Best Mother’s Day gift ever!
Hello MOTHER’S DAY! Ahhhh. A day when I can drop the ball. What ball? My wife/mother persona ball. Let’s chat . . .
A good chance today to ask some questions about the way we look after ourselves as women in and amongst the goings-on of family life. You might even have time to ponder it, seeing as it is MOTHER’S DAY. In fact, giving yourself time to read this just might be the best Mother’s Day gift you have ever received!
- Is it just me, or do most of us feel guilty when we aren’t keeping up in the household?
- Do we push ourselves and just make sure we get it all done?
- Does our day never stop, to the point where we fall into bed feeling exhausted most nights?
It would seem that many of us have been brought up to play out a certain role as a mother and a wife and most of us are playing right into it. It was really obvious in my family, 3 girls, 3 boys . . . ahem – where are the boys when it comes to the running of the house . . . ?
I started looking at this a bit more deeply recently when I had a cold and felt more tired than usual. I had a few things to do in the house before I went to work and I just couldn’t because I needed to lie down, but I felt guilty. I realised I was putting pressure on myself to just get on with it so my partner and daughter didn’t have to do it when they got home.
This led me to ask myself:
Why do I feel like it is me who should be doing all of those little things around the house?
Why am I more interested in supporting them than I am in supporting myself?
The answer was simple: I felt guilty for just looking after myself.
I haven’t been letting my partner take the full share of her responsibility because I feel like as a step-parent she shouldn’t have to. When everyone else in the house is sick I am number one nurturer, so gorgeous, caring and supportive, but when I am sick I have conflicting feelings about allowing myself the same level of nurturing, care and support because of the ideas I have about who should be doing what.
I know I am not alone in this; I see it with women at work, in my family and with my friends. At work I cared for a woman who was hospitalised with severe pneumonia at 27 weeks pregnancy. She told me she had been pushing herself so hard – looking after a very active toddler, working, keeping her household running and not letting in any support – that she now had pneumonia. She actually knew what she was doing when she was doing it but didn’t stop and ask for help, just felt like she had to get on with it. And now she has pneumonia. She was enjoying her forced rest, but does it need to come to this?
There is this thing where we think of our partners as helping us, the kids are helping us with what needs to be done, rather than everyone supporting each other.
Partners are working, but so are mothers these days. There is an idea that as the mother we look after everyone, we are the mainstay, and in some cases we are actually mothering our partners too. Even if it isn’t expected of me I still have these feelings that it is up to me to keep everything afloat.
Interestingly too, there is no way my partner wants me to be pushing that hard as it leaves me feeling exhausted and has a ripple effect out to everything including our relationship. I find that when I am stretching myself and pushing through my body has a certain feeling to it – it has a hardness I can feel in my jaw and across my chest and I can’t connect with my partner as deeply as I would without that. When I drop it I can let her in so much more. Exhaustion, tension, tiredness, pushing, self-inflicted slaving – all complete killers of romance and sure to mean frustration and nagging are not too far away.
How is your relationship surviving your mother/wife persona?
A lot of women are brought up watching and knowing that the responsibility of the family is ours and in doing so we have disempowered ourselves. We are not listening to the intricacies of our bodies and what is needed because of an outside learned behaviour that is far from supporting us.
- How many of us are working full time and taking full responsibility for the shopping, cooking, kids’ activities, walking the dog, cleaning, whatever it is in your household, and feeling guilty if we aren’t keeping up?
- Even if the household responsibility is shared between our partner and us, how many of us push through when our body is saying I need to just rest right now?
- How often do you really check in with yourself and ask – is this too much?
"There is a strength in knowing what you can and cannot do. And even greater strength in honouring it."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 541
In answering honestly, many of us would agree that we go into these behaviours as we play out what it means to be a mother and wife.
- In living like this, have we ever thought of what this shows our daughters or young people in our lives?
- What kind of life do we want for our daughters and are we living that?
- Would we want them to be putting themselves last on the rung?
- Are we showing them that to be a wife and mother you don’t matter as much as everyone else?
- Or you have a larger capacity to work than everyone else in the family?
It isn’t true, but it sure looks like it sometimes.
For some, Mother’s Day might be the only day each year they let go of the roles and let their family help. How much rests on this one day then? –– watch out family if you don’t get it right, there is a lot pent up in preparation for this special, special day. How often do you feel a bit let down on Mother’s Day?
When I am more aware of these behaviours and don’t just enslave myself to the roles of mother and wife (and worker, friend, daughter, daughter-in-law, etc), I feel so much more myself and so much more content in my relationships with my partner, my daughter, with everyone and anything really because I am so much more myself and have so much more energy.
I don’t have that exhaustion hanging off me. And I get really cranky when I am feeling exhausted. I hate being cranky with everyone at home: it’s like you hold it together at work then come home and everyone cops it. Roles on top of roles on top of roles until you don’t even know who you are anymore, except cranky. We can’t live like that. And we don’t have to, which is the best Mother’s Day gift we can receive if we are open to it!
There is a deep beauty inside of every woman. A love and warmth that is so easily shared with all in her care that is so seldom shown in full to herself. This is something I know we need to change; we cannot look after other people unless we are looking after ourselves, it just doesn’t work and is a sure-fire ticket to illness and disease. The same level of nurture and care we give to our family has to be there for us from us too.
The way we let go of control on MOTHER’S DAY could be lived every day.
Not that we need breakfast in bed with fresh flowers every day (although let's face it, it wouldn’t go astray), but just dropping the feeling that we have to do it all and realise there is a whole family around us who are as equally responsible for the running of family life as us. Yes, even the kids.
What I am realising through this process of looking at all of this is when I really do let go of the push, the hardness, the personas and the ideas of who should do what, everything does still get done, just in a different time sequence and with a very different feeling. When my body is relaxed I feel warm and I am my funny, cheeky, silly self, which is a vast improvement on the tired, cranky version (laughs). And what was I holding that made me think I had to do it ALL!?
The Best Mother’s Day gift ever is to start looking at this and how it all plays out, and really make sure I am checking in with myself daily to ensure I am just as accounted for as everyone else.