The “spaces” in a new working mama’s life change dramatically within months of a baby entering her family and life. I’m delighted to be joined today by Alexandra Hughes, an insightful mama, coach, and author in the Mindful Return E-course, who has some great insights to share on expanding the space in your life.
Space? Where did it go?
When baby is born, our experience with space changes.
There are spatial transformations everywhere.
Space around our house (cluttered).
Space in our calendars (what’s that?).
Our personal physical space (all gone!).
And, missed most of all, headspace.
Yes, it’s amazing how one little human being can all of a sudden occupy so much space…in EVERY sense of the word!
But while the to-do list seems to be evergrowing and the calendar bubbling over (especially when you return to work!), there are still ways to manage your mind, energy and time so that you find beauty in the busy, and calm and connection in the chaos.
Here are 3 easy tips to keep overwhelm at bay, and create a sense of spaciousness in your mind (and life):
- Integrate breathing and being in the now into each and every day. This does not mean buying the meditation cushion and putting up a Buddha shrine (though if you want to do this, that’s cool). It is about integrating into your day a few uninterrupted moments of intentionally connecting with yourself. You can breathe in the shower, feeling the warmth of the water, hearing its sound, and smelling the scents around you. Breathe. It can be about going for a walk and mindfully feeling your body move, your feet connect to the earth with each and every step, the breeze on your face, the warmth of your body in its layers. Breathe. It can be about closing your eyes on the bus or subway and listening to that podcast. Breathe, and be in the moment. 1 minute, 2 minutes or 5 – do what you can when you can, and then celebrate that you’ve done just that!
- Accept that this whole baby project means practical and prioritized planning. While the world around you may expect you to keep doing business as usual, you know that having a baby is anything but “business as usual.” To enjoy this season of life, you need to be present in it. You need some extra TLC to boost your precious energy. And because the number of hours in the day don’t increase, you need to respond to invitations, requests, and demands consciously, designing a calendar that is aligned with your priorities. Yes, slowing down, or saying no, or asking for help is a part of that. It is not a failure. It is a practical and conscious choice aligned with what is most important for you right now. And that’s cool.
- Ditch the guilt and shove over the shoulditis. Guilt and shoulditis are huge energy and mind zappers. Imagine what a day would feel like if we didn’t have one “I feel so badly that I…” or “I really should have…” thought? Wow! Energy could actually be directed at the task at hand!
When a child is born a new woman is born. And though you may feel muddled, vulnerable, and doubtful a lot of the time (this is a huge learning curve, after all), never forget that you had the power to bring and nurture a little human being into your world. It is the ultimate act of creation – and you did it. You are doing it. This new you is stronger.
Sure, we are all learning. We are all making mistakes, but they are our mistakes. Our opportunities to grow.
And besides, if you are reading this, I can pretty much guarantee that you are one of those Moms who is doing her best. You are committed and thoughtful.
So ditch the guilt, Mom, find more precious space in your life, and have the confidence to do this motherhood thing your way.
To learn more about ways to ditch overwhelm, clear your mind and create more time doing what you love with those you love, Mama, visit Alexandra’s website and join her free 7-day CLEAR MIND | PRESENT MAMA challenge.
Looking to feel more supported in your return to work after maternity leave? Take the next session of the Mindful Return E-Course.