I think one of the greatest gifts of new motherhood to a woman is the opportunity to slow down.
As you and your newborn settle into your life together, it takes about one and a half hours to leave the house, so expressions such as ‘I’m just popping out’ loose all relevance.
Juggling life before baby was challenging but, wow, did I get a lot done! Post baby, I could achieve NOTHING. Making an important phone call, posting a package, or running an errand became an overwhelming impossibility. The new routine of sleep, eat, change brought the rhythm of life into slow motion, and I was forced into a whole new alternative time dimension.
This can feel horribly frustrating. When you’re used to work lists getting ticked off throughout the day, you can feel utterly powerless when you simply don’t get to tick ANYTHING off your work list. All your best intentions are met with exploding nappies, teething tears, inexplicable grouchy days… it is like running through treacle.
However, in a world reduced to work lists and ticking off the achievements, there isn’t a whole lot of time to reflect, watch, and be present in the moment.
This, surely, is the greatest gift of early years motherhood.
When I was pregnant, I was so nervous about how difficult it was going to be, and of course I felt overwhelmed at times by the new responsibility of bringing this human being into our world. But the greatest surprise to me was how much time I had on my hands now to just BE. Breast feeding every 4 hours. Walking through the park. Driving to get baby to sleep. Rocking and soothing baby. I saw the seasons change from Autumn to Winter.
I saw the leaves of the Oak outside my house change. I watched the squirrels busily foraging for nuts. When was the last time I had taken time to see these things?
In reality, I wasn’t sitting in a state of wonder and presence, I was actually feeling bored, frustrated, anxious that I should be doing something else. I even felt lonely – the rest of the world was out there getting stuff done whilst I sat here doing more of the same, surrounded by a Chinese laundry of little baby grows and socks.
I was killing time, getting cross that this mundane life was how it was for me from now on.
But with the benefit of hindsight (oh, the benefit of hindsight!) I can see that when my mind finally gave up the struggle and accepted this new state of play, I was able to revel in a newer, purer style of life that was primal, basic, empowering in its simplicity. The crazy screeching fast pace of my pre-baby life peeled away to reveal a slow, earthy drum beat of motherhood.
Maybe I didn’t need all the racing around. Maybe I was good with a walk in the park, some cooking, some cleaning and some breast feeding for today.
Without any previous training in mindfulness, my daughter and her schedule were bringing mindfulness into my life. This new slow and steady pace was making me present. I was actually there. Not making plans. Not writing emails. Not texting. Just there, with my baby. Enforced meditation.
So, if you find yourself tearing your hair out because you’ve hardly left the house in days and you feel utterly incapable to getting anything done, why not change your mindset and learn from my experience. Take the opportunity to dance to the drumbeat of motherhood – slow, present, connected and real.
Because one thing is for sure, the phase of new motherhood passes. Life picks up its pace once more, and you will probably look back and remember with fondness when you had time to watch the world rush by you whilst you moved slowly through treacle.
If you’d like to read more tips on how to enjoy this parenting phase of life, please look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com. Namaste.
I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.
Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummys who are busy looking after the rest of us.
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