We all have to fit into various roles in our families, careers and life. Here is an article about adjusting and making roles fit you rather just making you fit roles. It is written by Shan Moore.
Motherhood is accepted as one of life’s most fulfilling and enriching experiences. We are told over and over again that the day you meet the little life you created, your heart will be overwhelmed with a love so deep, it even exceeds what you feel for your significant other.
There is some truth to this.
HOWEVER, what we aren’t told is that the authentic, deep love you feel for your newborn will consist of two equal parts; 1) adoration and 2) being scared sh*tless.
My first pregnancy was three years ago. I was 28 and couldn’t imagine feeling any less equipped. I remember weeks of random, senseless crying and nighttime bouts of loneliness and fear.
“Is an 8-pound child really going to successfully plow through my pelvis?!”
These were troubles that I was sure—a self-confident, happily married woman—should NOT be facing. How do other women go through with this and not completely fall apart inside?
The formula, I thought, was after you’ve had your share of dancing on the bar for tequila shots, been married for 5 years, and traveled the world, you’d be ready. Right? I did my best at blaming all my insecurities and withdrawn behavior on hormones.
But how could this experience be so far off from the tender bliss of motherhood I’d heard all about?
The problem was, I’d allowed my peers, society, and silly ideals to determine my expectations for this life-changing event.
Life can be like that. People expect us to behave in certain ways. And sometimes we don’t fit the mold.
I am now a mother to a 3-year-old girl AND a 4 month old boy (of course, the smartest most well adjusted children on the planet), and I still find myself altering expectations daily. Not to align myself with the life of Mrs. Duggar (that’s a level of body-sacrifice I will simply never achieve), or my fellow couponers, bloggers, and pinners alike, but to achieve a sense of self, in my role of motherhood that I can live with.
My self-talk has become more about the essence of my new role; the pace with which I function, the tone of voice I use when I’m praising or disciplining, and the overall energy I exude.
I care less about my involvement in societal “shoulds” (nursing for 24 months, pureeing my own baby food, playing outdoors for 60 minutes every day), and “should nots,” for the sake of setting boundaries I can truly live with.
Allowing them to define my identity is limiting.
I find that by participating in activities that once defined me—pre-motherhood—I not only cultivate the energy for the “shoulds”, but I am empowering my entire family by exemplifying the give-and-take that creates balance in a home. This is what I was missing with my first pregnancy! Balance! (I thought by doing prenatal yoga every day, I was finding that connection with my inner mama soul! Turns out, going through the motions simply wasn’t enough for me to feel and be empowered ,though I faked it pretty well).
Today, I take the expectations from outsiders (books, blogs, friends), consider them carefully, then modify them as physical, spiritual and very personal goals that work for me.
I wrote this article in hopes empowering mommies and all readers in the search for balance.
Though we all play the roles of “mom,” “dad,” “teacher,” “friend,” co-worker,” “boss,” etc., we must remember that our roles express themselves uniquely by simply allowing them to.
Royalty-free image courtesy of Alicia Hylton; retrieved from: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1331087