Your to-do list is longer than your arm. You worry about doing the best for your family, but everyone’s definition of “best” is different. You never get a moment to yourself until late in the evening and then you have to decide what’s most important – sleep, time with your partner, or doing something that’s just for you. Do you even remember what you like to do?
Each night you go to bed vowing tomorrow will be different, but the morning falls apart before you make it to the breakfast table. You yell and then you feel terrible. You worry about what they’ll remember from these years. You feel disconnected, frustrated and hopeless.
It doesn’t have to feel like that. You can feel peaceful and connected.
I believe the most important work you can do for your family is to nurture and know yourself. When you learn to slow down and pay attention, you can see exactly what your family – and you – need to thrive.
- Time for you AND for your family.
- Being able to hear and respond gracefully to both the yelling tantrums and the whispers seeking connection.
- Reaching the end of the day and really feeling the joy and fullness of your life, confident that your children will have good memories of this day.
- Being able to let go of comparing yourself to a mythical Good Mother and embracing the wonderful mother you already are.
When you join the Nurtured Mama community, you’ll learn practical skills to be a more grounded, calm and peaceful mother.
Become part of the Nurtured Mama community to get Nurture Notes in your inbox (along with a bonus guide with 25 ways to say "No" today and have more time for what's really important to you.
When I was 37, I quit my 12-year career in high tech, moved in with my new boyfriend and his teenage son, and had a baby, all within a few months of each other. I thought it would be my dream life – being a stay-at-home-mom, keeping a simple and beautiful home, and finally having time for my art.
The reality was not the dream. I didn’t know how to parent either the baby or the teenager and none of the “expert” advice felt like it fit for us. My partner and I were still bumpily getting to know each other, and I was both bored and exhausted by the tedium of baby care and relentless housework.
I felt lost, anxious, and lonely and I worried I had made a series of terrible mistakes. I began getting sick in more and more serious ways as I became more frayed and exhausted.
But after months of baby yoga – the bright spot in my week – I began bringing that practice of presence and gentleness to the rest of my life. I rebelled against the idea that a Good Mother should put everyone else first and began setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care, even when that made me unpopular with my extended family. I learned to communicate clearly and respectfully with my partner and to see our daughter and his son as the complex individuals they are. I began to trust my instincts, building a parenting style based on our family values.
Our home became more peaceful, our family connections grew strong and loving, I found slivers of alone time and I got a lot a whole lot happier. Our daughter is six now and the teenager is now a young man, off living his own life. We’ve weathered some tough stuff, but with the solid footing of our core values, strong communication, and my self-care habits to fall back on, I’ve come out the other side stronger than ever.
I’m certainly not perfect – I still lose my cool and I have hard days. I don’t even do yoga regularly anymore. But I have learned to pay close attention in the midst of our busy life, and those are the skills I can share with you.
Here are some posts to start with.
- 10 Things Moms Should Stop Doing
- You Are Not A Dumbhead
- Find Your Moments of Grace
- The Practice of Motherhood
- Are You A Good Mother?
What readers have to say: