Busy Moms: How to Show Up for Yourself

Posted by – May 12, 2017
Categories: Psychology & Personal Growth

In the middle of everyday chaos—sleepless nights, piles of laundry, and the other 85 things competing for your attention—it can be difficult to give yourself permission (or find the time!) to slow down and re-center. Motherhood can be intense: it’s easy to neglect your own needs and forget the importance of self-care. But being a great mother means showing up for yourself, not just for your kids (and partner, and job…). Even the simplest everyday things can be beautiful—and even spiritual—when done with intention, consciousness, and love. Let Anni Daulter and Niki Dewart, the authors of Sacred Motherhood, help you rediscover the everyday sacred in your own life with these eight tips.

Show Up for Yourself

Self-care is critical to showing up fully for others. And while it’s so important to step out of the chaos and sneak off to nurture yourself, it’s also important not to see this as a choice, or something you have to earn. Self-care is not optional: it’s like food. You get up, do your daily practice, and eat breakfast just so that you can show up for the day. You just do it!

Part of this is being mindful; showing up for every moment with your full awareness elevates the mundane to the realm of the sacred. This takes a lot of practice. It helps to identify even one part of your day that can serve as that bell to wake you up and re-center. For example, every time you start your car, you might commit to pausing, finding your breath and dropping back into awareness.

Claim Your Bliss

The motherhood doldrums have sapped us all at one time or another. Beyond the usual ebb and flow of good times and bad, sometimes a funk settles in, and every moment offers up more fuel for this foul mood. The kids are arguing, the milk has gone bad, and your partner has to work late. How can you resuscitate your bliss?

It’s not about what you do, but how you do it: every moment can be blissful! Live in gratitude, joy, and love. Let go of attachment to how you think things should be, and wake up with curiosity and delight to how things just are. Turn on your choice of lively music, or get cooking. Whip up one of your favorite frivolous dinners (popcorn, anyone?) and eat it by candlelight. Let all of the “shoulds” fall away, and do whatever makes your heart happy. Remember that what you, the world, and your family need more than a spotless kitchen is your joy.

Stoke Your Inner Flame

When we tap into the passionate spark that breathes life into each of us, we can light up a room with our brilliant, glowing energy. Becoming a mother redefines who we are in the world, and sometimes that spark—which once may have been filled with poetry and passion—becomes less sparkly.

Your inner flame is bold and without fear. It is the very definition of what is passionate and free—it’s kinda badass. It’ll look you right in the eye and won’t blink, because it can see past your hesitation and help you go deeper. Do some reflecting: what really turns you on, and moves you so deeply that you must act on it immediately? What kind of action would honor your spark? Tend to your inner flame, and do one thing a day that fans it.

Embrace Imperfection

Nothing is simply “bad,” and nothing is “good.” Everything just is—and within that “just is,” you can find important life lessons and valuable information about your destiny. Motherhood presents countless opportunities to find beauty in the mess. It’s far more important to keep your soul clean of energetic messes than to obsess over spilled milk and dirty hands. If you can let go of “perfection” and the illusion of being in control, you free yourself from judgment and fear. Easier said than done, right? Try developing a different relationship to the messes that surround you: don’t judge yourself if the kitchen isn’t clean. Practice non-attachment. Set aside knee-jerk reactions, and make more conscious choices about how you want to meet—or even embrace—the imperfections of motherhood.

Honor Your Boundaries: The Sacred Yes and Holy No

“Sacred yes and holy no” is a mantra that can help raise your awareness around the many choices you make each day—and it can support you in setting boundaries as you offer yourself in service to others. A sacred yes is a yes that you give with your whole heart, after you’ve sat with the situation at hand, a yes without strings attached and with a free and loving heart. A holy no is a no you use to set a boundary that honors your heart-choice at that moment in time: you’re saying no with consciousness. It’s deeply important to honor who you are and what you need.

Let Your Hair Down

Do you sometimes think that the wild woman in you vanished the instant you became a mother? Well, she didn’t. She may have gone underground, but she’s there, all right, guiding you with her primal instincts.

Do you feel that your wild side is alive and fed? If not, what prevents you from revitalizing that part of yourself? Are you showing up for yourself in ways that allow you to let your hair down, or have you abandoned this side of yourself without even realizing it? Reclaim it: connect to the source of your untamed spirit. Hit the town for a night of dancing. Get in touch with your sensual side. Let your hair down.

Trust in the Flow

Trust is a big word! When much of life is spent in unconscious fear and a scarcity mentality, it can be hard to surrender and go with the flow. As a mama, you probably work hard trying to make all the pieces fall into place; perhaps you tend to come unraveled when it seems things are not going the way you planned or expected.

When you live in a place of trust, you’re in the flow of universal energy. Life appears to unfold in magical ways that support the heartpath you are meant to follow. This doesn’t mean everything is easy, but it does mean that when challenges arise, you can reshape your thoughts, and learn to see rough patches as just a part of the bigger plan. This is when it gets hard: how can you be okay when things don’t turn out the way you think they should? Trust that there is a grand design. Make a vow. Right here and now , commit to saying, “I have enough! I am enough!” Make your daily meditation about trusting the path you’re on, and that there are lessons in everything you’re experiencing.

Be Grateful

A spiritual life—and a life that recognizes and celebrates the sacred in the everyday—starts and ends in gratitude. Even with all of its challenges, life itself is a blessing. Whenever you get off-kilter, returning to gratitude is one of the most effective ways to shift your energy and open your heart. A gratitude practice is not special or separate from life: it is a life lived in beauty as a prayer to all that which gives us life, and it lives at the heart of family. It is something that we share with our children so that they can always come back to gratitude. Remember that we are so lucky to have been given this life and each other.

Tags: Family & Parenting Self-Improvement & Inspiration Anni Daulter Niki Dewart
About the Author

Bevin is the associate comms director at North Atlantic Books.