One of the themes that runs through my life is “shrinking”. It’s as though I were Alice in Wonderland, and I’ve drunk a magic potion!! Then I have to figure out what will get me back to my normal size…
One of the biggest things that impacted on me in my adult life and made me shrink was becoming a Mum. Equally, it has helped me expand in ways I didn’t know I needed to, or could (and I’m not talking about my belly LOL)!
But the journey hasn’t always been comfortable. In fact, it would be true to say it’s been incredibly painful and difficult it’s been at times – physically, mentally, and emotionally – and dare I say it, spiritually.
For many, it’s the birth story that triggers the shrinking experience – perhaps things didn’t go smoothly. Or you struggled with breast-feeding (that was me). Or sleep deprivation. Or having a poorly or colicky baby. It could be you didn’t have a mum on-tap to help you (yep – my hand’s up again on this one!). Whatever it was, you end up feeling like a failure, and your confidence began to seep out of each and every pore of you body until it felt like there was only a shadow of you left.
It’s nuts, isn’t it? I speak to so many mums about this. And virtually all of them can recall feelings of failure and isolation – however fleeting. And many found it impacted on them for a l.o.n.g. time – in fact, on an ongoing basis. A bit like trying to build a solid house on a wobbly foundation.
The whole deal about “becoming a mum” thing is completely under-rated, and under-valued in our society. It often feels as though we’re expected to just get on, where we left off, just days or weeks after birthing our beautiful new babies. We’re not given time to recover, or reflect on our journeys through this rite of passage. We’re hustled through, chivied along, and anything that caused us trauma, pain, confusion, guilt or shame is pushed aside – or down inside – to be forgotten. But not healed.
Any ceremony or celebration that would once have been part of everyday life has long gone – except for the flurry of cards, newborn gifts, and flowers – which are lovely, but don’t really cut it when feels like you’re life’s been turned upside down, and you’re feeling leaky from your boobs, your nether region, and your eyes! Sometimes you feel as though you’ve been hit by a truck, and a sticky plaster just ain’t gonna do it, is it? And the worst thing is FEELING ALONE. Feeling isolated. Not feeling good enough. But burying your feelings, and learning to say “I’m fine” “I’m good” – even, or especially, when you feel like sh*t!
OF COURSE life’s going to change when you become a mum! But no-one tells you beforehand HOW MUCH, do they? Going from one to two can be a real shock to the system! When you look at it rationally, and in hindsight, it CHANGES EVERYTHING.
And it often effects your bank balance, your sense of independence, your confidence – they all begin to shrink!
Anyone else relate to this?
Becoming a mum IS a rite of passage. It’s a phase of development and growth. The opportunity to go within and discover we have everything and more we need by connecting to our source, and our power.
My journey back to feeling whole again – feeling like “me” – took about 13 years. And there was a time I would have been ashamed to admit that. But shame has a way of keeping you small, and that’s no way to be. So shun your shame! And don’t be afraid to begin that journey… It may take some time, it may not always be plain-sailing, but it WILL be WORTH IT.
Reach out if you’d like to, or share your story below. That’s a really good place to begin…
And start that healing journey now, so YOU CAN SHINE BRIGHT – just like you were meant to!