But often this process burns off too much of our old selves.
Years ago when my boys were very little, Bill and I struggled in our marriage. I was one big prickly bundle of resentment and unhappiness. In dedicating my time and energy on the tasks and responsibilities of motherhood, I lost my touchstone to who I was before children. The meaning and purpose that inspired my life had become narrow and focused almost entirely on my family. I gave out much more than I provided to myself and so my energetic and spiritual cupboard was bare.
Bill and I met regularly with a counselor to help us find ways to stay married - and become happily married. Our sessions helped me to realize that my constricted Good Mom definition didn’t leave me any room for activities that fulfilled me outside of work and family, like daydreaming, reading, thrift store shopping, crafting, writing, dancing. How could I justify time for such frivolous pursuits when I should be working, when I should be caring for my children, when I should be cleaning and organizing and fixing and managing the endless lists of what needed to be done?
My mom clients tell me the same thing: that they feel guilty paying for childcare - or asking their spouses to take care of the kids - in order to create downtime, especially if what's happening during that time doesn’t make money.
“Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you’re worthy of the trip.”
Having an abundant life means that there is room for work and play, seriousness and frivolity, doing and dreaming.
I want my boys to see that I am continually creating a life that is interesting, mindful, and full of joy. I want them to watch me make challenging decisions on how I prioritize my time for work, family, and play. I want them to notice that I take care of myself by going to my dance classes, spending time with girlfriends, making time for my acupuncture appointments, enjoying dates with their dad, achieving my goals. I want them to know that feeding the love of learning doesn't stop once college is completed. I want them to understand that my commitment to myself only increases my love and energy that I share with them.
Just like Superman was sent to Earth to “bring hope to mankind for a better future,” we Moms of Steel do the same. We show our daughters and sons what being a good mom looks like - it looks like love growing from the inside out.
Certified life coach and mommy mentor Kathleen Harper gives mothers practical tools to help them forge the raw materials of their lives in beautiful ways. She talks with moms in one-on-one sessions, leads a monthly group called Saturday Sanctuary, and gives presentations to new parent support groups and mothers' groups. If you're interested in finding out more or scheduling a free 30-minute (non-salesy) sample session, please fill out this form.