At almost 5 years old, we still lay with June until she falls asleep. Sometimes it’s a drag, and sometimes it feels like the best part of my day.
The other night I was laying waiting for her to drift off, thinking about all the things I still had to do, the laundry that needed to be switched, the book I’m reading, how much I was counting on a few minutes of alone time before falling asleep myself…
And then I heard, “Mommy, do you want to hold hands?“
And it brought me right back to the present moment. Because of course I want to hold hands! And I know she might not always want to hold mine.
The to-do list can wait. The laundry can wait. The book can wait. The alone time can wait.
Time won’t wait. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself, and to all of us, that even on the nights where bedtime seems to take forever, this season won’t. So we might as well try our best to enjoy it while it lasts.
At what age did your kids start going to bed on their own? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you peace and comfort through all of life’s passing moments (even the challenging ones!).
For the first 3 years of my daughter’s life, my husband and I felt that we had lucked out with a little one that was a good sleeper. Our baby, June, quickly started waking up just once per night for most of her infancy (something I could totally deal with after hearing other parents’ horror stories of babies who would wake up countless times or refuse to sleep at all). Right after she turned one, she started sleeping through the night. She slept soundly though the night for the next two years. Bedtime went smoothly most nights. We would do bathtime, read two books, then bed without much fuss. In our heads, we were living the dream.
That is, until this past summer when we transitioned June out of a crib and into a regular bed. That’s when everything changed. This little one was suddenly loving her newfound freedom and refusing to go to bed every night! We tried to continue our bedtime routine of bath, two books, and bed, but every time that we would put her in bed, she would immediately get back up… over and over and over again.
Bedtime started to become a huge ordeal and something that we dreaded each night. We tried everything: walking her back to bed each time she got up. Laying next to her until she fell asleep. Sitting outside her bedroom door. Letting her sleep in our bed. Nothing worked and it became a long drawn out affair where my husband and I felt like we were losing a battle each night.
From day one as a mom, I have been a very attachment based parent, and things like crying it out never worked for me. The flip side of that is that disciplining is one of the areas in which I need the most work as a parent. And bedtime was becoming a constant reminder of that as for the life of me I could not get my child to go to sleep!
Then, I listened to a podcast featuring a sleep expert who said something that got me thinking of this whole thing differently. She said that she works with all different types of families, and that even if a family co-sleeps, they can still have a plan for bedtime.
This made me realize that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I had been thinking that the only two options were to let my child miserably cry herself to sleep each night, or to give in to her every whim. But now, I realized that there were a lot of options in between that I hadn’t even considered.
In the last month or so, I’ve started implementing some changes and creating my own bedtime plan with June, and things have gotten so much better! I want to share what I’ve been doing in case it might help you too!
Here are 4 steps you can take to create a smoother experience of bedtime:
1) Decide the parameters – I realized that even if I didn’t want to let my daughter cry herself to sleep, or lock her in her bedroom at night, we had to have some boundaries as to what is acceptable.
When I first started making these changes, we were to the point where we were reading almost every book on the bookshelf, and making up countless stories each night. Bedtime had turned into such a struggle that I often just gave up and let her crawl into bed with me until she fell asleep. The problem with that was that she goes to sleep by 8pm, and I was getting so tired laying in bed that I then didn’t want to get back up again after she went down. I realized that this wasn’t working for me, so I set my parameters: two books, one story, and no more sleeping in my bed. I decided that no matter what, June has to stay in her room when it’s time to go to sleep (even if I stay in there with her).
2) Make it as special as possible within those parameters – Once I decided that we were staying in June’s bedroom each night no matter what, I went about making sure that her room felt as special as possible. I make sure that we diffuse lavender essential oils next to her bed, snuggle with cozy knit blankets, and sit in silence.
I remembered that…
Bedtime is a spiritual practice.
When June was an infant I would often use bedtime as a special quiet time of day for the two of us. I would sit in stillness and meditate as I nursed and rocked her to sleep and those are some of my sweetest memories with her as a baby.
Just because she is getting older, does not mean that bedtime has to stop being a spiritual practice. Quite the contrary. I am more aware than ever that my daughter is growing faster than ever, and that she won’t want to lay with me forever. By making the most of our nights together, I am creating more special memories that we’ll always have to hold onto. I am showing her how to create a sacred space to rest in. And, I am making the experience more pleasurable for myself as well.
3) Ditch your own agenda – Part of this process includes surrendering. I realized that a lot of what I was dreading about bedtime is that I wanted to be doing something else. At the end of a long day, I look forward to having some alone time to read or snuggle on the couch with my husband. With bedtime taking so long each night, I was becoming aggravated that I couldn’t do the other things I would rather be doing.
Now, I’ve surrendered to the fact that bedtime might take a bit longer than I would like it to most nights. I’ve stopped fighting it and surrendered to doing my best to enjoy the present moment instead of counting down the minutes until my little one falls asleep.
4) Detach from the outcome – By this point, you have done all you can. You have set and enforced limits that you are comfortable with. You’ve made bedtime feel special. You’ve let go of your own agenda in wishing things were different. Now it’s time to let go of the outcome.
Even if your little one wants to keep reading 10 books, you stay firm to your limit of 2 stories. If he or she wants to keep talking, you stop responding. If they try to leave the room, you stay put and they will make their way back.
Things won’t go perfectly each night, but by sticking to this 4 step process, you’ll ensure that bedtime becomes a more pleasant experience for both you and your little one.
Do you have a little one that doesn’t like to go to sleep?! What are your bedtime tips? Please share with us in the comments below.
Earlier this week my daughter, June heard me say that “mom life is the best life”, and she asked, “what’s mom life, mommy?” Ah my child… where do I begin…
Mom life is beautiful, joyful, messy, and unfiltered.
Right now, for me, in this season of life, mom life is waking up early to start my day with a few precious minutes of alone time, even though I’d rather be sleeping in.
It’s mornings spent at story time, the park, or at play dates.
It’s meeting a friend and her kids for lunch, and realizing that you barely finished a full sentence in between encouraging your kids to eat and making sure no one catapulted out of their booster seat.
It’s craving a quiet afternoon but constantly catering to requests for more toys, stories, and snacks.
It’s being in constant awe of how big you’re getting, how much you’re changing, and how much independence you’re developing.
It’s knowing that even though I think you’re so big right now, a year from now I’ll look back and realize how little you were.
Mom life is constant nostalgia.
It’s counting down the minutes until daddy gets home, not just for the extra set of hands (although those matter too!), but for the moments the three of us get to share together, our own little team.
Mom life is wondering why a little person that’s so tired fights so hard to stay awake, when I myself would love nothing more than to crawl into bed each evening.
And then, mom life, ironically, is me fighting to stay awake every night after you go to bed so that your dad and I can have some alone time, which we so desperately need.
Mom life is me realizing that although all I’ve just said makes mom life sound a bit like a drag, it’s really the sweetest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
Mom life is knowing that the priceless memories we’re making matter so much more than a full night’s sleep, days of peace and quiet, and uninterrupted meals.
Mom life is the most unconditional love and the purest joy you can imagine.
Mom life is a blessing.
Mom life is a gift.
Mom life is the best life.
What is your definition of mom life? We are each at different stages of our motherhood journeys and all have our own unique, personal experiences of mom life. Maybe you are an expecting mom, or maybe your children are already grown. Maybe you mother your grandchildren or your nieces and nephews. Maybe you are not a mother to your own child, but you are a teacher caring for students each day. Perhaps you have birthed a business, a book, a garden, or a new home. We are all mothers caring for the people and things we love.
What does mom life mean to you? Please share in the comments below! I would love to start an open conversation about this. I think it will be beautiful to read about the different experiences of mom life, and see that even though each experience is different, we are all on this beautiful journey together.
May you love your mom life each and every day (even the hard ones).
I have recently been thinking of the Audrey Hepburn quote, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
I had never felt the truth of this statement as much as I have now before I became a mom. I didn’t fully understand selfless, unconditional love, or the fierce devotion I’d have to wanting to help and protect my daughter as much as possible.
At the same time, I also never understood how vital it is to take care of myself, or that the ONLY way to take care of others is by taking care of myself first.
Becoming a mother has taught me what a great helper I am, and it’s also forced me to learn to help myself by taking simple, doable, and consistent actions that make a big difference in my quality of life.
By learning to help myself, and take great care of myself, I am better able to show up in the world as the wife, woman, and mother that I most want to be.
I am currently facing some new stressors in my life. My grandmother, who I am extremely close with had to have emergency surgery and has been in the hospital for almost two weeks. My 90 year old grandfather has been alone in their home, and needs help going back and forth to visit my grandma. I’ve been spending most days at the hospital with them, while also trying to juggle motherhood and all of my other responsibilities, and I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t stressful.
The only thing that’s keeping me sane through this ordeal is my commitment to self care; my dedication to helping myself first.
This is what helping myself first looks like these days:
Practicing yoga every morning
Spending a little time outdoors each day
Eating a healthy breakfast
Bringing my own lunch to the hospital
Using essential oils to ground me throughout the day whenever I need it
Taking a daily break to go for a walk
Listening to good music and inspiring podcasts on my drives to and from the hospital
Putting away my phone and being fully present with my husband and daughter each night
Crying to my husband or a friend whenever I’m feeling particularly burdened
Relaxing and reading before bed every night
Asking for help when I need it
These activities may seem trivial, and maybe doing one of them by itself wouldn’t have as big of an impact. But the culmination of taking these small moments to take care of myself daily adds up to my feeling grounded, safe, and supported, even during uncertain times.
It is only from this place of being cared for, that I am able to help others. By filling myself up first, I can show up as the patient and loving mother that I most want to be. I can help and support my grandparents as they age. I can be a devoted wife, and a good friend. I can hold more space for my coaching clients and be of greater service to them. I can write meaningful blog posts. I can show up to the world ready to give and ready to help…. But ONLY if I am helping myself first.
This is true for all of us. I would love for you to take some time this week to think about the ways in which you are helping others, and also the ways in which you are helping yourself. Notice if this give and take feels balanced to you. We are here in this world to help one another, but we simply cannot do that to the best of our ability if we are not first helping ourselves.
What can you do to help yourself today?
Please share in the comments below, or reply to this email to speak to me personally!
Take care and have a beautiful week.
Be well, Ambar
P.S. If you are someone who struggles with making self care a priority, I would love to help! I am getting ready to start working with new coaching clients and am offering a free Self Care Strategy Session to anyone who is interested in seeing how life coaching works. I know that this time of year can get a little stressful, and I would love to support you in putting yourself first so that you can have an easeful and peaceful holiday season. Simply send an email to email@example.com if you would like to claim your free session and we will get it scheduled right away!
Hello my friend! If you follow me on social media, (and if you don’t, I would love to connect on my Facebook page, Instagram, and be friends on FB!), you may have seen that my daughter fell down and fractured her collar bone earlier this week. It was a rough day that included 4 hours at Urgent Care with a hurting 2 year old, and lots of tears on both of our parts.
I myself, have never broken a bone, and I didn’t have my first surgery or stitches until I was well into my 20s. Navigating this world of broken bones with a toddler seemed unfair to me. I felt so badly for her and wanted to take away her pain, but of course I couldn’t. Having never experiencing this myself, I realized that I had been hoping that her experience would have been more similar to mine; that she wouldn’t have to handle a broken bone until much later in life, if at all. That’s when I had my epiphany:
Her story is not my story.
My daughter’s story, is not my story. She is her own unique individual, and she is here to have her own unique life experience. She is a human being with her own share of strengths and challenges to navigate in this lifetime.
We all want the best for our children. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we know what’s best for them, or wanting them to experience life in a similar way in which we did, or to protect them from the challenges that we ourselves faced.
But we must remember, that our children are on their own individual paths. Their stories are not our stories.
It’s human nature to want to protect our babies, to hold them close, to keep them safe. And yet, that is not our job.
Our job as mothers, is to provide our children with unconditional love and unwavering support, through the ups and downs of their own individual journeys.
Their journeys are part of our journeys, yes. But, they are not OUR journey. They are their own unique selves meant to experience the world in their own unique way, with their own unique set of circumstances.
We can advise them, guide them, and love them. But we cannot choose their story. We cannot dictate their journey.
We must stick to our own journey. And know that by honoring our own individual journeys, and living our lives as we see fit, in the best ways we can, we are giving our children permission to do the same.
So, next time that you find yourself wishing that you could take away your child’s pain, or that things could be different, stop for a moment, and give yourself the grace to know that they are on their own individual journey. Trust that whatever they are experiencing is a necessary part of their story, and believe in them enough to know that they have the inner strength to get through it. And then, give them lots of love and extra hugs. 🙂
Is this something that you struggle with? What’s the hardest part about trusting that your little ones need to have their own stories? Let me know in the comments below.
