I hear so many women talk about losing themselves in motherhood.
Like plunging into an abyss.
But what if instead of losing ourselves, motherhood became a time for finding ourselves instead?
Becoming a mother is a profound journey that can teach us a great deal about ourselves. It can be a time of tremendous growth and transformation, as we learn to navigate the challenges and joys of raising children.
This process can send us on inward journeys into our deepest source, helping us to see the value of conflict and how to resolve it. It can also be a time when we confront and dispel the energy of our childhood wounds.
Motherhood is so much about learning to surrender our sense of control (which can feel near impossible when you’re also trying to care for your little one 24/7!)
As a mother, it is easy to feel guilty for not focusing 100% of your attention on your children. They have needs… but so do you! You are just as important in this equation.
There is nothing indulgent or selfish about nurturing your own growth – in fact, it’s essential!
Self Development as a form of Self-care
Whilst self-development is likely the last thing on a mother’s mind; it is crucial to her enjoyment during this stage of life. Motherhood is incredibly transformational – a complete rupture to the previous way of life. It’s as though you are being cracked open and left to sit with your thoughts, feelings and everything else that had been bottle up.
These are now out in the open. They are raw. And it is now up to you how you will deal with them.
This is where self-development plays a role. It becomes a way of making sense of all this new-ness and is a time where you can learn to nurture yourself and focus on your needs.
It’s as though motherhood is simply the catalyst for working through what had been sitting beneath the surface as it becomes amplified.
Self-development becomes a way of honouring motherhood and all that it brings. It’s a time to invest in you – so you can be your best possible self for your children.
Growth as one of the Six Human Needs
When we look at motherhood through the lens of Tony Robbins’ six human needs, it becomes clear that growth is one of the most important.
During this time of tremendous change and transformation, it is essential to our wellbeing to be continually growing and expanding our understanding.
This can be done in a number of ways – through self-development, learning new things, or simply exploring different aspects of ourselves.
Motherhood provides us with an opportunity to dive deep into who we are as individuals and learn more about what makes us tick. It can also be a time when we confront previously hidden parts of ourselves and begin to heal old wounds.
Removing the guilt from self-focus and self-development as a mother
It’s easy to feel guilty for focusing on yourself instead of your babe. Society has conditioned mothers to feel this way and as though they must bear the ‘burden’ of 100% of their babe’s care.
Trust me, this is not your sole role in life!
The biggest part of removing the guilt surrounding self-focus, is shifting your mindset.
It’s important to allow for growth throughout motherhood not just for our personal development, but also for the growth of our children. We are also providing a space for our children to develop and discover their own potential when we provide a place for development in ourselves.
Self-development is a form of self-care.
What feelings are conjured up when you think of self-care? Guilt? A luxury, instead of a necessity?
Maybe your definition of self-care could be the problem…
Self-care means having self-respect and compassion for yourself. This encompasses anything that allows you to be your very best in your career, relationships, home life and social life.
It becomes an avenue for exploring who we are as individuals – something that is so important during this transformative time.
Self-development does not have to be a chore or feel like another item on your never ending ‘to do’ list! It can be fun, enjoyable and something you look forward to doing.
And it can also provide a much-needed break from the day-to-day of motherhood.
Ways to focus on your growth and self-development
There are a multitude of ways to focus on your growth and self-development as a mother. Here are just a few…
Sacred activities and sacred time
AKA – your non-negotiables!
Creating space in your calendar for things that make you feel good, energise you and allow you to unwind is essential.
If it does need to move from your allocated ‘sacred time’, then shift it, don’t delete it from your diary!
Your sacred activities could be anything – yoga, meditation, time spent in nature, reading etc.
The key is that they are important to you and make you feel good. Guard this time with your life as motherhood can easily consume every moment of the day!
This could be anything from painting, writing, sculpting – anything that inspires you and allows you to be you.
Creative expression is a powerful way to connect with the parts of ourselves that we may not normally access. It also allows us to externalise what we’re feeling which can be incredibly therapeutic.
It can also help us develop new skills and increase our understanding of the world around us.
Learn from those who have been there before
There are a multitude of self-development resources available these days. It can be overwhelming so start by identifying what topics peak your interest.
Reading books on personal development, listening to podcasts or attending workshops are all great ways to learn more about motherhood and yourself.
You don’t have to do it alone!
There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need help and seeking guidance from those who have been there before. It can be incredibly empowering and provide reassurance during challenging times.
Explore aspects of yourself
Journalling and meditation are powerful tools for self-reflection and exploring aspects of yourself.
When motherhood feels like a never-ending roller coaster, it’s important to have a space to reflect on how you’re feeling.
It can be incredibly insightful and provide clarity during times of chaos.
Connection with like-minded community
Knowing that you are not alone in this motherhood journey is incredibly reassuring.
There are a multitude of online communities and groups available that focus on motherhood and personal development.
It can be wonderful to have a space to share your experiences and learn from others who are going through a similar journey. There are so many different ways to parent and finding a community who align with your own style can be invaluable.
Invest in yourself
It’s important to invest in yourself as a mother so that you can continue to grow and develop. Online courses related to self-development and motherhood allow you to explore different aspects of yourself in a safe and nurturing environment. They allow you to reclaim the beauty and power hiding in the shadowed parts of yourself.
The best part is that you can do this while sitting with your babe in tow! There’s room for both motherhood and self-development – and they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Self-care and self-development are essential during motherhood. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to juggle it all, but don’t worry – you’re not alone!
So, go ahead and make time for yourself. Take a yoga class, read that book you’ve been wanting to read, take a walk in nature – do whatever it is that helps you connect with your innermost self. Nurturing yourself in this way is an important part of motherhood and should be celebrated. Life is about continually learning and growing and this isn’t something that should stop when becoming a mother. Embrace motherhood as the journey that it is, and allow yourself to grow along the way.
You too, deserve to find yourself in motherhood.