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Bags under my eyes, feeling bloated, just stepped on the scale and put on another 2 kilos …cleaning bottles, sleepless nights, changing diapers has become the norm. I find myself tearing for no reason and feeling tired and depleted most of the time. When my kids ask me to play with them, I feel compromised and guilty, not feeling happy enough to step outdoors and have fun with them. As a mom, I feel so out of my depth and wish that I could shrug off this feeling of being grumpy and moody. People depend on me, and I need to step up to being happy.If not for me … for my husband and children …”Ever had such banter in your head?
Well, the reality is, we all have been there, done that, got the T-Shirt and are maybe writing the book as moms and women with different narratives. Sometimes, the book has many sequels with no final version in sight. We battle with this never-ending story … of ups and downs in proving our womanhood all the time. The fatigue we feel as women is overwhelming and we need to unfilter our thoughts and get in touch with our feelings to make meaningful shifts in our lives.
As a life and business coach, I interact with women daily, and this introduction is what the majority of women face.I keep saying that the first thing to do is to pause and acknowledge that sometimes it’s ok not to be ok … We all experience highs and lows … and this feeling will pass … it’s how you approach the situation that counts.
We strive, as women, to look good on the outside, and for many self-image is everything. Yes, shedding weight is important in terms of being healthy and looking good. However, having a healthy body also needs to be aligned with a healthy mind and soul. Finding balance is so essential, and nurturing oneself is needed. The way we would like to treat everyone else is the way we need to treat ourselves first. Moms, please learn to be kind, empathetic, loving and respectful towards yourself. We model this behaviour to our children, looking up to us.
The journey of true “happiness” lies in loving your “imperfections” and being patient with yourself. Love your stretch marks, your blemishes and every part of you that makes you real and human. You are beautiful, inside and out. It takes self-awareness, endurance, and commitment to learn how to regulate your emotions, become mindful of your thoughts, and understand your behaviour. One needs to learn how to set healthy boundaries and say no to people, places and things that do not serve you.
Surrounding oneself with positive energy is key. Remember the people you spend most of your time with influence your mood and create the energy source that either enables or disables you. Choose who you allow into your space wisely. As moms and women, we always feel unworthy of ourselves and it is important not to find ourselves in the comparison trap or blaming ourselves for things beyond our control.
Be comfortable knowing that you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and as a mom or woman, you may not get validation and approval from others around you. You may not cook the best meals, or prepare the best school lunches or even have the ideal bikini body or perfect skin or be included in every social or mom’s group. However, please believe in yourself. Do not allow social media and the highlights reel of this illusion of perfection to dim your light. The way you feel on the inside is how you project yourself to the world on the outside.
Self-love and self-care need to be incorporated into one’s everyday practice. Please learn how to align your mind, body and soul. Try self-soothing exercises and step outdoors into green spaces. They do wonders for your mind, body and soul. Pray, and connect spiritually with your creator. Sitting on your mat and finding stillness, and meditating can do wonders for your soul. Find time, moms, to just be in the present moment. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Manage your stress and anxiety where you are able to. Exercise regularly, laugh often, breathe deeply, love unconditionally, accept your failure and disappointment, heal from within, forgive and forget, eat well, slow down, take a break, listen to music, make time for hobbies, talk about your problems and, if you are not coping, please ask for help. You are not alone.
As a mom, wife, sister, daughter or friend … know that happiness is not the destination; it is indeed the journey of life. Most importantly, demonstrate love to the most important person, and that is yourself! I’ve learnt many lessons through my journey of life. As the late Whitney Houston sang … “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”
Love and Light
by Khadijah Mia
MD: Enigma Human Capital
Life and Business Coach