Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
One of the biggest blocks to a nourishing Sacred Window is often our own self as mothers.
We believe we don’t deserve it!
Leaving the ‘why’ of that aside (time for personal therapy anyone!?) it’s worth remembering that the most powerful change we can bring about always starts in our own homes.
I birthed half a dozen children with virtually no care. When I was young it was fine. I had a tremendous store of vitality that carried me through until my fourth was born…and then this resiliency, let’s say…slightly faltered.
I can only imagine the better health I’d be enjoying today had there been care and rest in place for me when I was young, or with only a few children.
Trudging through Postpartum
Fast forward a couple of decades and I had the delightful gift of expecting again. It’s a surreal experience to have adult children at the same time as growing a baby within; and a glorious one.
This time I knew my body was well past pushing-through-pain. Early on in the pregnancy the muscles in my abdomen made a snapping kind of click when I lifted anything heavier than a soup bowl. A nice diastasis recti brewing.
If I wasn’t going to step up, then my body was going to enforce it for me.
How can doing less be stepping up I hear you ask? Did you ever try multitasking and get nothing done? That’s just one way more can be less… and less can be more.
Time to Take Care
My plea to you Mama is: don’t wait until your body is groaning.
Offer it tenderness to keep it strong.
Listen to its limits thankfully and stop before full capacity.
Embrace all your edges as gifts rather than barriers.
With my eighth baby I was compelled to respect every cell of my soul. It was more uncomfortable than ever to be receiving help since my children were largely rallying and upholding me. One of the greatest no-no’s in parenting is to need your child!
And yet, here they were taking on jobs and responsibilities that would stand them in good stead for their own homemaking and parenting experiences ahead.
They’ve learnt compassion to elders and respect to the process of pregnancy and postpartum. They will have lower expectations of themselves and their womenfolk, and hopefully higher expectations of how generously serving makes them feel more connected to life and love itself.
But we don’t all have an older child around, and having this help wasn’t the only thing that was different for me this time round. So what else can be done to nurture ourselves?
- regular abhyanga/massage with oil
- choose nurturing foods that calm and soothe
- pacing yourself and saying ‘no’ to being busy whenever possible
- when anyone asks how they can help tell them ‘yes’, and ‘this (insert useful task or service) would be a wonderful place to start please’.
- minimize the stuff in your life to have less homemaking management
No matter what your age or the number of children you have THIS postpartum period can be sacred and healing for you, right now.
Don’t let it slip you by… your children and the world deserve the best of you, sure, but so too do you.
Writing compliments of
Mother, Doula, Homeopath
Oum Ibrahim birthed joyfully into motherhood in 1999 and has been serving women as a doula ever since. A mom of many, homeopath and soft tissue therapist, she is drawn to the rhythm and respect that Ayurveda offers for all seasons of life.
Oum has a particular fascination with the formation of community and relationships and you can read some of her ponderings here on the Sacred Window Blog.