Parenting Fatigue

Featured

This is a topic that I am sure is discussed behind closed doors but called many other names. Honestly accessing the state of my motherhood is truly a sensitive subject. One that I rarely discussed until recently. I only discuss in safe spaces (or so I believe) in the confines of my most trusted confidants because it’s taboo to talk about anything other than the joys of parenting. Quite frankly, people judge (those with children and those who do not have children—the audacity right!). From fully embracing it to running from it for months, I have found that parenting is a growth process and is richly rewarding if you undertake the responsibility. It is riddled with opportunities to learn and heal for all involved, however; it requires an enormous amount of energy, effort, awareness, agility, flexibility, and disciplined action. Life never stops and neither do the demands of children. There is no eject button. Which led me to a personal discovery that I call parenting fatigue.

Fatigue is a noun and a verb so I go with both. An extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or to cause (someone) to feel tired or exhausted, to weaken by repeated variations of stress. ALL OF THIS!!! For so many reasons and in so many ways.

I am a 35 year old mother of three children (11 yr old girl, 7 yr old girl and a 6 yr old boy). I have navigated ALL of my adulthood as a parent and parts of my motherhood as a single parent or a wife (twice, no judgement). Each season I have learned but the most profound was recently when my girlfriend moved in and assumed (quite naturally, round of applause) her dream role as a ‘foster mother’ as she calls it. It was with her all encompassing aid that I discovered how depleted I was in my role as a mother.

The repetitive highs and lows of responding to the demands of life and parenting had taken a toll on me that I had not had time or space to truly acknowledge and restore. It was during this time that I was finally able to take a breath knowing that someone would stand in the gap and catch me. What a balancing act! I don’t have any fancy fixes or antidotes to resolve parenting fatigue but at least I now know that it is real. I am more aware that losing oneself in service to your role as mother or father, or any other parental guardian is a win only when you first take care of yourself. So to all my fellow parents be kind to yourself and do take heed of your needs each day as you do for those in your care.

LEAP: Motherhood is Activism!!!

Find it within yourself and then it manifests. I swear I never thought I would be this woman who shares all. But no shame. I did not know how I would ever be able to be a good mom. I did not want to be a good mom. My mother taught me how to be a good mom. She showed the way so hard. But I had such a disconnect in being that woman that my mother showed me I should be for my children. ALLLLLL I could see was how much easier my life could be if I did not have children. When I thought I was getting my whole life and living my “best life”, I wanted no part of them all. But when my chase of men and a woman winded me back to myself, all that was left was me and my children. My children championed me. My children told me how they felt about my depletion and how much I sucked. They even predicted that my girlfriend would leave. (In the words of my oldest “She cant stand the rain but I can and I have). I had to still make it all happen. I believe in GOD, I still pray. I DECIDED.

I have begun to use any tools to help me heal that I can to include plant medicine. I cannot determine if that is right for you only you can. This journey to discover who you are and enjoy life again is totally in your hands. ALLLLL I know is, do not sacrifice and let love, divorce, children, jobs, spirituality , ANYTHING stop you from saving yourself. MOTHERHOOD IS A GIFT. Children can come and stay with you like no one else will. This is only the beginning of my getting real with myself. I will release how we can heal ourselves as mothers as I feel safe to reveal. Just know that nothing is as you thought it was and no one is who you thought they were. But you are your biggest ally and only savior. And those children you birthed, well be grateful you did.

Motherhood is ACTIVISM!!!

I recently realized (thanks KRS ONE (krs-one.com) that motherhood is activism. Prior to this time I separated my personal healing and spiritual journey from my journey to reclaim and embrace mothering. I knew that my children were locked into the roller coaster as a byproduct of my healing journey (highs and lows—all of it). What I did not know that was tied to my motherhood was everything. Motherhood is the bedrock of society. We as mothers are the building block of society and have been since the dawn of time.

All reform is useless without the mother. Revolution is useless without the mother. SO mothers, we must decide to participate in our own revolution. You, mother, are the leader of your home, the setter of the environment. The job of mother is a responsibility. It is the responsibility to lead a culture. It is the unequivocal, irrevocable responsibility of driving all of each society forward. So lets lead with love. Through love we can train, build, restore, and create. We are the chief archietects. And yes we need help of others. It takes a village because no woman is an island and with each child you birth comes a community of helpers assigned to bring that child to maturation.

