Motherhood is incredible, but it is not easy. It is miraculously Divine; heart-opening bliss. And in our modern culture it can also frequently be heart-wrenching, frustrating and exhausting.
There is nothing more precious than those moments curled up with my children in my arms, laughing, and cuddling.
There is nothing that feels like “home” quite so much as reaching down to hold a small hand as you walk together.
We all have a relationship with the “Mother”. Even if we never have our own children (for whatever reason). We all have a Mother. And we all live on the Mother-Planet; Earth.
A beautiful woman I know, who I see as a selfless, devotional mother, recently questioned me about our values as a society. The question sent me into a flurry of emotion, and self-reflection.
I expressed that I “had a moment of peace” when my kids were on play-dates and I had some rare alone time, while shopping for groceries.
The question was; “Is not peace, love and being with your children?”
Of course peace is the love of being with my children. I have the most peace in my heart when they are curled up next to me, and I know they are safe and happy.
And, when I take idea of peace into the reality of my daily life, being a self-employed mother, truth is my mind is not often peaceful when I am with my children. I am often running lists in my mind, juggling timetables; making sure lunches are packed, everyone is wearing socks and shoes, has a jumper and hat, ensuring that the kids are being kind to one another, and not fighting over the prime spot in front of the heater on a winter morning, and keeping my business mind in check.
Some days I can do this with joy and laughter and music on.
Some days I am tired and have little patience.
I am very lucky to be a mother that has a very supportive husband and family. I work part time from home as a Mindset Coach & Trainer. I am one of the very privileged working mamas, running my own business that I love, on my own terms, online. I have worked for many years consciously building my life to be this way. Many mothers have a situation far more difficult than mine, with more financial pressure, less time, less support, and a myriad of other compounding issues at play.
So yes perhaps our values as a culture are upside down when I search for “a moment’s peace” alone. But I am not alone in wanting it. As a society, Mothers are exhausted and burnt out.
This example of selfless, devotional mothering is very different to my experience of “mother.” My own Mother is strong, determined, fiercely loving, sometimes stern, independent mother who worked from home with a horse-riding school while we were little. My father worked 7 days a week as a chef to pay the bills, and was rarely home to help. Both my parents worked hard, loved my sister and I, but had little time, and lots of stress and financial pressure.
So this other Mother archetype and mine danced.
These commonalities are inside the Archetype. Archetypes are simultaneously impersonal, and also deeply personal.
The archetype is the melting pot of every Mother experience across time and space. So the journey that a mother goes on when she transitions from only having herself to look after to having a child dependant on her, is an archetypal journey. Everyone goes through it. But the individual experience of that journey is a deeply personal, emotional one.
So I had some emotional responses in my body as I integrated this idea of selfless, & joyful, fully present mothering, and noticed where I was similar, and different.
Whenever I have an emotional response to something that is upsetting, I take it as a signal to follow the emotional thread. I plunge into my psyche like a diver following a rope. I track the emotion back to the source to clear the “charge” and then recalibrate and make the appropriate changes in my life.
I used a powerful Self-Clearing process to clear the nervous system imprints that I had made with the concepts of “Mother”, “Mother-Martyr” & “Working Mother”.
As we grow from children into adults, we all have millions of experiences and moments. Some of them are difficult, some of them are wonderful, many are forgotten.
Whenever we have an experience, our mind codes that experience and makes sense of it as best it can. Sometimes we have difficult experiences that we are too little to understand, or have to squash the emotions that we feel. Then the emotion and decisions can become trapped in our body; like energetic plaque. It wraps around the central ideas or themes of the event.
So I had some trapped emotional baggage around the idea of “Mother”. It came up in a feeling of being not a good mother for wanting some time alone, and calling that peace. You can have this kind of psycho-somatic baggage even if you had a relatively peaceful, lovely childhood.
So I have a practice that whenever I have an emotional response, it is a signal that I have found an idea that has some “emotional plaque”, and I dive in and clean it up.
