I sit here drinking a glass (ok half a bottle) of wine, staring at the baby monitor with pride. This is the first night in over 8 months that my baby daughter did not cry the entire bedtime routine. This peaceful moment is brought to you by the realization that she is finally old enough to hold her own bottle as she falls asleep. "Is that seriously all it took?!"
No one has heard much from me lately because motherhood has been my own intense GrowthQuest! I have been on self-prescribed Maternity Leave as I have allowed this life-changing event for my family to really take hold. As all journeys go, it has been truly dynamic with ups, downs, and growing pains in between! Some highlights from my journey include:
- Thinking I could adequately prepare myself for the 36 hour labor (!!) by drawing out my own 'Inanna's Descent to the Underworld' myth (OK...it was a bit more helpful before the labor than during!)
- Falling in love with her little squishy face and finally feeling as if the "baby-shaped-hole" in my life had filled perfectly
- Having an exhaustion-based meltdown one month after her birth (Ok...and again two months after!) rocking back and forth and crying "I can't do this... I can't do this!"
- Feeling like a new woman after getting a night in a hotel by myself for proper sleep and space from the baby (This was sooo important!)
- Beginning to feel trapped in this new role (while she was gassy and screaming non-stop), but then feeling liberated after successfully traveling overseas with her the first time and remembering how much I need to explore to be happy
- Really opening up to Motherhood by starting Mum-Quest as a place I can practice unfolding with other mothers
I say motherhood is "growing on me" because there are times that the new responsibility for another life can feel so overwhelming I can't catch my breath and there are other times that I feel so complete with a baby that I wondered how I ever lived without her. By working with other mothers as clients, I can see just how common these conflicting emotions can be.
Like with any Quest, there are very unique motherhood lessons that I have been growing into. For example:
- Feeling comfortable BEING more than DOING.... I used to measure my daily worth by how productive I was each day. I am learning more and more to slow down, be in the moment and allow the pure joy of simply sharing space with my baby to be ENOUGH
- Enforcing healthy boundaries to protect my energy.... Most of my clients are similar to me in that we aim to please and saying "No" is not easy because we figure "If I CAN then I SHOULD". Now that my energy has become a precious resource, saying no to requests has become vital to my well-being and I recognize that these healthy boundaries provide me with the ability to use my energy for things that I truly MUST do instead SHOULD
- Receiving is just as important as giving.... I chose a career in coaching because I truly enjoy giving to my clients as it's in my nature to serve others. After months of unrequited giving to a baby I realized if I didn't allow myself to receive I was going to burn-out. As mentioned above, I booked myself twice into a hotel alone so I could have a much-needed rest and relaxation. I felt zero guilt because the woman I know and love was hiding under layers of exhaustion and just needed some proper sleep to resurface...
...and Now she's back and ready to take on the world (and the clients within it!) :)
I will continue to share my personal GrowthQuest of motherhood with you, won't you share yours with me? Check out the website for some post-Maternity leave specials on Group Coaching and Personal Coaching!
Hope to see you out there!
Dr. Katie T. Larson :)