So yes, it takes more than baths, and prayers to bring you back to full or even even. But you have to start somewhere. SO look you in the mirror and make a commitment that YOU MOTHER creator will recognize, see, champion and breathe life into your own sails. YOU MOTHER are the revolution!!!!! (Yot.com, aha-now.com, SPAOA.com).

Mother GO! Mother GLOW! MOTHER GROWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SUPER-MOM NO MORE!

Many mothers are proud givers. Truth is, motherhood is a continual act of service. I will be the first to admit that there is always much to complete when nurturing, developing, protecting, nourishing the life of another in any form. There is a level of intention, awareness, and diligence that must be exerted to serve another through love in life. And all the mom bosses out there I salute you. You can exit now, this is not for you. This is for the mom that feels like life is moving and she can’t keep up with all that is asked of her. The one depleted and wondering how she can keep her head above it all, let alone enjoy the hood of mothering.

Mom, where are you over giving? Where and in what ways are you ‘doing’ where you should be delegating? Hopefully, we all aspire to produce children who become autonomous adults. Well that autonomy is like a muscle that must be developed while that baby bird is still in the nest. There are a plethora of ways we can assist ourselves and our children in becoming independent, capable, sovereign individuals.

I realized that I could start re-prioritizing and set myself as a priority on that list while taking nothing from my time and presence with my children. I once thought my self care or rejuvenation had to come in alone time (don’t get it twisted that is super IMPORTANT and NOT to be neglected), but my go to rule is: Give when necessary! That means finding ways to allow my children to contribute. I guide instead of doing as much as possible.

Children can wash dishes, load the dryer, have sock parties, put away their own laundry, sweep, change trash bags, and so on. How can you find ways to involve your children so you can sit down and read a book, or just be still while watching them assert themselves in the house. You can accommodate and the needs of your children in a constructive manner and nourish yourself. I invite you to be a superhero no more and delegate. That is how you recharge and still parent like a superhero. Help your children see and do because they are more capable than we allow them to be at times.

Here’s to replenishing self and being great moms!

Powered by Grace

I was in solidarity with many mothers who have or are experiencing parenting fatigue. There are many mothers feeling overwhelm and seeking remedies to this state of being. I believe all things have a solution. At the time I shared my realization that I experienced parenting fatigue a solution that I deemed worthy of sharing evaded me until now. Grace, grace, and more grace. Grace has been a transformative gift to me and to my children. I invite you to look up the definition of grace and then sit with what you find. Say the word with the definition hanging loosely in your mind until you feel your heart opening to it. And then breathe. Breathe in deep breaths. Gulp it if you need.

Grace is an invitation to change your perspective. For me, it was recognizing and re-framing the paradigm with which I conceptualized responsibility and motherhood in general. It was a subtle shift that birthed opportunity to invite curiosity and wonder in parenting. A lightness entered where I feel supported in my heart to approach parenting from a place of love and show up to serve. Grace is the gift that keeps on giving. Grace has been freeing for me. There is no performance anxiety to show up to motherhood and responsibility. Quite frankly, performance ain’t it! You are not required to DO. I offer these simple, yet not so simple instructions so that you can BE fully engaged and present while mothering powered by grace.

Re-prioritize the seeming un-achievable list of things to do, tasks to be completed or plowed through with an intentional awareness that I have the opportunity to show my love in service to those sacred beings entrusted to my care for a season. Understand and embrace the idea that seasons have a start and a conclusion. And just as your children develop and grow in independence, their demand and needs of you lessen and morph. Savor it!

Life is to be lived as a journey. A dance of sorts. You just show up and master new things. Flow!

Listen to yourself and honor your NO!

Set the intention to be compassionate and tender with yourself in each moment of every day. It is a blessing to be alive.

Don’t take it all so seriously. Set yourself free.

Opening to grace and fully embracing it has been a process of allowing. Allowing more breathe and allowing more energy to flow. Allowing myself to be guided through the responsibilities as they present to serve my children and my home with more ease. Grace has always been there and will always be available to you in limitless supply.

Grace, grace, and more grace to you!!!!!

TRUST YOURSELF!!!!

TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE!!!!!

I AM who I say I Am and that is enough! As long as I can remember I have been critical of myself. Over time, I began to call this immediate course correction, self-introspection. As a little girl I would always tell myself my mother’s refrain: “You are the finest and the best.” Although she meant well to instill this sense of worth and affirmation in me, I somehow used this as an invitation to myself and others to provide feedback that eventually spoke louder and mattered more than my own assessment of myself. In high school I would ask my friends over lunch to provide feedback on what they thought my strengths and weaknesses were. One by one they would point out things, all of which I was glaringly or blatantly aware. As I grew older, I solicited this same feedback from my intimate partners as well. I would then mull over what they thought and internally seek to come to terms with things I often failed to or had no desire to begin to change at the time. Life has a way of correcting and spotlighting those patterns that are destructive to your existence.

After years of seeking other’s critiques I had come face to face with myself to truly take inventory of where I was as a person. How do I feel about myself? Who do I say I am? It seemed like just one day out of no where I could no longer ignore all the internal self-chatter that corroded my happiness, caused peace and joy to evade me, and pushed my most coveted love ones away. I was locked inside myself, my inner light seemed snuffed out, and the darkness seemed so thick I could not breathe. I had to make some drastic changes or I would inevitably die (that’s what I thought was my only option). I threw my entire life away, literally and physically. I wanted nothing to do with anything that I had been participating in until now. I had to drastically break free and find the me that I had inclination was there. I so desperately needed to know my worth, my “enough-ness”.  I like many others looked to God and self-help books to make sense of it all. I drastically researched and changed my diet, began to exercise, began meditation, fasted, prayed, and cried (A LOT! And still do).

It was not until an encounter with love like a portal that saw the vulnerability, the soul beneath that everything began to change. Upon entrance I learned to hold myself and give me the love that I needed, the courage I needed to face myself and own all of the parts of me and my life. I gained a connection to my heart. I took on the responsibility to make real change, deep change that takes investment of time and practice. I was empowered to step into places in myself that needed shifts and revelations. Months later, in this process some family and friends began to comment on the light they saw verses the half shelled me that paraded around for the past few years. And I thought I had others fooled, I was only fooling myself!

I had so many ah-ha moments and transformations within such a short period of time. I understand myself so much better and am beginning to experience life, not in survival mode. I realized that I was playing way too small, refusing to acknowledge my accomplishments and failing to show up for my responsibilities. All that diminished me. I got a glimmer of the ENOUGH-NESS that I possess and it is up to me to continue to nurture and build. I started to see that I am responsible for defining me and not anyone else. Seeking outside validation leads you further from hearing your own voice. Care more about your opinion than that of others. We all know the saying, opinions are like assholes and everyone has one, including animals. Never regard anyone else’s experience over your own, even if you can learn from the wisdom of their experience. 

I have so much more self-discovery to go but as I go ahead, I give to myself the tenderness, compassion, honor, respect, and love that I truly deserve and require. This journey of life is eternal and you will always be with you. TRUST YOURSELF! Life really is in the experiences and we get each new day as an opportunity to course correct and be better than the day before. While journeying never forget the I AM that you decided and that that is ENOUGH.  Be yourself because nobody does it better!

CoTTon1913

There are many voices in this world. It is time I lifted mine. To give more love and insight. MORE love and light. I have often wondered what held me back from just releasing my thoughts. I burned my past words today and now all I am left with is myself. Rebuilding and refining who I am. All of me. Unafraid and afraid. Here I am.

CoTTonExpress

I am one woman ready to share beyond the confines of my own mind and heart all that is on my heart. I share with no shame. I share because I am sure that at least one is listening. My soul has been asked to speak and it has much to say. Why not tell the world. I am me. I am no longer apologizing or shrinking for who I am. I speak not seeking applause or affirmation but for speaking sake. I speak to share all that I have learned and experienced because I am one with all. In all, for all, with all. I am here. So I speak while I can. Sharing the very fabric of my life, our life. One unique perspective. So many years I have made journal entries fantasizing about releasing out loud. NOW I challenge myself in the comfort and with support of my sister to talk about and tell because our, my, perspective matters. I am a multifaceted woman. Concerned with peeling my own onion. This is my place, seated in my truth. Here goes it all.