|Tired as a mother. |
To all the mother’s out there, I see you. I feel you. I am you.
As Mother’s Day rolls around, I’m so grateful to be a mother. So grateful to have Zayn as the addition that I never thought I’d have. SO grateful that Mason is the big brother he is and an enormous help to me and Moe. Grateful for a husband who cooks, cleans and takes care of our boys well and doesn’t call it babysitting.
I am also equally exhausted and empathetic to all of the other mothers in the world.
I shared a post in my facebook group a few days ago talking about how we as women cook, clean, do laundry, make sure everyone else is ok, cater to all. But who caters to her? Who does her laundry? Who makes her meals? It blew up with women commenting on how they felt that post deep in their soul. I think my mom said it best when she said that we are natural born caregivers but when someone in turn tries to care for us, we feel weird and uncomfortable. Why? Why is letting someone do something for you (for a change) uncomfortable?
Expectations. Our grandmothers cared for everyone. Our grandmothers made it look so easy. In addition, the men in our lives took that expectation that ladies “should” be the ones to care for everyone with them because that’s what they learned from our dads…the ones who had the mother doing it all. That subconscious belief and expectation was then passed from generation to generation and it became an unspoken norm that stuck. There’s a big factor missing in that expectation and the societal norm. Our grandmothers didn’t work a 40+ hour work week on top of caring for everyone. Our grandmothers weren’t trying to juggle online schooling, a pandemic and unrealistic expectations from our employers and they weren’t trying to navigate a culture obsessed with urgency (more on that next week).
My sister in law still lives in Cairo, Egypt. She’s about 5 months pregnant and the first girl in the family to have a baby. The women family members in the Arab culture come from other countries, other cities, miles and miles around when a woman has a baby just to take care of the new mother and baby. They all stay in the home for about a month after the baby is born. The new mom doesn’t have to do anything. No cooking, cleaning, nothing. Resting and caring for her baby. That’s her only job during this time. She’s cared for. Postpartum depression is a lot less, as are a lot of other complications that come with healing after baby. She doesn’t feel uncomfortable or weird or like she has to be working to entertain others or make a good impression.
So why not our culture? What would happen if we accepted help and caring from others with open arms and hearts? What if we started looking at the ability to care for others as a privilege and an honor knowing that eventually we will be the ones needing help and it will come back around? What if we took care of each other like my in laws and their culture? What if we adjust the expectations to teach our sons and daughters that the societal expectation from 40 years ago no longer applies and is no longer what’s best for our families? What if we taught them the importance of mental health and reducing stress over being all the things to all the people, saying yes when you want to say no, and stretching yourself too thin? What if we modeled that instead of only preaching it?
Let’s start adjusting. Let’s start learning to communicate what we need when we need it instead of sweeping it under the rug. Let’s start praising and appreciating the men in our lives when they step up and take things off of our plates. That’s a societal norm we can push! Teaching our sons that they are fully capable of doing the exact same things women do and of caring for others in the exact same manner. Let’s start normalizing rest and breaks and for the love of God, normalize saying NO. Let’s start changing the narrative so that we aren’t burnt out, exhausted, and merely surviving but instead we are energized, and stepping into our individual purposes. We can be engaged with our children instead of escaping the stress of the day when they’re asking for our attention. Let’s start getting uncomfortable in letting others care for us so that after a while, the uncomfortable becomes comfortable.
Let’s make it a goal that by next year on Mother’s Day, we are thriving and grateful every day for the life we live. A life that we don’t need time alone or an uninterrupted nap as the best gift in the world for Mother’s Day.
Life is full of opportunities. Thomas Edison said that “opportunity is missed because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” I would add that many times it’s also because we know nothing about the opportunity being offered to us or we are quick to create a belief around that opportunity that holds us back.
In coaching people, I use a tool that’s based on the bible verse Matthew 25:14-30. In this verse, a Master gives 3 men different amounts of money. To one, he gives 5 bags of gold to which that man multiplies into 10. To the second, he gives 2 bags of gold to which the man multiplies into 4. The last man gets 1 bag of gold and instead of taking risks with the money to multiply it, he buries it in a “safe place” until the Master wants it back. The Master is pleased with the 2 who multiplied the gold. Was it a risk? Absolutely but it paid double in what was invested. To the man who buried the gold out of fear, the Master is furious, coming back with “you wicked and slothful servant…”.
You are not responsible for anything God hasn’t given to you. But what about the gifts He gave you? Are you keeping them for yourself or are you blessing others with your gifts and talents as God called you to do? Are you too fearful of judgment or other’s opinions? Or are you proud of yourself and the gifts that only you can do in the way you share them?
This is quite common. It’s also the first thing that holds us back. Insecurity. We undervalue what we have been given.
We let the thoughts and opinions of people who don’t pay our bills, don’t live our lives and have never walked the path we have dictate what we can or can’t, should or should not do. Nobody else has been given the same set of skills, gifts, talents, experiences or purpose that you have. They aren’t supposed to do what you are. They have their own path, as do you. Stay in your own lane and be proud of who you are and what you do.
The second thing that holds us back is fear. I see this one more than any of them. Fear comes when we overvalue what we could lose. We hold ourselves back from moving forward because we tell ourselves that “we can’t afford it” and the next week we spend three times the amount on a random Amazon order. So was it that we couldn’t afford it or did we create a belief that we wouldn’t find success in whatever opportunity was presented in the first place?
I remember the first coaching course I ever invested in. Moe and I were so incredibly broke. I didn’t have tangible money in the bank and I had an incredible insecurity in myself. I wasn’t confident in my coaching abilities just yet. I also knew that I’d be paying a rather large amount for a series of courses but knew I wasn’t getting anything tangible in return. I wasn’t going to be able to show people a thing that I’d purchased or point to something that my money had gone toward. I was overwhelmed with fear but in the back of my mind, I kept thinking “what if”. What if this was the one thing that would propel my business forward? What if this one series of courses would help me get more clients? What if this opportunity was being presented to me because I was meant to take the risk? So I did. You know what? It’s paid me back at least 10 fold what I invested in the first place! Worth it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface! But what if I hadn’t? What if I would’ve let my fear keep me paralyzed?
Well friend, that leads me to the third thing that keeps us from investing. Misperception. We misvalue who God is. We try to control everything in life and leave little to no room for God’s hand in our success. Honey, the reality is that the only reason you have the success you do, the opportunities you do or the blessings you do is because of GOD! Your’e co-creating a life with God. He gives you opportunities and also the free will to choose what you do with those opportunities. You just have to be smart enough to see an opportunity as such when it slaps you in the face. So it comes down to this- Do you believe God has your best in mind? Do you think He would give you the opportunity of a lifetime so you could fail? Do you think He would give you all these gifts and talents to put out into the world for you to be laughed at or ridiculed by people who actually matter? Do you think He would give you opportunities to rise to your fullest potential for you to be paralyzed by fear and turn away from the opportunity to stay stuck at the same level you’re at now?
We are the hands and feet of Jesus. So if we don’t live to our fullest potential, our ripple effect doesn’t ever expand. Therefore, it’s not just us that we’re holding back. We’re stunting the growth of the entire Kingdom and keeping the Kingdom from rising to it’s fullest potential.
Stop holding yourself back. Let go of the insecurity, fear and misperceptions. See opportunities for what they are so you can grow yourself and the Kingdom. Easier said than done, of course. But I can honestly say that nothing that has ever been presented as a true opportunity has kept me stagnant. I’ve always grown and become better in some shape or form. So the investment always been worth it.