It’s hard to believe we are three weeks into August! While the days have felt extremely looooonng living in this chaotic world, the months have gone by quickly. A common adage about parenting I know, but I find it difficult to be writing about the tough questions each parent faces with September looming large when it still feels like it is the beginning of summer.
I am lucky in that I have two girls that are under school age and I am able to keep my children home and a bit sheltered from the unknown that the 2020/2021 school season brings. We made the decision to keep Zoey out of ELP and, while I know she will miss her school friends, I am happy she is young enough to not quite understand the stressful situation that most parents and kids are facing right now.
I’ve seen a lot of images and posts on social media in the last month or so that have encouraged us moms to support each other no matter what decision we make when it comes to our kids’ educations.
With my focus on spiritual wellness, I wonder if this situation is needed for these beautiful, bright children to witness. Hear me out – I wonder if these kids, who I know are here to change the world and make it better than it is, need to see the struggle, stress and chaos of the fear-filled pandemic-world we are living in? Perhaps they need to honour the craziness so they can grow to create solutions, new ways of teaching, learning, socializing, connecting, and handling the hurdles bound to come their way?
Even if this is the case, it doesn’t lessen the overwhelm many of us are experiencing, especially us moms who are most often tasked with making the family decisions and organizing childcare, school choices and all the other emotional labour that is normally stressful this time of year, never mind right now in this entirely new situation.
As parents, our kids are looking to us and will continue to do so. They are searching for stability, honesty and love.
Remember: Your kids do not need you to have all the answers, they just need you to be authentic and open with them.
To do so, it’s important that you come from a calm place where your stress and the pressure you are feeling does not explode out of you. Here are four simple questions to ask yourself to relieve the pressure you carry on your already-burdened shoulders:
- Do I have to figure everything out today?
Lately, I recognize the pressure and stress in my life is often caused by a sense of “now, now, now!” or “go, go, go!” I want to know all the answers and see how it is all going to unfold (especially living in such an uncertain time).
I’m sure you can relate, feeling a sense of urgency amidst all the unknowns right now.
I understand that as moms we live busy lives with decisions to make, meetings to get to, play-dates to join and activities to show up for, but why does this pressure begin to take over and push us to accomplish everything and anything today? Could some of the things you are squeezing onto your “to-do” list wait until tomorrow – or even next week?
Sometimes this pressure to accomplish everything now comes from a fear of loss or change.
I get it.
I have been through a massive upheaval since I wrote my first book, Opening Up, in 2014. The loss of my dad and the birth of my two daughters has brought about an intensified awareness of the preciousness of life.
Going through such major life events has triggered a transformation in me and I am trying to take it one day at a time as I experience the unfolding of a new normal.
Welcome to parenthood, where change is an daily constant.
Every day I am discovering what parenting looks like 4 hours away from my mom and my siblings, the people I love to be around because they remind me of the amazing man and the almost-too-good-to-be-true family dynamic that was scrambled in 2015.
Every day I am doing my best to show up for my littles while trying to discover how to be a stay-at-home mom and a recovering workaholic and people-pleaser.
Every day I make a conscious effort to keep my heart open to all the good things in my life, despite the inner fear of another tragedy or loss disrupting everything once again.
What are your daily struggles?
When feeling that fear and added pressure, it is even more important that you take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are truly in a hurry or if you can maybe – just maybe, slow down a bit today and cut yourself some slack? Remember: your kids just crave your presence and love. That is what they will remember down the road.
As for the future, it will unfold and you will handle it. You are strong and have likely also survived some crazy curve balls. Despite the anxious world we are living in, do your best to be focused on the power of this present moment. In doing so, those fears lessen a bit and you are more able to solve (or simply survive) the problems of today.
- Who am I trying to please?
The daily relentlessness of parenting can be overwhelming and most of us have the desire to be a loving wife, good friend, valued community member and all around decent human being. If you are a spiritual mama, you likely have an empathic side which has your heart not only running around outside your body (via your littles) but also proudly displayed on your sleeve, ready to help others at a moment’s notice.
Again, make sure you have some strong boundaries, but also remind yourself that the shiny, polished standards of Instagram are not realistic for most of us. Yes, it would be lovely to have enough financial freedom to have a cleaning team, a personal chef, a live-in nanny, a driver to take you or the kids where you need to go, a masseuse and a personal beauty team to keep you looking and feeling fresh.
And yes, we will send up prayer for all that to happen. But in the meantime, ask yourself who it is whose opinion really matters in your life? At the top of the list is likely your partner/spouse, your kids and your friends.
