I laugh a little bit when I picture myself as a new mom. It’s that uncomfortable laugh you do when you’re not quite sure if it’s funny or embarrassing, or a little bit of both. I was tired. So tired, I wasn’t conscious. Zombie like. And in this unconsciousness, I replayed this story over and over… if only my child would sleep, then I will be ok. If only I could get my child to sleep, I can be me. If only I could make my child sleep, I’ll actually love mothering instead of feeling challenged everyday. If only my child would change, then I could feel different. I was as far from centered and grounded as I’ve ever been, living in a world that didn’t seem true. Sleep deprived and exhausted more than ever, is this really what love and marriage and parenting is, I thought? I seemed to float outside of my body each day going through the movements. On the outside things appeared ok, I think. Yet my family saw my struggle. My mom gently tried to tell me we needed to find a way to get sleep. But oh no, I wouldn’t let my son cry and this is what I thought parenting was all about. Giving 100% to my child, at all costs - even if it meant I couldn’t even find where my physical, spiritual, emotional body began or ended.
I withheld the truth that it was my own body that was exhausted, even when I did sleep. It was easier to blame my child, and thus my relationship with my son was this dance of intense care taking that went both ways, around the clock day and night. I needed him just as much as he needed me. It was beautiful, ugly, magical and codependent all in one. For months, years actually, this same dance occurred day in and out, set to different tunes, the style was the same.
I was this attached mother trying to fix something in which I didn’t have the tools to do so that were within my circle of safety, or comfort. I gave my power away to my child and thus had nothing left of me.
It still seems right and well that this way of mothering would make anyone exhausted. Even when I slept in on weekends, on mornings until my husband had to go to work, took naps, I still felt empty and lacking of energy. I wish someone had told me (someone who could say this and I’d listen) that it wasn’t only the lack of sleep causing my tiredness, it was my own detachment from me. And still I found the strength to carry another child. I kind of welcomed the exhaustion. It was my excuse. At some point though I was able to step back and witness from above this picture. I recognized the importance of sleep in our household and we made changes so we all got more sleep. But months later, the tiredness remained, exhausted by 9am. Sure there are overheard dreams some nights and wakings from time to time but nothing that keeps a person in this cycle of extreme tiredness. My kids are now sleeping, I could no longer blame them.
And so I turned within. And here’s what I’ve learned. There are two things I need to do for me, each and everyday, to maintain my power, my goddess reigns, my present mothering. The first is the ability to maintain alignment. By supporting my physical body properly, I have more capacity within to give to all parts of me. Here I share with you what I’ve learned about alignment:
The second thing, and most important, is if I am grounded and my energetic body is cared for, I have so much more to give! Here is a 5(ish) minute routine that if you do this every day, you will, without a doubt, have way more energy and love to give. http://youtu.be/uRIlZA_cEQY
What I’ve found is when I’m putting me first, when I’m caring for my mental, physical and energetic bodies, I am a fun, laughing, mother who has energy to be present and enjoy this life! This is something I wish for all mothers out there. I’d love to hear how these exercises make you feel!
With Love, Ener-Chi Mama