The Divine Messiness of MotherhoodApr 28, 2023 ● By Marlaina Donato
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The pitter-patter of little feet is one of life’s most beautiful blessings, but motherhood has always been a challenging role. In today’s world, the calling is more complicated than ever, and the average Mama Bear has a lot on her many plates. Despite support systems, juggling it all is often an obstacle course moms navigate behind closed doors.
It’s okay to not be okay. Society tends to impose unnecessary guilt upon mothers for voicing what most parents feel at one time or another. Feelings are human, and so too is being overwhelmed. Self-care enables us to nurture others, and it begins by being gentle with ourselves as we weave a tapestry of work, soccer games, homework and bedtime baths. Even when the threads are haphazard and tangled, it is healing to surrender to the realization that sometimes we cannot do it all, and it is not a sign of failure. Showing only the good days on social media or going on autopilot can add pressure, instead of peace.
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one,” says author Jill Churchill. Being a good mother begins by being good to ourselves, and it doesn’t require a miracle to make it happen. A few minor routine adjustments can renew sanity and energy:
- Take one minute to run comfortably hot water over your hands and relax into the stream. Hot water helps the body release dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for inducing joyful feelings, lessening pain and lifting anxiety.
- Instead of scrolling through social media, take 10 or 15 minutes to do nothing. Lie down on the floor, close your eyes and just breathe. Surrender completely to letting go; begin by relaxing facial muscles and work your way down to your toes.
- Play a favorite song and dance with your kids.
- Avoid over-scheduling and “shoulds”.
Marlaina Donato is an author, painter and composer. Connect at WildflowerLady.com.