January Mama Message
"Behind every strong woman…are more strong women."
- Dr. Caroline Heldman
Happy New Year! As I head into my second year of writing these musings, I am reflecting on where I have been and where I am going. My hope is that I can be of support and inspiration to moms (and women in general) as we go about our full lives taking care of ourselves and others. January is a month of reflection and a time to plan for the coming year. It is also a time to deepen our commitment to nurturing ourselves as women!
I have worked with so many amazing and strong women over several decades and I am continually inspired by how we manage, juggle, educate, care, love, nurture… the list goes on! I also see that we mostly take care of everyone else before we relax or take time for ourselves. I was talking with a mother recently about this concept of self-care, and she remarked that so often it just seems like one more thing to add to the already growing list of things she is supposed to do!
As I have developed my online program, “Parenting With Intention and Joy,” I realize that this idea of parenting from a place of fullness is the foundation for healthy family life. I also understand that it is difficult for women to incorporate! As I work with women in person and across the country, I see the daily stress, and I feel the contradictions. There is this myth of the “superwoman” who can have and do it all. My mother always said that we can have it all… just not all at once. I see the wisdom of this now from my own experience and perspective. I want to help other women accept this, and to know that they can pace themselves… and say “no” to many things in modern life. We can slow down, prioritize, and most of all, we can ask for… and accept help.
I am fortunate to come from a long line of amazing women. I have had community with my family and with the women that I drew to me in the early days of parenting. My mother and my maternal grandmother were wise, nurturing, accepting, and helpful. Yet I also struggled to be an independent super-mom, because I thought I knew best! Now I take as much time as possible to talk with my mom about all of the aspects of parenting and womanhood. I want to hear more of what she has to offer, and to get her perspective on work, family life, politics, history, our family journey, our ancestors, and more.
I want to encourage women to utilize their own communities. Nothing takes the place of kitchen table discussions, long walks together, social gatherings, playgroups, workplace conversation, and retreats. As women, we know the power of the feminine, and collectively we are stronger together. We are seeing so many changes in the world right now, and it is going to take our strength, our wisdom, our insights and intuition, and our commitment to community, to make the positive change that is so needed. We need to come together and raise our children in our “villages” where we are intentional and conscious about issues related to childhood. I want to suggest that the idea of self-care can also be one of woman-care or mama-care, where we can nurture and support each other… where we can make sure that our needs are met, and where we can ask how we can help each other…
This month, I encourage you to see if you can ask for what you need! Trade time with another mom to get that “me” time that you want. Check with a friend to see how you can support each other to get a project done so that then you can go have some fun. Re-write that “joy” list and add things that nurture you and others at the same time. Use your Red Mandarin essential oil this month… It is a wonderful oil for women to use to help reduce stressful feelings, particularly around those challenging issues of parenting! Diffusedaily and the whole family will benefit…
If you are looking for additional support on your parenting journey please check out my upcoming program, Parenting with Intention & Joy, for more information. You can also access our podcast “The Moms I Know” and read last year’s musings. Please share with other moms you know, and feel free to write and let me know what issues are important to you.
Have a wonderful month!