How are you doing? That's a loaded question, right? Sometimes I really don't know how to answer. I grew up with a scarcity mindset, and when I became a mother, that mindset was amplified even more. Everything became so difficult - childbirth, breastfeeding, sleep, the relationship with my husband - the list goes on. I felt I wasn't enough, that there wasn't enough of anything for me, for work, for my babies, for my spouse. Most of all, I felt like I was failing.
Then, I found out that I could work on another mindset - that of abundance. They say that what you focus on grows, so I wanted to see if it would work - anything was better than the state I was in. I set out to take time to think about what went well each day rather than what went wrong, ask for what I need from others, accept help, permit myself to be imperfect and live in the present.
But when the storm of COVID-19 hit us, that scarcity mindset came rushing up again so strongly that I couldn't stop myself from feelings of despair, sadness and frustration. As moms, we wear so many hats, and we just got dumped with so many more!
Not without resistance, I've now emerged (for the time being) on the other side. Listening to the soundtrack of Frozen 2 for the millionth time, I heard Sven sing to Kristoff, "You feel what you feel, and those feelings are real. Kristoff, let down your guard." The wise reindeer was referring to the love between two people, but I took it as a signal to remember to love myself. Let it go (yes, another Frozen reference) - let down my guard so that I can feel those feelings of despair and fear, so I can move past it. Get it out of my system and then move forward. I slept more, I took walks with the kids (without my phone), and I talked to my spouse.
My fellow mom friends, ever my supporters, helped me throw a virtual tea party so we could get dressed up, see each other and have fun. I was able to return to that abundance mindset, even in a small way, to help ground me again. Don't get me wrong, it's still a huge roller coaster ride, with many lows and some highs; it's not as bumpy as it was before and I'm able to appreciate the high points and build on them more as we move forward.
So as Mother's Day approaches, I want moms everywhere to acknowledge that you are enough and to remind yourself that you are doing your best, every single day.
If you need help reminding yourself what a great mom you are, here are two simple tips that have helped to anchor me in my journey towards abundance:
1. Write down 10 things you are great at, and put it somewhere prominent, perhaps beside your bed, on your desk or stuck to your mirror. It will be a reminder that you are an amazing mom. Ask your kids what they think too - they'll be sure to tell you why they love you.
2. Write down 5 people who are your biggest fans. They're the family or friends who are your biggest cheerleaders, the people you call first when something awesome has happened to you, and are the ones who will remind you why you are an amazing person. It might also be someone you don't speak to that often, but who you know will be there to listen to all of your ideas and dreams, and will encourage you to take action. They're there to help you grow and to be your happiest, most fulfilled self.
If you have other ideas for building an abundance mindset, please share! And just in case you need to drop any last-minute hints to your loved ones (as I like to do), here are my Top 10 ideas for celebrating in isolation. I've learned that while it's great that spouses and children come up with ideas on their own, it's also completely ok to express your needs and ask for what you want.
I see you moms - and you are enough, much more than enough. Happy Mother's Day! You deserve it.
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