A Mama's Guide for Back To School Time
Some of you may be trying to keep enough Kleenex in your pocket this week so you can dab the tears from your eyes. Some of you may be jumping for joy to *finally* get a break after a long, yet short, summer season. And then there are many of you on the continuum bouncing from one end to the other and visiting all the emotional places in between.
No matter where you are on this spectrum, we are all experiencing a transition. As adults we are expected to handle transitions and change better than our children. However, this doesn't mean that we don't experience stress and ambivalence, or don't need support through the changes.
We need to remember that with each transition, with each change, there is a loss and a gain. We will feel grief for the loss and joy for the gain, sometimes as the same time, and that is okay.
Earlier today I teared up as I was cutting crusts off my kid's PB&J. I was crying tears of nostalgia and pride out of one eye, and tears of fear and sadness out of the other. I thought, "how much longer will I do this (cutting crusts) before they make their own sandwiches?" I beamed at the the thought of their impending independence, which means more freedom for me, but I also sunk into the emptiness of wondering what my role would be as their mom as they get older?
Eeesh! It was a little heavy of a load to hold so early in the morning, but a mama's mind is hard to slow down.
It reminded me of how important it is to slow down, take pauses, take care of self in times of transition so we can thrive as women and mothers, as well as continue to support our littles as they enter into their next chapter of life.
So, without further adieu; A Thriving Guide for Back to School
Change can bring up fear. Fear puts us in survival mode. Survival mode, while helpful if you are running away from a bear, is not the best place to stay when you are transitioning. To avoid feeling stuck, paralyzed, or anxious, breathe VERY deep into your belly 10 times, several times throughout the day. Even if you are not feeling out of sorts, doing this practice while you are calm oxygenates your body and reminds your nervous system that you are safe and well, so you freak out less :)
2. Feel Your Feelings
If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like laughing, laugh. You don't need to button up your emotions. If you do, they come back to remind you they still need to be processed. Give yourself an opportunity to release and flow with your natural energetic system of emotions. None of them are bad or invalid.
3. Hold Both
Know that you will feel opposing feelings at the same time. It is okay. Breathe, name what you are feeling, then release.
4. Write Down Your Intentions
Take sometime to reflect on the next few months and write down some goals, intentions, and/or what you are looking forward to. These can be events, states of being, and/or things you wish to focus on. Once you write them down, place them where you can see them and will read everyday. Come up with short, small, realistic action steps you can focus on and complete every day so you can continue to feel Empowered and motivated by what lights you up.
5. Commit to taking at least 15 minutes for yourself every day
I can't stress this one enough! Mama, you do a lot. Give yourself some space to nourish yourself, to not be needed, and to honor your desires. The dedication to your needs is enough, what you do with that time can be how you define it. Netflix, meditation, coffee, a walk, anything that liberates you.
6. Reach out to someone that can hold space for you
Every mama is going through their own transition right now and we can all support each other. Your community at Motherhood Empowered Facebook group is a great way to reach many moms and feels supported from your sisters. You can call or text a friend, even if it just to have someone witness your experience and listen without feedback. This simple, yet challenging for some of us, task is a cleansing for the heart and can ground you back to you.