Mental space in motherhood is an art form, I am finding. The act of taking some breathing room in what is a joy filled, yet full and busy life isn’t a formula that you can tick through. Taking care of yourself and others, balancing all the things, and feeling content requires creativity, patience and practice.
Just as motherhood is an art, not a science, there there is an art form to finding the time and space needed to be able to thrive as a mother. Rules and routines only go so far when you are taking care of something so important- and knowing yourself and the ways you flourish is also key.
I have discovered through walking through early motherhood and growing from one child to three – looking after your mental space as a mother is essential in ways that are not tangible. Seasons where I did not recognise my need for some of these pauses were difficult in ways I was unable to recognise at the time. I was struggling to savour the everyday, and wondering what the right way, my way to mother was. If I could go back and give my young mama self some advice about finding breathing room in the overwhelming beauty of motherhood – I would tell her this.
1. Learn as you go
Just as in art you have to push boundaries and try different things to find your style and know yourself better, in motherhood paying attention to what works and what doesn’t work for you and your family is important. Are you filling all ‘free’ time with the voices of the internet, the tv, or other people? Get to know yourself and what works for you better by paying attention to what you’re doing. When you take time for recharging or stopping, which activities or places or ways work? Our children are constantly growing and learning, and so are we along with them.
2. Be patient
With yourself and with your little ones. Motherhood has some difficult expectations and narratives surrounding it- be that in society, our own heads, or in the media. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, and allow yourself some rest time- proper rest time. Be patient…