I had this idea that when I brought my twin daughters home it would be easy to prioritize their needs and wants over mine. In the first month or so, it was easy to put them above everything. They were so tiny and I did nothing but rock and hold and feed and love on and snuggle; the three of us loved that slow and easy new mom/new baby lull of life. There was nothing better. About two and a half months into this new gig as a mom, my children started to feel less like visitors and more like my children and mama was getting worn out. I began to long for a nap that was more than fifteen seconds long and for my husband to come home from work so I could detach my children from my chest and exhale.
I realized that mothering well doesn’t mean I ignore who God created me to be.
And, I can’t mother to my full potential when I’m exhausted, stressed, spiritually drained, or unable to do what I love.
My girls were about two months when I agreed to join Thrive Moms’ team of bloggers & launch a start up. So, with a planner filling quickly and days that are filled with lots of moving about or hours working, intentional mothering is looks a bit different. Now that my schedule is much busier, I’m more deliberate with how I spend my time – especially pre-babies.. My relationship with my girls and our time together is the most important thing to me, I have to prioritize and schedule this time so that I’m my best self with my girls and still very efficient with work. Very rarely am I working from computer (or phone when I have to) and there isn’t a baby on my chest or laying next to me. There are times I have to put projects to the side while I tend to my daughters, and there are times I have to allow them to play on their own or hang out solo while I finish a blog post or email. I recognized that while I’m pulled in a few directions and have to make choices that aren’t always fun, none of my decisions makes me a bad mother, team member, or businesswoman. I’m not being negligent; I’m not shirking responsibility, I’m “just” being a mom. Regardless of the exact items on your plate that vary in proportion, we are all juggling plenty of roles and we all need outlets and breaks.
The truth is that while each of my needs may not be met in equity, their place in my life makes me better in every area of my life – especially mothering. Time away even for an hour in the other room, not only benefits me personally but allows me something to offer them beyond my wholeness and mental/emotional wellness. This time affords me experiences that yield wisdom and knowledge. Even if it’s the lesson that teaches me that I’m not the only one who can soothe them.
Right now, one is napping and the other is hanging and playing solo while I work. And, it works. We’re all getting a bit of what we need while giving the other space to operate independently of each other. Isn’t that a great lesson? We still love each other. I’m still their mama. And, once my work is done, I’m able to snuggle and play at ease.
Motherhood is not easy but it is so very rewarding. We can easily give our absolute all to everyone around us without a thought about our own needs, and this little fact can very easily be forgotten… in order to be an effective mother we have to have something to give. Ya know the whole ‘put your oxygen mask on before attempting to help another’? Real deal truth. When we’re completely tapped out and running on empty, it’s so much harder to be joyful, peaceful, patient, and kind. Isn’t bearing those fruits and being a great example of Christ’s love our goal? It’s for sure mine and I can feel when my tank is empty and I begin to sputter. Thankfully, when I fail, I’m grateful my kids, even as young as they are, desire my love and attention still. It’s the sweetest lesson of Christ’s love from the tiniest little gifts in the world.
I believe this community is a beautiful place to learn and grow. So, share a few of the ways you refuel when your tank is on E. I’m sure we could all benefit from an idea or two from other mamas who are right were we are in our journey through mothering our babes!
// Hey y'all! I'm a wife and new mama to twin girls who lives in the great state of Texas! I share a ton of my thoughts and lessons learned over on my blog, unashamed growth.com, & pictures of my day to day over on Instagram, @amayes! \\