Motherhood, what a crazy-beautiful journey.
We embark on this adventure often bright eyed and ‘ready’ for the wonderful milestones, the cuddles, the cuteness and the fulfilling of our birthright, to be mothers.
However, like any part of our life, motherhood is full of polarities. The ups and downs come with each new day, and each new stage of motherhood (and our child’s development, of course).
Somehow each day our love seems to expand for these little humans we created watching miles stones, witnessing their ‘firsts’, the way their little fingers tickle your back as you feed them. Divine.
And yet within minutes this can be all upended with confusion, fear, and the physical and emotional reality of sleep deprivation. Like I said, it’s a crazy-beautiful journey.
I became a mum four years ago, and while I am amazed that I literally fall deeper in love with my beautiful children with each day and each milestone, I often feel sideswiped by the heightened emotions and rawness this role brings.
Becoming a mother, more than any other career or life change I have personally experienced, really opens up all of our wounds and all but forces us to look deep within ourselves and do what I call ‘our work’ – looking deep, cleaning up, cleansing and dealing with all the stuff we have pushed down for so long. And while this can feel SO heavy and some days near on impossible to deal with.. this is where the magic lies. Motherhood in all sorts of ways offers us infinite gifts for growth, and no more than our own personal growth.
For the past couple of months motherhood has been the hot topic in my journal. Four years in, life with two children is getting real and I question myself daily.. what sort of mother do I want to be? How can I get my needs met, while meeting everyone elses? How could I be more present with my children?
All questions I didn’t think to ask myself pre-children. And, I imagine I am no alone there.
Journaling is as potent a ritual, as my meditation practice. In fact, I’ve been journaling for much longer than I have been meditating. It’s simple, deep, profound and all you need is the willingness to be open and honest with yourself.. and a pen and paper!
How do we benefit from jotting down our thoughts and feelings you may wonder?
The benefits can be instant, and profound to say the least. Some include:
Clarity around our thoughts and feelings – which helps us to deal with anxiety.
Know yourself better / deeper – giving us clues to what makes us truly happy and being able to take action.
Reduces stressed – this helps us feel in control with our feelings.
Solve problems more effectively - Writing unlocks different areas of our brain meaning we are open to solutions we may not ‘see’ if we are just thinking or talking about a problem.
Journaling can really be a deep healer by offering insights and opening the door for us to change our perceptions.
The journal questions below are an invitation to begin a deeper relationship with yourself.. They can help you to see where you have come from.. and where you want to go.. All you need is a pen and paper, and some alone time.
+What was my mum like raising me?
+ What did I love about the way I was raised? How can I bring that into my own style of mothering?
+ What did I not like, why? How will I change this in my style of mothering?
+ Who are my positive roles models for motherhood? What do they demonstrate that I admire?
+ (from Q above) What could I do to bring some of these values, ideals, presence into my role as a mother? What sort of mama do I want to be?
+ What are my biggest frustrations around mamahood? What needs to happen for me to lessen that? Practical steps, talking, surrendering, forgiveness...?
+ Today, what did I do that was great as a mother?
+ Today, what did I do that I could work on as a mother? How could I change my approach, or what do I need to learn?
+ Write a letter as your child self to yourself now as a mama.
+ How could I be more conscious as a parent?
+ How could I connect and be more present with my children?
+ What does self-love and self-care look like for me? What acts could I do today, or tomorrow which would make me feel good about myself, loved and cared for?
Journaling is a wonderful tool to help you heal and gain much clarity and perspective. However, if you are feeling more sad than happy most days, you are crying all the time (all day) or just generally feel like something doesn’t feel right within you, please speak to your health care professional. Trust your feelings.
This post is written by one of our dearest friends Catherine Toffolon - we highly recommend you jump across to her website for more wisdom http://catherinetoffolon.com/