And my guess is, if you are surrounded by the right people, they do not care if you even brushed your hair this morning, never mind put on a matching outfit with blended makeup, matching jewelry and the latest and greatest stylish sunglasses.
You know your kids love you and think your perfect, right? Why does the house have to be clean all the time? Who is going to judge you if you don’t cook and instead order pizza? What kind of friends will not accept that you are too tired to go out tonight?
Try to remember these things when the stress piles up and go ahead and call for delivery on the days when life it just too much.
- What does my soul need right now?
This builds on the last question, encouraging you to shift your focus from what others are asking of you (or what you perceive others needing from you) to a more internal question of what it is that you need right now.
Amidst the pressure felt in times of uncertainty (and really just in motherhood in general), there is incredible value in becoming self-aware and taking the time to look within. Even five minutes a day can help to calm and quiet the mind and the questions constantly filling it.
There’s an innate light and worthiness buried beneath our fears. But too many of us are looking without for validation, compassion, and acceptance. We need to rediscover that inner power and try to listen to what we can do to make today a good day.
As you carve out that time, you can ask simple questions like: What does my body need? What does my mind/mental health require? How can I honour my spirit? What next best step can I take toward a higher-vibe life? How can I feel more worthy of the skin I’m in and the soul that fills it up?
The answers to these questions can bring a sense of peace your soul is craving. When pressure looms large, you need to honour the fear and heaviness you feel, but then take some inspired action to really shut it up.
Take some quiet time to journal or meditate and reflect on your own fears, limits, and wishes for a brighter future. Accept everything that comes up and after all is said and done, remind yourself that you are worthy of the dreams you have and you are supported and loved by ancestors, angels and many here in the physical world (see below). Breathe in love and ask what inspired action you can take today; trust what comes.
My first book, Opening Up, is full of exercises to help you trust your intuition and listen to that little voice within.
- “Can You Please Help Me”?
This is a question you have to ask out loud. You have to actually say it. You can ask it of the physical people in your world or of the energetic beings, angels and departed loved ones that surround you. There is a lot of assistance that can come from above, if you’d only let it. Why not take advantage of that guidance, support, and intuitive knowing.
As I write this blog, we are still navigating a life with COVID in it. Fear is creating loneliness; isolation is breeding struggle. Amidst all of this chaos, the importance of our connection to others has come to the forefront. Moms especially need community and support. We already carry so much on our shoulders and even with support, many of us struggle. Personally, I found the isolation of quarantine to be excruciating. Not being able to hug those I love, to visit with family and friends or go for a coffee to take a break from my kidlets was torture.
The heaviness of these past few months has only added to our already weighty burdens and I would argue that loneliness is likely going to be one of the silent killers of COVID.
We need other people to thrive in this world. Being created unique and with our own passions and talents, we rely on each other for balance, creative inspiration, problem solving, and a sense of community – a love and light that buoys you through the tough cycles this world eventually brings to us all. That love is what helps you through the trials and tribulations you are bound to face. Connection keeps us going.
So who is on your list of those you love and trust? Who can you call when the pressure gets to be too much? Family? Friends? A counselor or psychologist? All of the above?
We all need a sounding board and in my personal experience, most women tend to feel better after talking through a worry or issue with someone they trust. Oftentimes, just voicing our concerns can bring clarity, inspiration and even solutions.
And as mothers, we need to feel heard, seen and loved.
We give so much to our children and deserve to feel that appreciation, respect and genuine concern and caring from those around us.
You deserve to know you are loved.
So make this question a top priority and write your list of people down. Doing so will help you when your brain is foggy or your are too overwhelmed to think straight. Don’t forget to include the angels and your departed loved ones on your list! They are waiting in the wings you’re your prayers and permission to step in with support and guidance.
None of us are truly alone.
Get my free 8 minute guided meditation here and connect instantly to the energies that surround you.
As we move through the last month of summer, with the “how” of September looming large, please remember to prioritize your own mental health and your own self-care. Use these questions to bring your anxiety levels down and to stay connected to your own priorities, your own wishes, and to those who love you and have chosen to walk this crazy, winding road with you.
I’m sending you patience, strength and clarity as we move towards the fall.
Light and love,
P.S. With our decision to keep Zoey home this fall, I will be busier than normal on the home front. When it comes to work, my time will be spent writing book #4 and working on what I hope to be a once-a-month blog to keep you all focused and inspired. Hugs and gratitude!