Do you constantly feel you’re behind, catching up, adding to the pile, and it’s overwhelming you? Ugh, so do I. Maybe it’s the long list of to-dos that just keep growing no matter how many I cross off? Otherwise it is the “you should be doing this at this point in your life” pressures we put on ourselves. When to go to college, when to move in with your partner, when to get married, have kids, travel or knock something off your bucket list. For our kids, that pressure is there and real as well. When to start school, where to go, when they should be reading, are they falling behind, activities and then they hit the social pressures. I am guilty of disconnecting from the life that was meant for me. The timing that works for Brooklyn. How we are each unique and don’t have to honor any schedule or pressure. Who is creating this schedule and why do we feel we need to follow it?
As a new mom, there are so many emotions and pressures around you. You’re being tossed information from so many different sources that claim to “know it” and after one says this, then the other writes this, a friend tells you that you should do this, the news says another thing with one of their “experts”… can you feel the anxiety attack coming? Who the heck are these “experts” anyways and why should anyone dictate how your life unfolds, and your children’s? I love reading, listening, watching and learning but what I’ve come to is the point of taking little tid bits of things that speak to me and brush away the things that just don’t. I don’t know if this comes with age, confidence, a thicker skin, and eventually giving zero F’s about what Dr. Whoever or Coach Whatever says to you. Doing what works for you and your family is at the forefront. If you’re not there, don’t stress yourself out … again, another “scheduled item” that doesn’t need to be YOUR schedule. If you are fine and confident about how you run your show, then keep going that road.
When that point of “I feel I can’t keep up” comes to you and you’re anxious, frustrated, irritated and maybe even depressed, let’s pause and take a breath. Whew. OK so what helped me, and this takes time, is to write. Every year I create a “What hasn’t worked vs. What has worked” spreadsheet. I write my goals, and why they are important. I write my values, and why they are important to me. I write my important things in life, and why they are important. I write my action steps, and why I need to do them. Every year I do this. Every January. I then take some evenings or an hour when Brooklyn is at school to write my story. Nothing crazy, a page or so, of visions and what I see happening to me that coming year. What I saw in the past year with how I felt about it. Writing is so helpful with connecting with what you truly want. Even better, hand writing. I commit to just one entry a day in my writing journal and use one that gives me writing prompts. The “Start Where You Are” journal by Meera Lee Patel is an awesome one with beautiful watercolors which just add to the pleasure of physically writing.
With how disconnected we can become as all the information is thrown at us, it helps to find ways to quiet the outside and listen to what’s going on inside. It’s there, I promise, you just have to find the silence to hear it. You’re not alone and there are still days where I need that help with reconnecting and using the tools that work for me. With the connection you can figure out what the days, weeks, months, years and lifetime will become for you as a mother along with your family. This can be a gift you give to your children for them to use as they grow and have more and more piles in front of them. Don’t worry, you’re not behind. You’re right on schedule with where you should be.