Motherhood asks us to give it our all, but when will we give back to ourselves? How can we spot unmet needs ahead of time before they blow up in our face? Let’s see just how in this article.
Feeling swamped by the mundane
When you’re a mother, you tend to be stuck in the GO mode all day. This modality helps you to remember all the tasks that need to be done and micro manage even the most ‘simple’ parts of the day. The problem with this hozever, is that is creates mental noise that fails to cease and an eventual neglection of your own needs.
When we feel like this, it can feel as if we’re SWAMPED.
# SIGN 1 – You feel bored often
When we walk into motherhood, it’s almost as if we’re given a backpack of items we didn’t ask for – household chores, organisation; emotional labour…are all things barely talked about before.
There is something else that also goes untalked about and brings up a lot of shame and guilt – boredom.
‘But how can I be bored? The children are the love of my life, I’m supposed to be happy, they won’t be this young forever…’
I know, I’ve felt it all.
Most of these phrases however, are not you but rather external voices you’ve internalised.
It’s OKAY and perfectly human to feel bored, and this is true for you and your kids.
We have become so accustomed to stimulation that it is difficult to enjoy the present as it is.
There could also be an underlying need to do something for you and you only, something that lights you up.
Creativity, switch up the routine
Sometimes the easiest cure when you feel stuck in the routine is to switch it up a little and I don’ mean necessarily anything drastic such as packing up and living in a van (though if you can I highly recommend), it can also be done in the simple things such as:
- Trying a new (non complicated) recipe for dinner
- Driving a different route to the school pick up
- Having coffee with an old friend
- Dancing in between chores
- Getting the kids involved
- Organising an area of the house
As humans, we thrive on routine – but only when this routine serves us.
When mothers get caught up in family life and tending to others, they slip into what we could call ‘martyrdom’ in which there is so much energy given to the rest of the world, and little for themselves.
By breaking the usual patterns of behaviour, we can intrigue our mind and soul into joyfullness and play again.
# Sign 2 – Alone time doesn’t feel enough
I know that you know, that you have very little time on your hands, especially true for moms of very small children ( I should know mine are 3 and 1 at the time of writing).
More and more parents are living apart from close family where the option of dropping the kids at the grandparents just isn’t an option and there are no siblings nearby (or available) either.
Add on to that, the ,ainstream culture that acts as we have to do everything ourselves and the reality is we’re just exhausted.
The key to alone time is in quality not quantity and that’s where it’s been misrepresented.
We hold this notion that self care = bubble baths and spa days and while there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, it’s more about how you treat yourself from day to day that makes the bigger picture.
Simple, yet effective ways to create the sensation of holding space for yourself include making YOU the priority and devlopping regular routines to come back to your centre when you’re done parenting the day.
It’s not how much, it’s how often
Think about when you’ve learned a skill in your life, be it a musical instrument or a sports practice. You wouldn’t get anywhere by playing the trumpet for 3 hours then leaving it on the side for two weeks.
Practice means consistency and the same goes for meeting your own needs.
When you create space for your own unmet needs, you’re helping avoid a future emotional outbreak.
Routines don’t have to be complicated nor uber spiritual, keep it as you like it – find what works for you. Here are some examples:
- Morning coffee
- 10 minute stretch
- Love meditation
- Shower and relax the body
- Shaking it out and moving
- Mindfully preparing food
Choose the moment that works for you and become so absorbed in the moment that it charges you.
# Sign 3 – You are disconnected from yourself
Motherhood is exhausting. As well as the physical demands, there is the constant list of to-do’s in your head, so much so we tend to live in our heads rather than our body.
As women, we are supposed to lead with our intuition and what our body feels, so this is a deep contrast when we have so much mental load to take care of.
It can look like:
- Frequently zoning out
- Difficulty connecting with our children
- An ongoing sensation of stress
- Takes a long time to come back to the body
- Hard to relax
- Tension in certain areas of the body
- Headaches and migraines
All of the energy we could be using for guiding, creating and receiving, we are putting out and giving more of ourselves than possible.
Women can feel a stagnation of energy in this case as it does not circulate throughout the body and thus it makes sense that you may feel trapped, without creativity and possibly libido.
Get into the habit of just being
There will always be laundry waiting for you and dinner to cook, so you need to learn how to get present in those moments even when you don’t feel like it.
Often where there is resistance, it is an invitation to lean in and surrender to the moment.
Be an example to your kids of how you can stop cleaning and do a random dance party, move the energy throughout your body, play and laugh together.
# Sign 4 – Decision fatigue/brain fog
We’ve all heard of the term ‘mom brain’ right? But did you know it’s actually true? Your brain when you become a mother, goes through a metamorphosis just as your body does, to make way for who you need to be to parent.
When we stay too long in ‘go’ mode or prioritise everyone but ourselves, the brain gets tired easily.
What you really desire in this case, is to find some sort of inner peace and stop the mental chatter.
Turn to the tools that support you
Over time and with the right routines in place, you will learn to recognise the tools that support you.
If the underlying unmet need this case is for CLARITY, then you will need to find ways to bring that back which could exist in the following:
- Sound therapy
- Womb work
The use of journaling in particular, is very effective in getting to know your inner states and thought processes and you know that it is judgement free.
# Sign 5 – You feel unloved, unworthy
When we give to our children first and foremost, it can be easy to forget how to love ourselves.
Your frustration may derive from the feeling that you’re doing everything and not getting much appreciation for it.
Motherhood is particularly a role with a ton of work and little reward.
You have an unmet need of being seen and validated for your efforts.
Fill your own cup
You need to find ways to feel worthy even without external validation.
- Tap into the knowledge that you are enough just by being you
- Understand that no amount of DOING will equal your worth
- Create self love rituals to ground and support you
- Journal out your insecurities
- Recognise where your energy is going and course correct
Identifying your emotions is the first step to recognising an unmet need.
Tune into how you are feeling to interpret what you may need more or less of in your life right now. Find ways to simplify chores that are bogging you down and let more joy into your life.
I hope this article has helped you understand more about this, and if you’d like to you can download a free workbook to help you further in this process.