After cleaning up the emotional imprints then you get to have an experience of that concept without attraction or repulsion. It brings the concept back into equilibrium and balance. As a result you create more balanced, peaceful and harmonious experiences.
So I cleaned up my imprints around the ideas of Mother, Working Mother, & Mother-Martyr.
Now that I have cleaned those up I can see that all of today’s modern working mothers are PIONEERS in uncharted territory.
After the first wave of Feminism, with the rise of the internet, global connections, and the Information Age new possibilities emerge. It is absolutely possible to grow a global empire between 9.30am and 2.30pm, and still be there to pick up your kids each afternoon from school.
However this is completely new ground and possibilities for us all…
And it’s not easy.
To create that kind of new reality we need to wade through the trenches of out-dated opinions and beliefs that were installed from past society beliefs.
In the past of our mothers and grandmothers, the dominant life option was to get married and have children. If you were career oriented, maybe you could be a secretary or a nurse, but never the Doctor, never the CEO.
To be unmarried and childless was seen as a scourge. WW2 changed all that, and new possibilities opened up for women to take on roles that had traditionally been reserved for men…
From 1988, Melanie Griffiths as the secretary in “Working Girl”, who needed to fight another woman for the only place at a table of men…
To Michelle Pfeifer as an exhausted Working Mum in wearing her sons dinosaur T-Shirt to a meeting after having food spilled on it in “One Fine Day” 1996…
To Anne Hathaway having Robert Deniro as her assistant in “Intern”, 2015. while the stay-at-home-dad. In this story the stay at home-Dad looks after their young daughter and has an affair; while Mum is busy running a successful online fashion store.
I also think of the ultimate “Mother/ Warrior” transformation. Linda Hamilton playing Sarah Connor in Terminator 1, 1984. She’s a scared suburban mum in T1 who transforms into a ripped future warrior in T2, in 1991.
Women can now be anything they want to be. A lawyer, a doctor, a warrior, a superhero movie star, a humanitarian, and anything in between.
With new possibilities comes choice.
And to make a choice, you need to be able to say yes, and no.
And in order to make choices you need to have clear understanding of your personal values and boundaries.
Without clear values, choices are made from unconsciousness.
And there is SO much unconscious belief baggage that Mothers are carrying from the generations before us, that lived in different times.
These beliefs are not longer useful, but many working mothers carry their own internal glass ceiling in the form of this self-talk.
This is what is burning us out…
Not saying no.
Not asking for more help.
Not setting boundaries.
Working Women are in uncharted territory right now.
In uncharted territory, YOU need to chart your own course.
In uncharted territory, you need to have clear sight. Most women’s perceptions is still clouded by the past. When things go wrong, many women immediately think, “Oh no! I’ve failed” and their clarity is clouded by internalising failure, instead of looking at what systems and support needs to be there to ensure success next time.
Every working mother in today’s age is a Pioneer, making up the rules as she goes along.
For me the business ambition of my inner “entrepreneur” and the driving sense of mission from my “healer” sometimes bangs up against my “mother”. I need to navigate the way that works for me, my children, my husband and our family.
What I have realised is that while those roles fulfil me in wonderful and different ways. They are still all about me being ON; caring, giving, serving, primarily looking after others. Of course I also receive in these roles. I get love, significance, money, influence, creative expression. But my primary energy flow is focussed on giving — outward.
While it is possible to “Build an Empire in School Hours”, it is essential to remember to care for ourselves and build the systems to support us along the way.
To take the time to meditate, to eat well, take lunch breaks, make time to exercise. To say no to anything superfluous that would encroach on our time.
This is not selfish. This is not “being a bitch”.
This is self-care. This is boundaries.
When Mothers do not take time to prioritise self-care, and have firm, clear boundaries, all the other roles suffer, and we (I) can become frazzled, exhausted, depleted and snappy.
But as the “burnt out” article so wonderfully points out, and my friends question lead me to, self-care with a little alone time is not enough.
