Dear Young Mother,
It is wisely written:
“All you have to offer anyone, ever, is your own state of being.”—Ram Dass
As a young mother, you learn and re-learn this one every single day. You find out that taking good care of yourself is the same as taking care of your children.
If you are coming from a place of weariness, discouragement and depletion, then that is what you have to offer. If you are coming from a place of rest, good nutrition, grateful thoughts, and peace of mind, then that is what you have to offer. Your babies and children have a sixth sense that informs them of your moods and energy levels. They hold the mirror up relentlessly, every day! For their sake, as well as for your own, you need to practice good self care.
I wasn’t so very young when I became a mother; my first child was born when I was 25. Nevertheless, I feel that I grew up with my children. I was being formed, just as they were. I remember the overwhelming love and gratitude I felt for my children when they were small, and how it took me by surprise. But I haven’t forgotten the other feelings: the boredom, the aggravation, the self-doubts. I had days when I felt I just wasn’t cut out to be a mother, and I was sure that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Now I know that those are all normal feelings.
Everything that you are experiencing now with your baby is deepening you as a spiritual, thinking, feeling human being. Just as some aspects of your child are being formed, some aspects of you are also being formed. The happy moments—and maybe even more deeply, the not-so-happy moments– have meaning and depth. Let them teach you and lead you. Trust in the process. Never forget: we all screw up. Forgive yourself generously. Like a child, start each day with hope and high expectations.
Joy Davy, MS, LCPC, NCC is a counselor with a private practice in Hinsdale, Illinois. She can be reached at [email protected] Her website is www.joydavy.com