Being not only a woman but a mother is an incredible and transformative experience that brings immeasurable joy and love into our lives. It's a role that encompasses a multitude of responsibilities and demands unwavering patience, strength, and resilience. But let's keep it real - it's not always sunshine and rainbows. Woman and Motherhood also comes with struggles, strains, and challenges that shape the beautiful yet arduous path we walk.
Lately, I've been navigating through some of these struggles myself, and I must admit, it hasn't been easy. I haven't made it a secret, but at the same time, I haven't shouted it from the rooftops either. Instead, I've taken a step back from everyday life, focusing on what I can handle and setting aside the things that drain my energy. It's essential to acknowledge that as women and mothers, we often put on a "mask" to hide our true feelings, and that can become exhausting.
Why do we feel like it's not okay to express our true emotions and struggles? We juggle multiple roles and challenges every day, so it's no wonder that sometimes we feel burnt out and unable to do everything all the time. It's okay to admit when things are tough and that we need a break. It's okay to say no and prioritise our own well-being. We aren't superhuman, and it's crucial to recognise our limits and seek support when needed.
I often talk about the resilience that motherhood has given me, but it's equally important to acknowledge that there are moments when I feel overwhelmed. Some days, the weight of juggling multiple responsibilities becomes too much, and I have to take off the mask and admit that I can't do it all. I become a swan, appearing calm on the surface but paddling furiously underneath. It's a reminder to take care of myself before my body and mind reach a breaking point.
Recognising these patterns, habits, and traits is vital. We need to address them before they consume us entirely. Self-care is not a luxury; it's a necessity, and I will openly admit that I have neglected this and myself for some time now believing I can just keep going and a break will come soon, the reality is I need to make that break happen myself. Taking the time to recharge, seeking help from loved ones, and giving ourselves permission to prioritise our well-being is crucial for our mental and physical health.
The path we walk is an extraordinary journey filled with unconditional love, sacrifice, and resilience. It's a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and we face challenges that test us in ways I never imagined when I only ever really had myself to think about. But in the midst of the struggles, we find immeasurable joy, fulfilment, and purpose. To all the women and mothers out there, I salute your dedication, your love, and your indomitable spirit. Remembering we are not alone on this beautiful, chaotic, and rewarding journey in life is something I just this week have been reminded off. Being surrounded by the right people - your tribe is everything and I for one today as I write this am truly grateful for them, grateful for my non-fair weather friends!
Find those you can embrace the struggles, celebrate the joys, and lean on your support system when needed. These are the people who will bring you back to life when you need them the most.
Life comes with its fair share of challenges and hurdles that test our physical and emotional strength. As I have had some time to reflect on some of my own recent challenges, I wanted to talk more about how we can navigate them with grace and resilience. From sleepless nights and juggling responsibilities to managing our emotions and finding support, being a woman and a mother is an ever-evolving adventure that requires us to embrace the beautiful chaos.
Embracing Sleepless Nights and Exhaustion: This is one of the earliest challenges as women we face when becoming a mother. The face of the sheer exhaustion that accompanies sleepless nights and round-the-clock caregiving, is at times soul destroying. This has really come back in recent weeks for me to kick my backside! The sleep deprivation has at times been overwhelming, leaving me physically and mentally drained. But I have kept going because I felt I had to. Why? However, witnessing those small, precious moments with our small people makes it all worthwhile. Embracing the beauty in those “moments' ' with them helps us find strength amidst the fatigue, or it certainly has me and that's how I have been able to keep going I think.
Juggling Responsibilities: There is no secret that being a woman demands mastering the art of multitasking! Balancing household chores, professional obligations, and tending to the needs of our children if we have them can be daunting. The struggle to find a harmonious equilibrium often leaves us feeling torn, guilty, or inadequate. It's important to remind ourselves that it's impossible to achieve perfection and that being a "good enough" person is more than sufficient. Prioritising and delegating tasks, as well as seeking support from our partners and loved ones, can help alleviate some of the pressure. I need to remind myself of this all the time, something I had really forgotten recently and meant I was reaching a real breaking point.
Nurturing and Developing Little Individuals: As mothers, we have the incredible opportunity to shape the personalities, values, and dreams of our children. We strive to create a nurturing environment that encourages their growth and development. However, this journey is not without its challenges. Guiding our children through the stages of independence, setting boundaries, and teaching them life skills while fostering their self-esteem requires endless patience, understanding, and perseverance. But it also means we need to lead by example- that age old saying of you can’t pour from an empty cup springs to mind!
Managing Emotional Roller Coasters: No question it's an emotional roller coaster ride. We experience an array of emotions ranging from boundless love and joy to frustration, worry, and self-doubt. The responsibility of being the primary source of comfort and support for our children can feel overwhelming at times. It's essential to acknowledge and embrace these emotions, understanding that they are a natural part of the journey. Seeking support from fellow mothers, or in any way that helps can provide a valuable outlet for emotional support and reassurance.
Navigating Guilt and Self-Care: Guilt often becomes an unwelcome companion on this journey. We question our choices, feeling guilty for working outside the home or for taking time for ourselves. However, it is crucial to recognise that self-care is not selfish but rather a necessity. Taking care of our own well-being enables us to be the best version of ourselves as mothers and women. Embracing self-care activities, setting boundaries, and finding moments of solace amidst the chaos allows us to recharge and show up fully for our loved ones. Something I recognised recently I have been failing to do.
Finding Support and Building a Village: It can be isolating, particularly in today's fast-paced world. Building a support network and finding your tribe who understand your struggles is vital. Finding your village helps us feel understood, supported, and empowered. I definitely wouldn’t be who I am today without the great tribe of women I surround myself with daily and choose to spend my time with.
Womanhood and Motherhood is a beautiful, messy, and transformative journey that requires us to navigate various challenges with grace and resilience. By embracing the sleepless nights, exhaustion, juggling responsibilities, nurturing our children's development, managing our emotions, navigating guilt, and seeking support, we can find strength and fulfilment in the role of being a woman and all that it brings.
It's important to remember that we are not alone in our struggles. Many woman and mothers face similar challenges, and by sharing our experiences and supporting one another, we can create a powerful community of women who uplift and empower each other.
It's essential to practise self-compassion and prioritise self-care. I guess it's obvious that what I am trying to say here is we often put our needs last, I know I have and do all the time. But taking care of ourselves is not selfish; it's a necessity. We must carve out time for activities that bring us joy and rejuvenate us, whether it's a quiet moment with a book, a bath, a coffee date with a friend or a lovely brunch with a bunch of great women (just what I did today and it was just what the doctor ordered!). When we prioritise our well-being, we become better equipped to care for our children and handle the challenges that come our way.
(This weeks Photo credit goes to the wonderful Debbie @ Phoenix Photography- check her out on Instagram @debbie_the_phoenix )