While moping because i was missing the Wilco concert (i had a ticket, had been looking forward to it for months and no appropriate babysitter in sight, sigh) i connected with a few mama friends who have just welcomed another soul into their broods. I spoke with some other mama’s without back up to give a much needed bit of time out from the mama’ing frontlines, who have been feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s a big job this mama business. Like any big job it’s imperative we have some balance, when we can, in the whirlwind of mess, magic and wonder that are our days. Time to relax, reflect or remember who we are beyond being mama....
Mama, Take a few moments.
Nineteen nurturing things you can do with or without children:
-Remember to breathe. REALLY breathe, deeply and with awareness.
-Pick some herbs, boil the kettle, brew some tea. Sit. Sit until you have drunk all your tea. (How many cups of cold tea/coffee have you drunk lately dear mama’s?). Or perhaps a healing brew of coffee?!
-Pick up paper and pencil. Write: What is hard for me at the moment? on the top of the paper. Write furiously stream of consciousness on that topic until there is nothing more there. Turn the paper over. Write: What feeds me? Write furiously about all that juices you up. Make sure there is space in your life to do these things that feed you.
-Run a bath. Light a candle. Put the oil burner on.
-Take a tarot card a day and revisit it during the day for guidance or thought provocation.
-Find the depths of a pillow or your equivalent of a mountaintop and let loose a primal scream. Let out all frustrations and inhibitions with that scream. Kids love this – get them in on it too. Warn the neighbours!
- Sit by flowing water. Sing, play music or lie back and look for signs in the clouds.
-Go outside when its dark. Listen. Track the moon in her comings and goings, growings and shrinkings.
-Plant a seed and as you water it daily, speak about what it is you are nurturing to grow in your own life.
-Do some yoga. Or stretch, just get your body moving.
-Turn up the music. Dance wild until you collapse laughing or crying in a vibrant puddle.
-Make a map of YOU. Sit down with a friend or your kid/s. Take a pile of cool magazines. Second hand shops are good sources of these if you (like me) don’t buy them. Cut out a pile of pictures that are inspiring to you, pick ones that represent different aspects of you...what you are good at, who you love, what you aspire to be, what you admire in others, whatever moves you. Stick them on a piece of paper – put them up in a gallery and take turns talking about each creation. Great to learn more about your kids inner life – and an opportunity to share some kid appropriate parts of yours.
-Lie down. Do nothing for fifteen or thirty whole minutes. Let your mind drift. Really!
-Plan a garden. Visit your local community garden. Or just dream of one.
-Learn to meditate. It’s not just for the sandal-wearing.
-Read. Not just anything, read something that empowers or supports you.
Jed just walked in from his nap. I asked him if he could think of any healing things to do to nurture a person. He said, ‘Use stingray plants’. (That’s stinging nettles to the rest of us. )
-‘And hug a tree or lie down on the grass and let the earth help you. And that’s the end of my list’.
I end on those wise words. (From a two year old)