The Great Earth Mother is screaming at us to do this. We need to radically shift our consumption driven, capitalist, homogenised, global society and collectively return to simpler values. Return to values of quality over convenience. Of presence instead of presents. And stop buying ever-more plastic things. Return to investing in experience, wisdom, community and personal growth, so we can live lives of integrity and purpose.
We can do this.
Women are the primary decision makers for house-hold income. We can make this change, when we consciously shift our values, and take a stand for what is truly important to us.
Sometimes the ambition and mission of my entrepreneur prevents my mind from being fully present when it is time for me to play with my children. I have an internal archetype clash that is a microcosm of some of the issues on a global level.
“It’s is ok for your business to be where it is while your children are small.
It will grow as they grow. There is no race. No one to compete with. Keep moving forward in gratitude.
Your children’s time as little children is irreplaceable. All they want and need is quality time with you, with your presence.
It’s ok to let your timelines and hustle drop away and allow yourself to be fully present with them when you are with them. Put your phone down. Emails can wait. Your stress and exhaustion comes from attempting to juggle too much all at once on strict timelines.
It’s ok to get more help. Say no more often. It’s ok to get someone to deliver groceries, or a healthy meal, or help with the cleaning and the house-chores.
Allow yourself to rest. Allow yourself to play. Allow your inner child to emerge and play with your children.”
If you, like me, feel the driving ambition and soul-desire to express yourself through your work, and the urgency to fulfil your mission, in addition to parenting, that is ok too.
There is no need to feel less-than because you are not the kind of mother that desires to stay home and be with her children every second of the day.
It is ok to be the kind of mother that you are.
Your children’s souls chose you — exactly as you are.
So do your best, be true to yourself, and heap compassion and kindness on everything and everyone.
When I schedule time according to my values I ensure that I do not forget the important for the insistent.
Scheduling 1:1 dates with my children, so that we get to have quiet time together to just BE with each other and play.
When I think of scheduling quality family date time and self-care first, and my working schedule around that, I feel more ease, that I am prioritising the most important things first.
I LOVE in person events, It is a great balance to working from home. The energy and transformation in an intensive event is amazing. A couple of years ago, I scheduled too many events and didn’t like leaving my kids that much, and I needed 6 months at with no events to rebalance. What seemed ok on a spreadsheet, was not ok in real-life.
When I schedule this family time in first, I know that I will be able to look back and be proud of how I navigated this territory. That I honoured my needs and desire to deliver my service to the world, and also honoured my family, and the chapter that we’re at in their growth.
I am also conscious that I want to be the kind of Mother that shows the possibility that you can live your mission, do good in the world and be a parent. That you don’t have to give up your dreams when you have children. I want my children to look forward to having their own children (if they want to), and know they still have the choice to do the other things that bring them joy too. I want them to connect deeply with their grandparents, aunties and uncles and other community members that I trust. I want them to know that they are safe in the world, while also knowing I am here for them.
The Working Mamas I know and look up to the most are other coaches & mentors in my industry who are totally epic mamas running serious 7-figure businesses. These women are CEO’s of their own Empires. The common thread here is that they all reject “doing it all”. Instead they make sure they are there for the important things with their kids, and outsource, and get help with everything else.
Rachel Rodgers — You can be everyone’s Mama or you can be rich
Denise Duffield Thomas — I’m a self-made millionaire and this is how much help I have at home
Chantelle Duffield — How to babyproof your business
Bianca Monley — How to balance a career and children
They are cheering for our liberation. I believe we owe it to our ancestors to take those opportunities to run whole-heartedly into whatever brings us joy.
As more of us do that, we can change the economy and shift the world. We get to make better choices for us and to support Mother Earth so our children will have a planet for their grandchildren too.
That has never been more possible than right now.
We live in a time of limitless possibility. How we navigate it is up to us.
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I have worked with Kylie over many years. She has helped me as a Business Mindset Coach, as a motivational speaker for clients when I had my gyms with Vision and more recently at Flow Athletic. I bring her in to train my Personal Training teams in mindset, communication and how to coach our clients better and excel in our own personal mastery.
I highly recommend her work.