Monday, July 5, 2010

Mother, re-imagined

Have you ever noticed that as you are going about your life, the universe is constantly sending you messages which, if you are able to be in the moment and aware, can alter the path you take? Before I had children, I was able to pay attention to many things; these days lack of sleep and an overwhelming focus on my children means that signs I may have noticed quickly, often have to be repeated again and again before I "get it".

A few months ago a good friend who had been feeling a bit stuck and who was struggling with finding an outlet for her creativity, began a blog I've mentioned before called My Submarine To The Future, which she described as a method of "Transporting me to a life filled with art, adventure, creativity and inspiration". I was one of her main cheerleaders, telling her she was brilliant (which she is) and it would be something people would want to read (which it is). I kept telling her that she had to find something to do that she loved besides being a stay-at-home mom. Sign number one. Not long after that, this passage somehow crossed my path:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-Marianne Williamson
I first read this quote a number of years ago and it always resonated deeply for me. Every once in a while it shows up in my life again. This time it began a train of thought that consisted, in part, of wondering, "Is there more to my life that I'm not tapping into? Maybe there's something I can do to express my own creativity? What is holding me back?" Sign number two. Not long after, I agreed to start coaching expectant twin parents and I began this blog. Not as a directly conscious response to these signs, mind you; they were sparking things on a much more subtle level. 

As a mother, one of the goals I have for my children is to encourage them to be confident. Confidence, emotional intelligence and compassion are three aspects of my personality that have been nourished and increased by sharing what I know; on some level this sharing is part of what I see as my "Light". The line that stood out for me when I received the above quote this time around was: "And, as we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." 

As I was writing, and thinking, and working things through in order to share them with you, the thought occurred to me that doing all of this, while it was taking time away from my children, was actually allowing me to give more to them than when I was "just" a stay at home mom. By this I mean that I was enthusiastic about something outside of my children. But what does that do for them? And quick succession, sign number three arrived last week in the form of a terrific blog post by Visionary Mom entitled "Finding Your Bliss" and then, yesterday sign number four, again from Visionary Mom, was this powerful video with text below that read:
Reason number one million and two why living OUR lives full and big, with purpose and passion is so very important: Our beautiful, amazing children, who are writing their own stories and are watching us and wanting us to teach them how to live life to the fullest….

And so I began to write today's post to share with you because I know you are all parents who want to do the best you can for your children. I became a SAHM because, for me, it was something I was passionate and excited about. I welcomed the challenge of staying home with our kids to teach them and love them and guide them during their first years. The transition from working woman to mother wasn't simple and required a lot of emotional processing. But once I threw myself into my new role as mom, I loved it, even when it was at its most challenging. The world doesn't give mothers as much credit as they deserve, and perhaps we don't give ourselves as much credit as we are due. This video was another reminder to me.

As the years passed and our children grew older, started school, needed less of my time, I realized that I no longer had as much purpose as I once did, both literally and figuratively. I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and maybe just a bit depressed about it. It's crazy, isn't it? All that time the kids were with me 24/7 I just wanted a break; now that I had that break I didn't know what to do with myself! I had spent all of this time becoming "Mom"; that was how I knew myself, that was how I defined myself and what had given me purpose during these first three and a half years. 

So now I was realizing I no longer wanted to be a 24/7 mom and I had a new kind of guilt. There were other things that inspired me and I had to begin the process of re-imagining what type of mother I was. Was I being a bad mother wanting this reinvention? Slowly I am beginning to realize that having something of my own that gives me an outlet and that I am passionate about renews my sense of purpose. Having this shows my children that I am not only a mother and that I have a life and interests that extend beyond my children and our home. This was, at first, difficult for me but, just like reminding myself that allowing others to do things for my children is actually good for them, I remind myself that feeding my soul is also good for my children; when I am fulfilled I am a better mother. Doing this doesn't take away from them; rather, it gives them a mother full of life, dreams and goals. How better to show our children that this is possible for them, than to model it for them? As I let my Light shine, I am showing my children that they can do the same.

And what about you? What dreams and desires do you wish for your children? Are you living a life as full as the one you would hope for them? Take a moment to think about it....perhaps this is a sign for you.
Thank you for reading!
The Twin Coach
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1 Great Comments Made By Clicking Here!:

Sharon said...

Wow! You are amazing. Thanks for your inspirational post!

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