Feeling and deciding who YOU are while mothering

I find that so many women feel lost during and after parenting. If you feel like you are giving or have given your all to your kids for 18+ years and then do not know what to do after this identity is no longer their primary one or you are in the midst of mothering and feeling that selflessness leaves you feeling resentful. You are not alone. This can feel very vulnerable, sad, confusing, and scary. You have given 110% of yourself for these other amazing humans, they are supposed to become independent from us but they have become your identity. You have defined yourself through their accomplishments, their mistakes, their struggles, and now they are either fine or not—and you are left here to sort through this grief.

This grief is real, I know no one died, BUT a relationship and the way we defined it has. They are no longer in my metaphorical nest. I can’t keep them safe, I can’t tell them what to do next, and I can’t steer them in the “right” direction. All of these thoughts and feelings can feel overwhelming and often this is the symptom of something deeper, not everyone separates this way, but a good amount of mothers do. There may be anxiety and control issues that have been there for years. It is not like the worry stops for these Mama’s when the kids are out of the house. You have done your job but the self-doubt still sticks around like a wet blanket. It is not easy to move, it takes a lot of effort and patience and it is worth hanging it out to dry.

Over the recent years, I have worked really hard on releasing my identity from my children and their successes and failures. Many years ago, I read Mindful Discipline by Shauna Shapiro and Chris White, they taught that children were not stones for us to chisel but clay to be molded. Over the years this metaphor has stuck with me, nothing needed to be taken away they are already whole. What if I could begin to take that message in for myself? Nothing needs to change about me, I am already worthy, perfectly imperfect with strengths and weaknesses.  It was easier to believe it about my children so I started with them. I realized that anytime I tried to correct them, change them, wish they would do what I wanted, or worried about their safety, I was attached to some part of me that was not whole and I realized I wanted to change myself.

This is where the journey really got messy. I needed to begin to detach from most of what I had been taught (this journey is still going on) I detached from parenting from a place of fear and began to parent from abundance. I refuse to let worry define my relationship with my children. I accept that I have no control over them and realized on such a deep level that I only have control of my own thoughts and my actions. So I decided, to try to get more comfortable with my own fear and the limits I put on myself. This is no easy task. It is much easier to let go of the fear I have for my kids and to accept that I need to let go of them. It is much harder to let go of the fear and judgment I have towards myself.

I have done it a little at a time. The journey of letting go is unfolding still and started with:
  • yoga and mindfulness to help me be kinder to my extremely busy mind. This for me is consistent. It changed my relationship with everyone for the better, including myself.
  • Once I experienced some opening there, I began to go deeper and explore my conditioning(the messages from society, culture, parents, and teachers that we take in as our truth through external forces) There I found so much,  the fruit was overripe: ideas around what it means to be a woman, shame, worthiness, sex, body image, fear, trust, authenticity, creativity, self-hate. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown was an excellent resource for me
  • In the last 3 years, I was introduced to the divine feminine and masculine, I believe the foundation I created through the first two steps has led me to exactly where I am supposed to be— helping women tap into their divine nature step by step. Showing them the way through my own journey. We are all divine. We are all meant to do amazingly unique things here on this earth.  
  • Do you have enough curiosity within yourself to ignite the spark that has been smoldering within you? Are ready to begin the journey?