“Jake, let’s sign up for the basketball class. You will learn new things and your body will benefit.”
“Emily, you can do hard things. You are just not there yet but if you keep practicing, you will be able to read by yourself soon.”
“Meera, did you let the teacher know about your vision for the Earth day activities at your school?”
Over the last 6+ years of being a parent, I have noticed a pattern – at the playground, yoga retreats, meeting rooms, coaching clients, or the school festival.
It is everywhere and it’s painful.
We, mothers, do an excellent job inspiring and supporting our children to learn new things, advocate for their own needs and ideas, make mistakes, and contribute more fully to the world. It is truly magical, and I am always awestruck at our capacity as mothers to do this for our children.
Yet, when it comes to our own longings and needs, our deepest desires, and callings both big and small, we are very quick to dismiss and distract ourselves. On the surface we often tell ourselves we are tired, we do not have time, our time is over or our resources need to be fully invested in our children. There is absolutely no denying the strands of truth in these reasons. The social and cultural expectations of mothers in our modern world, not to mention especially in the pandemic are absolutely unrealistic, and attending to ourselves can sometimes feel like one more thing we do not have physical, emotional or financial capacity for.
But, as we unpack and peel the layers, there is a lot more beneath the surface and it’s not just about our fully packed schedules.
There is generations after generations of social and cultural conditioning emphasizing the message that good mothers sacrifice everything for their family and also their work. We are somewhere led to believe that our bodies don’t need as much rest and that our needs should be the last on our to do list. We are told to not raise our voices and opinions because the experts know better. We are told to put every dollar away for our children and that our needs don’t really matter – our time is over and it’s all about the kids right now. We are not taught how to name our needs and ask for what we need – emotionally, spiritually,physically, financially, and more. We are expected to figure out and do everything on our own as that is the sigh of a woman’s strength.
“The epitome of womanhood is to lose one’s self completely. That is the end goal of every patriarchal culture. Because a very effective way to control women is to convince women to control themselves.” – Glennon Doyle
This is NOT okay. Period. Mothers need to flourish and thrive so they can continue to do the incredible work they do in the world – in our homes, communities, and organizations where they raise humans, work and volunteer. They deserve to have their needs met so they can truly give their best to all those around them.
I am writing this to invite all you wonderful mothers to imagine a different world –
A world where a mother has social and cultural permission to put herself first on her to do list. A world where women irrespective of their social economic status, race or sexual orientation know that they belong – that their voices, needs and callings matter. A world where we don’t measure a mother’s success by the resume of her child. A world where a mother is comfortable registering her daughter for one less class so that she can take that guitar class that she always wanted to take. A world where a mother does not feel guilty to nap during the middle of the day and she knows that rest and replenishment are just as important as striking things off her to do list.
I truly hope we can create this world together with our brave and tender hearts, and the deep and fierce love we can give not just to others but also to ourselves but have somehow forgotten along the way. We owe this to ourselves, to the generation of mothers who did great work before us and to those ahead of us.
I would invite you to pause and reflect on what stories have you been told and what assumptions are you holding around your own belonging. What would it look like to imagine a different world where you had permission to create, express yourself, rest, and contribute more fully? How can you create that for yourself – one small step at a time?
I know some of you reading this have found ways to give themselves permission to paint (literally and metaphorically). I am in awe of you and invite you to share your story and journey in small and big ways so we can change the narrative that exists in the world. We need your voice and story more than ever before.
If you are just beginning to figure this out, I applaud your courage to start and connect more deeply with what matters to you. I see you taking that first step to dedicate 30 mins to yourself this Saturday because you know what – you matter, your dreams, ideas, and opinions matter.
What stories have you been told? What assumptions are you holding around? What would your world and our world look like if you gave yourself permission to dream, create & contribute more fully?
I am facilitating a conversation and coaching circle on a few different topics in the next 6 weeks and would be so honored if you’d like to join. These will be small intimate circles with a combination of coaching, journaling, listening so bring your cup of tea, wear your comfy sweater and join me and other brave and curious hearts as we seek to connect better with ourselves, claim our voices, and power as a human.
Dates: Dec 12th, 26th, and Jan 2nd
Time: 9 am to 10:30 am (Pacific Time)
See details on topics for specific dates below —
Dec 12th – New Leadership Manifesto for the Modern Mother (Exclusively for Mothers!)
Dec 26th – Reflecting and processing 2020
Jan 2nd – Welcoming 2021
Please email me to save your spot and receive the zoom link to join! You are welcome to forward this email to others as well.