I don’t make my own Easter Eggs.
There. I’ve said it. I don’t make my own chocolate and I don’t make my own Hot Cross Buns but that is not to say that I do not indulge in both treats, albeit good quality ones, generously, at this time of year.
There has been a transition happening in my life. I can feel that something has shifted. Things have improved. I’m feeling healthier, I have more energy. My skin is clear, my mood is calm. I’m moving more slowly, yet with intention. I have time to stop, to think.
How have I achieved this new state of being?
Is there a book to read? A new diet to follow? Is it daily meditation practice, more yoga? Green smoothies perhaps?
Although, I’m sure all of those things have helped.
What I can attribute this metamorphose from burnt out, drained, ill health affected, going through the motions mama to relaxed, healthy, strong, kind and confident mama is…time.
When I reflect on the past year, I can see clearly the events that led to my physical and mental demise. It wasn’t one thing. It wasn’t a tragedy or a misfortune. It was simply nine years of extreme mothering. It was burn out. It was going to sleep after midnight and being woken, not for the first time, at dawn. It was taking two children and a new born to swimming lessons on a Friday afternoon and trying to support the swimmers, in two separate pools, while simultaneously breastfeeding a crying, tired baby in a hot, sticky and very public environment. It was scraping slow cooked spaghetti off a newly cleaned floor while the tears slid down my cheeks and my baby chuckled along to Giggle and Hoot despite my efforts to banish television at dinner time. It was preferring to stab myself in the eye with a sharp stick than listening to my five year old try to read or go through the trauma of shampooing my eight year old’s unruly hair. These are the things that day after day, week after week, exhaust us.
It came to me recently that mothering is in the details.
It is a mother’s attention to the small things, the things that no one else makes time for, that makes life work. That makes life better for everyone else, but sometimes worse for the mother herself.
When you are in survival mode, there is no room for the details. Just getting through the day is enough. Last year, I let some things slide. Swimming lessons, supervised daily tooth brushing, checking homework, fun, kid-centred activities like art and craft and bike riding to the park, ironing. I’m starting to feel inspired and able to return to these things. To make more effort, to be more present and to take on more as a mother again. Well, except for the ironing maybe. Ironing sucks.
And so, it brings us back to balance. Finding the right balance for you, on this day. Doing the best you can with what you’ve got and forgiving yourself if it turns out to be less than what you would have liked. Making choices that work for you and make you happy. Listening to your body, being kind to yourself. Buying the Easter Eggs if it means having time nurture yourself by making a nourishing lunch or taking a break to stretch or just to sit and be.
If you make your own Easter Eggs, I think you are amazing! Just make sure you do it because you love it and it makes you happy. And be sure to triple taste test the mixture along the way!
Have you suffered from Mama Burnout? How were you able to heal from it, or are you still suffering in it’s depths? If you would like to talk, we’re here to listen!
Love and light,