Lessons from a Busy Today’s Mom
Life transitions – whether we’re relocating, committing to a relationship, or entering parenthood – often encourage us to reevaluate our lives and to create ways of being that are better suited to us. Angela Fusaro, founder of Every Mother Knows, a career and lifestyle coaching platform for today’s moms, shares the lessons she has learned on her journey into motherhood.
In January 2015 I gave birth to my son Lorenzo in my home in Amsterdam. While home birth is common in Dutch society, it’s quite unusual for expat women living in the Netherlands. The home setting felt right for me, though, with plenty of options for comfort and relaxation during labour, one of the biggest transitions in every mother-to-be’s life.
Becoming a mother is a journey, I’ve found; one that of course goes beyond the experience of giving birth. It’s a journey in which the love for our little one grows day by day, as we grow too, into our role of nurturer and carer. And, as with all journeys, it offers great joys as well as challenges! This is a journey that has brought a depth of wisdom into my life.
And here’s what I’ve discovered…
#1 Give up control and surrender more to life
With a young child, plans can change easily. Going with the flow is the best way to live. Some days I feel happy and at peace, other days I feel low in energy and drained. Over time, I’ve learned to accept all feelings and know that they are perfectly okay.
#2 Know that you are already enough
Today’s society can demand a lot from a new mom. Women are often expected to be nurturer, companion, business leader… and the list goes on. In the face of all these demands, it’s normal for many mothers not to feel good enough about themselves, their families, and their achievements inside and outside the home.
Value your efforts, define your boundaries, and praise yourself for how much you’ve done today, this week, this month. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, “it takes a village to raise a child”.
#3 Spend your time wisely
Time is precious. Spend it doing the things you love most and that energise you – this goes for work too. This realisation has been key to reinventing my career and transforming it into a job I love and feel passionate about. If you feel like you’re caught up in the nitty gritty of life and you’ve lost focus or direction, take a break and review where you’re investing your time.
Draw up a plan of what you want for your life – seeing is believing, and we become what we believe. And then, do it anyway, even if you are afraid, your plan is incomplete, or you don’t have enough resources. Trust that something good always comes to those who show up to do their work.
#4 Don’t forget to nurture yourself
Be kind to yourself and give yourself the time and care you deserve – especially when demands are high and your days are hectic. Make self-care a priority in your routine. A good read before bedtime or a soak in the tub are great. Little (daily or weekly) treats do wonders… and more than a long vacation once a year. When you’re nourished, happy and at ease, people around you, like your family and colleagues, will feel the positive vibe you bring into the room.
#5 Connect, connect, connect
Sometimes when we feel low or insecure (e.g. about our jobs or relationships), we can tend to close into ourselves and make our challenges bigger until they become real problems. Connecting with others allows us to do a reality check of our feelings, impressions and fears. Knowing that other people walked the path before us can be of great reassurance; it can shed some light onto a journey which will remain our unique and personal one. Consider joining a community, find people who share your interests and passions, keep in touch with your friends, surround yourself with people you can learn from and you’ll thrive!
What would you add to these tips? Feel free to join the conversation below. We love to hear your ideas!
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© Vivian Chiona, Expat Nest