Why is it that mothers seem to go into the motherhood with such depth that we forget about ourselves. Forget about our interests and forget about our souls. As if we are one-with-the-child even after they are born and the naval chord is chopped off.
We are so good at seeing to their needs. Tending to every detail involving our kids. Packing bags, listening, cheering, talking, minding, tying, taking things down from shelves, wiping, seeking, feeding and waiting around to tend to their needs.
I remember when I had kids I stopped doing most of the other things I love doing and my only hobby became facebook. Because it was the only hobby where you can do it for any amount of time that was available to me. If I only had a minute between “muuum!” and “moooom!”, then facebook was a fitting activity to focus on. I could do it for 1 minute or 20 minutes (which is usually the longest time without tending to a child’s need, that you get in a day).
A dad I know once clocked himself to actually see how long those “breaks” are. And he said, and this is even as his kids were watching a movie, that the longest break from not helping them with something was 18 minutes. In a whole day! And most of the times it was 3-4 minutes.
What are we doing?! How come we let this go on?! It is understandable when they are babies, and perhaps up until the age of 3. But a 4-year old can definitely do a lot of stuff on their own. A 10 year old can practically live alone. They can go to the toilet, brush their teeth, do their homework, cook food, pick up siblings from day-care and they can sure learn how to use a vacuum cleaner. What they need is support when it is needed. Not every 5 minutes.
And what kind of message are we sending our kids when we run around like crazy? That people should always wait around to tend to their needs all the time!
Kids need to be bored. They need this so that they themselves can seek their creativity and hear their own power. Hear their inner voice. Mum and dads, stop getting in their way!
I listened to this podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert yesterday and she suggested that all mums (and dads if you need it) should make themselves a sign. And for an hour a day, go into a room and put the sign outside on the door. And for that hour, do whatever it is that you need doing to feel good.
Tell your children that this hour is holy and unless they are on fire they need not knock on this door.
This works in 3 ways:
- You honour yourself, you honour your needs, you honour your soul and you become a better person for it. You need it because it is the air that you breath. It is your oxygen. You need to do it and you owe it to the world because you will create a better world when you feel good and take charge of your own well-being.
- Also, you will start creating wonderful gifts to share with the world. Books will be written, songs will be created and wonderful crafts will evolve from your hands and heart. The world needs your gifts (and if you only sit in silence for that hour that will create miracles as well).
- Last but not least, actually this one is probably the most important reason. You will send a message to your children that you are an important person. Your needs are as important as theirs. You have a soul and it needs tending to. And when they grow up and perhaps have children of their own, they will be able to look back upon this and think “wow, mum (and dad) truly honored themselves, that means I can do it too.