“Taking time out for myself, is taking time “AWAY” from my family".
As a practitioner the words people choose are little windows into the subconscious, and in this instance the sheer notion that she was “taking” time, says that she stole it, and it wasn’t hers to begin with. Pretty intense right?
My stomach clenched up when I heard that statement, because I knew exactly how she felt. That's the same lie I was living for a long time (maybe I still do sometimes. “Mother Guilt” is a stubborn one to get rid of). I know this is how many mum’s feel. Exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, not good enough, unsupported and really sad.
For me, it’s a really interesting lie I bought into, for over 10 years. I subconsciously believed, my role as a mother was to “serve” my family, therefore my time was not my own. I always told myself, if there’s time left at the end of the day, I’ll do what I want… and of course there never was!
So who decided I had to be a servant, just because I wanted a family? It could be a learned behaviour passed down through generations? Maybe instinctively protecting our babies is so ingrained in our psyche, that as they grow, we just forget to let-go, and then it becomes a habit. Another piece to the puzzle is the “pay off”… it does feel good to be indispensable, and in control… but are we really in control, or is that just another lie we tell ourselves?
In reality, I was totally out of control, life was swallowing me up. Something had to change, and it was me. I’d spent years talking with other mothers, over the sound of crying babies and toddler tantrums, protesting about how they can’t find time for themselves, and yet our husbands were on camping trips, meeting friends for a beer after work, and enjoy days on the couch to rest and recharge. We were all living the same story of “serving” our family, and yet our partners had a different philosophy. They aren’t lazy men, they just live a different story, were they instinctively know when to “take time” for themselves to re-charge, and they don’t feel guilty for doing it. It’s true, men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, and we need to learn how to get this guilt-free relaxation into our lives.
Firstly you have to realise, “taking time out, for yourself, is taking time “away” from your family” is just a bullshit lie. It’s common for women to praise themselves on their multi-tasking - wearing it like a badge of honour, but if it’s the source of being burnt out, depressed and crying in a heap on the floor, then that’s a badge you don’t need. Just decide not to accept that you are here to “serve”. Let the washing pile up for a day, get a pedicure, even better… get yourself a cleaner!!! Of course logic says you’re not a bad mum if you do, but if your subconscious mind is still operating under the lie of "taking time out for yourself, is taking time "away" from your family”, then the guilt is going to swallow you up. Let go of this lie, today, because all the guilt and judgement comes from within.
Nobody will die, if you have a massage once a week. Nobody will starve to death because you weren’t in the kitchen when they were hungry. No family member will be severely depleted in any way-shape-of-form, if you value yourself enough to nourish your soul. By loving yourself enough to listen to your body and give yourself what you need, mentally, physically & spiritually, you will open up to being more available to your family. Time will expand because it will be stress free “quality time”, and your loved ones will appreciate you much more if you allow them to be independent of you. This may seem a strange concept, but I’ve found that I actually enjoy my family more, when I feel good about myself.
Your time is “yours” to share with the people you love… and HERE'S THE TRICK (drum roll)….
“YOU” need to be one of those people!