This piece is a guest post by Sarah Prince:
I was chatting with my mom the other day. We were humbly venting our frustrations about all of our responsibilities. She said, "We have to do everything...EVERYTHING!" Work, provide for our families, carry and birth children, nurture and raise them, teach our families....it's endless.
How can you minimize the excess and keep your focus on the essentials? What are the things that truly matter in motherhood?
It's not the scrapbooking, the PTA, the home decor, or the community volunteering. It's not the grocery shopping, cooking, toilet cleaning, or even the laundry. What truly matters are only the things you cannot touch or handle.
1. Moments in Time
Life flies by so fast — you blink and it's gone. I worry myself one day that I'll wake up and my sons will be off to college. Seasons come and go; holidays and birthdays remind us of how short our lives are.
It is essential for a mother to slow down, take the time to appreciate little moments, and be mindful of them every day. You want to replace your frustration with joy as much as possible.
I have an alarm on my phone that pops up as soon as I get home from work. It says, "What Matters, Slow Time: Presence, Patience, Appreciation." It's my daily reminder to remember what truly matters. I put the phone away and am determined to be present, patient, and appreciative of my family until the day is over.
I touch base with each of my boys individually, hug and kiss them, show love, thank them, and laugh with them. As much as humanly possible, I do not multitask so I'm not distracted by something that can influence my relationship with them.
Commit to yourself and your family that you will be mindful of those special little moments in your life. Write them down and journal about them if need be. Then, once your children are older, you'll have a treasure trove of memories and joyful moments that you'll be eternally grateful for.
2. Personal Time
I think one of our gifts as mothers is also a curse. We want to serve and with that capacity to do so, it takes away from ourselves. We're naturally unselfish, which is wonderful, but it also means that we can neglect ourselves because of it.
Think of yourself as a flower. You have many essential parts in order to fully function and bloom at your capacity. You can flower and give off a wonderful scent, even shower down seems for the coming season. But if you don't take care of your roots with enough water, nutrients, and sunshine, you're never going to grow.
We like to think that everything above the surface is all that matters. That's society's big lie. Everything above the surface truly doesn't matter. It's whats underneath it all that is essential, eternal, and important.
You MUST take care of yourself or you cannot maintain and care for others. Oh, you may make it a week or two, maybe even a few months, but heaven forbid that you wake up in a few years and are struck with major crisis all because you didn't prioritize personal care and self-love in the past.
It's essential that you take time every single day to recharge, find peace, and do something that uplifts you. Recently, I made over my mornings and try to stretch, meditate, read my scriptures, and journal before my children are even awake. Then, in the evening, I make time to decompress with reading, watching some Netflix with the hubby, or relaxing in a warm bath.
Whatever it is that helps you find calm, clarify, and recharge, DO IT. It's not a waste of time because the benefits are seen in every area of your life. Your stamina, physical and mental health, and relationships will improve. You will find joy in the small moments we discussed before because you'll be healthy and at peace.
Living a simple life is much more rewarding than constantly digging through the clutter. As a mother, your life will not feel simple most of the time. But, with these principles in mind, at its core it will be. Commit today to find joy in the little moments that matter. Reflect on how you could have treated yourself better in the past, and commit to do it differently from now on. This won't happen overnight, but from mother to mother, these two essentials are what you'll look back on your life and be grateful for.
How are you going to focus on your well-deserved self-love and on the tiny moments that matter in your life?
About the Author:
Sarah Prince is the creator of MyNaturalBabyBirth.com and the Confident Mother Birthing Course. She helps devoted mothers prepare for their natural baby births without fear and frustration in order to provide the healthiest start in life for their children. She and her husband have three little boys and they love to go hiking together. You can always win her over with some dark chocolate and tickets to the theatre. Follow her on Pinterest and get her free Essential Resource Guide For Your Natural Birth on her blog.
Website - http://mynaturalbabybirth.com
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/mynatbabybirth/