadness or anger?
This is real stuff. As women we are raised that sacrifice for others is what we do and what is expected of us…Let’s name it ladies. That is Crap and it’s time to stop perpetuating that by doing it to ourselves. You may have learnt this lesson, still be struggling with it or be drowning in your life right now. Wherever you are .. Hand on heart please! What are your needs today? What in your own life is important, that must come first today (and the answer cannot be nothing). It can be simple or momentous…either is fine. Think home, love, relationship, self care, health, work/life balance and maybe go crazy and think joy, pleasure, sensuality, passion and self love. Take your level of self love to the next level or even just creep it forward a tiny bit. You are worth it. xxx
Thank you Brooke Cagle for your beautiful photo @brookecaglephotography