By Kim Newing
When I became a mother for the first time almost 8 years ago,
I had no clue what was ahead of me.
Like so many fiercely independent women, I thought the adjustment into this role would be a rather easy one.
I’d always done well at accomplishing the things I put my mind to. After all, I was trained to help others set goals and do what it took to succeed. I was so sure mothering would be another worthy challenge, and one laced with achievement for me.
You’re smiling now aren’t you.
You know where this story goes … for no good can ever come from a smug, self assured parent-to-be, haha …
Whilst I sailed reasonably joyously through pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding and beyond absolutely pummelled me to the ground.
The wings of self assurance I once had, felt clipped and broken as I plummeted face first into,
“I don’t know what the f@ck I’m doing!”
I was humbled. I was exhausted. I was lost.
I often refer to my first year as the one that shattered all illusions of self and mothering. It was also the pivotal turning point that eventually lead me to find my path of grace.
Before having children, that word (my first daughter’s middle name, incidentally) was nothing more than a pretty arrangement of letters.
I’d heard of the quality of grace and certainly met women who’d embodied it, but I’d never considered it a necessary trait – not for an over achiever like me.
That is, until I had a session with a life coach as I teetered on the edge of post natal depression.
I remember the day so vividly. My husband was away for work, so it was just me and my 10-month-old daughter, walking the streets of Brisbane. She howled and hollered in the pram as I paced the blocks desperately trying to get her to sleep.
With dark sunglasses hiding my tear-filled eyes, a sign in front of a small office caught my attention:
“If you’ve lost yourself, don’t worry, I know how to help you find her.”
For the first time in almost a year, I felt my nervous system relax.
I took a photo of the words and practitioner’s details and called the number when I got home. In the three sessions we spent together, this whole-hearted angel of a woman helped me redefine who I was as a mother.
Together we realised that the expectations I had on how things “should” be, were completely robbing me of the joy I wanted to feel with my baby. I was still living as the old me, the A-type personality me, the perfectionist, highly organized me, in a world that could no longer accommodate such a version of myself.
It was time to not only reclaim me, but also redefine me.
See next page for more…