I became a mother while living in Connecticut. I had watched mothers my whole life raising children in Utah but being on the East Coast I didn’t know what, “motherhood” looked like. How do you do things without family nearby? How do I raise children outside the place I know so well? How do I take advantage of the place I live? How do I feel fulfilled? It got really deep really fast.
In motherhood I began noticing mothers around me that looked like they “had it together” and tried to learn from their wisdom. When I started having babies I was told all sorts of advice; sleep when the baby sleeps, shower every day, (still doesn’t happen), take it easy and the most popular piece of advice: enjoy every second, it passes so quickly.
How did I enjoy every second if I was tired, in pain, (um, hello nursing), and trying to figure out a whole new life? It isn’t a secret that it took a whole year for me to transition into motherhood. I wasn’t a natural and still don’t feel like one. However, I keep trying.
I recently had a friend ask me how I find fulfillment in motherhood. Here’s what I came up with.
- Focus on the positive. As soon as I let thoughts like, “You are doing this when you could be getting paid to do XYZ”, I turn it around. Yes, I could have chosen to let someone else be with my kids all day but look at what I would miss out on. I see being a homemaker as a complete blessing rather than a curse. There isn’t room or time for, “the grass being greener on the other side.” I live in the present and try to find joy in it!
- Surround myself with women I respect. Whether these women are in my neighborhood or on social media I only allow women who build me up and help me be better into my life. I find mothers I value and try to learn from their example. Whether they have young kids like me or older children-I want to learn from those who love being a mother.
- Don’t let hard days get me down. It’s totally normal and fine to have difficult days. I’m currently remembering a real doozy last week, but you have to find ways to refuel and pick yourself back up. Sometimes refueling means going for a bike ride alone, (once my husband is home), having a special treat, (Ben & Jerry are my friends), or taking a nap. Honestly, sometimes you just need to put a show on for the kids and do something else—at your house obviously.
- Morning Dance Party. Our morning dance party is like sacred time. We dance to the same song every morning while we are still in our pj’s. It has become a tradition and a great way to start the day.
- Have an outlet. Go to the gym, take an online class, blog, cook, read, etc. I love learning and look forward to this time every day.
- Do things I love with my kids. We LOVE finding new playgrounds, museums, ice cream shops and activities in our neighborhood. We try to always have something fun–not expensive–but fun on our calendar.
These are just a few things that work for me. I would love to know how you find fulfillment in mothering. Helping one another and building each other up as women is essential in motherhood.