Self-Care and Motherhood
“ Blessed be the longing that brought you here and quickens your soul with wonder.”
What do you long for as a mother, as a woman, as an eternal soul walking among this wild and crazy realm called planet Earth?
What do you long for?
This may be the most important question you ever ask yourself, and it certainly will serve as the foundation upon which the well-being of your soul stands.
Have you had a chance to consider the well-being of your soul lately, dear mama?
Lord knows you might not have, what with the dishes, and the laundry, and the scraped knees, and spilled milk…
nobody could blame you for forgetting to ponder upon the whisper of longing,
that beckons you in those
And yet I am here to gently wrap my arm around your shoulders and turn you away from the unending list of duties that is a mother’s life.
The duties will be there when you get back, for now, let's attend to more pressing matters…
We are living in a society where women have been starved.
Not starved of food, but of an equally vital component to a well-nourished life. That is, the opportunity to pursue what it is we want to do, want being too shallow of a word,
what we long to do in the world.
Whether it be planting flowers, walking the shoreline at dawn, painting our masterpiece, sewing a skirt, writing a poem, playing the trombone, everyone has a longing that comes from the depths of their being,
the calling of callings from the creative source within.
Many of us may have no idea what our particular calling might be.
The twin plague of distraction and incessant menial responsibilities has turned our ears deaf to that small voice of wonder.
I urge you to lessen the volume on the cacophony of modernity,
and tune in to your soulful leanings,
particularly if you are a new mother or going to become one very soon.
As a mother of four young children myself, I have been humbled on this journey.
I have come to see that much of what I thought I knew,
and much of what I was certain to be black and white,
is in fact, gray.
Nevertheless, there is one truth that I will boldly profess to the rooftops
and sing out loud to all who will hear.
That is, in order to have a motherhood experience that is rich and fulfilling, a woman must be granted time to care for herself.
And if this time isn’t granted, (which is rarely is) she must claim it as her own and
refuse to surrender it.
Why you might ask? Isn’t a mother supposed to be an all-giving, eternally smiling, endless well of unconditional love?
Maybe in the world of children’s literature, you can find this golden maternal archetype, but the truth is, she doesn’t exist in the real world,
and if she does you can bet there are some ghosts of resentment and bitterness hiding in her closet just waiting to jump out and say, Boo!
We are, even as mothers, still human beings. We came to this Earth plane with our own, unique soul signatures that desire to be expressed.
If we ignore these life-giving desires consistently, our life becomes dry and anemic.
And we can serve nobody well, least of all our children.
So what does it look like in a busy mother’s world to honor her soul’s desires?
I can tell you it’s messy.
It looks like a pile of dishes left in the sink while I drink tea and read poetry on the porch.
It looks like my kids eating a very non-organic slice of pizza, because I spent the day working on my latest sewing project instead of chopping veggies and stirring hot pots over the stove.
I stroll to the table, grab a slice myself and sit down with my jolly, messy children.
I’m covered in bits of thread and fabric scraps, and a few residual crumbs of guilt that I can never quite shake off after diving into “mom time”.
But my eyes sparkle, and my heart is open, and my children are the ones who can notice it first.
I am renewed, I am back.
They hop on my lap and I don’t growl with overwhelm, they start to tell me the latest ridiculous joke that I’ve already heard fifteen times and I smile…
“Hey mom, what’s your name?”
“And what’s this?" (She points to her nose.)
“And what’s in my hands?” (She holds out her empty hand.)
“Hahaha! Olivia. Nose. Nothing!!! Ahhh hahaha!!”
They all burst into giant bubbly belly giggles.
I laugh too. It’s contagious. And it’s true.
I know nothing.
But my soul is my guide and I have taken the time today to honor that guidance.
And that’s enough knowing for me.
What does your soul long to do today?
Order a pizza, dear mama,
and do it.
Written by: Olivia Gonzales
Olivia is a mother of four, doula, birth photographer, and writer. She sees the journey through birth and postpartum as a sacred rite of passage, and believes every woman should be honored and nourished as they traverse this path. She is a lover of mystical texts, loose leaf tea, and fine fabrics. Olivia can often be found taking ridiculously long walks in all weather. She lives in the mountains of North Idaho with her husband and children.