Once you become a mom, alone time can be hard to come by… and ironically, as moms, we need our alone time more than ever.
As mothers, being busy comes with the territory. We are constantly chasing after our little humans, entertaining them, playing with them, caring for them, and keeping them alive. With so much of our time being spent caring for our babies, it’s no wonder that we’re exhausted at the end of the day.
Our children are adorable and precious. But they are also exuberant, loud, energetic, and needy. They are very dependent on us, and because of that, much of our time is spent giving.
When all of our time is spent giving, we get out of balance, and start to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Life is meant to be a natural give and take; when that isn’t happening, we are out of balance.
That’s where alone time comes in. Alone time is the gift we give ourselves. It helps even out the score so that we can get back into balance. Here are 3 reasons why alone time is so necessary for mothers, especially for mothers of young children:
Silence is Golden
I have heard it said that mothers of young children need to spend time in silence because so much of our time is consumed by noise and chaos. Could this be any more true? When most of our time is spent with our little ones, it’s very easy to become overstimulated. Having some peace and quiet helps us to relax and rejuvenate.
Self Care is Needed
Alone time qualifies as self care time. Self care doesn’t have to mean a trip to the spa. Spending a half hour reading a book or going for a walk are also ways to practice self care. We’ve all heard the expression ‘you can’t fill from an empty cup”. Taking some self care time helps balance the scales. If we are not taking good care of ourselves, the quality of care that we give to our children suffers. When we are rested and feeling good, we are better able to enjoy spending quality time with our little ones, and have a better attitude while caring for them. Taking some much needed time to ourselves allows us to recalibrate.
Tune in to Your Desires
Having space and time to ourselves helps us quiet our minds and become reacquainted with ourselves. When we are still, we are better able to connect with our inner wisdom. Have you ever noticed that you get your best ideas in the shower? That’s because it’s a quiet time when you are completely focused on yourself. Taking some alone time can have a similar effect.
As you can see, having alone time is absolutely crucial and necessary to our well being as mothers. Even a few moments spread out throughout the day can make a major difference.
Here are some ideas for incorporating more alone time into your day:
Wake up before your children. Use this morning time to do some sun salutations, journal, or simply sip a cup of coffee in peace.
Take mental health breaks throughout the day. Find a few moments when your children are entertained, step into another room, and do some deep breathing.
Make showering and bathing a spa experience. Use some special bath salts or shower gel and use this time to intentionally unwind.
Make meals a sacred time. Shut down electronics, use your good china, sit down and enjoy every meal.
Enforce nap time or quiet time. If your children are still young enough to nap, take advantage of this quiet time to enjoy some self care time to yourself.
Use your support system. Incorporate some time into your week where you can lean on your support system to help with your children so that you can get some time to yourself. Have your partner take your kids in the morning so that you can rest, ask your babysitter to stay for an extra hour, or drop the kids off for a playdate with friends. Take inventory of your resources and use them regularly so that you can get a break.
Create an evening ritual. Take some time to wind down before bed by diffusing some essential oils, reading an inspiring book, or doing an evening meditation. Use this time to unwind.
Make sleep a non-negotiable. It can be tempting to stay up late watching Netflix, but that’s not always the best use of your alone time. Try your best to shut down electronics a half an hour before bed and go to sleep at a decent time so that you can feel rested enough to wake up before your kids and follow these tips all over again every day! 🙂
I hope that you’ve started to see the value of getting some time to yourself each and every day. What’s the biggest challenge you face with incorporating alone time into your daily routine? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to help you work through this.
Have a beautiful week and enjoy some quality time with yourself!
Be well, Ambar
P.S. If you would like some personalized help with incorporating some more alone time into your life, I invite you to check out my Private Coaching + Support packages for moms! It would be my honor to guide you in getting some more time to yourself and creating your ideal mom life!
Let me ask you a question: how do you feel in your everyday life?
Right now, much of my life is consumed by being a stay at home mom. If I’m honest with myself, most days I feel really happy and fulfilled, but I also feel tired, overwhelmed, and frumpy at times. But I think I’m figuring out the key to changing that…
Last night, I was on the way to a family party. My husband was driving and our daughter was asleep in the backseat. We started listening to a playlist of songs from 2008 when we first started dating. We were having so much fun singing and reminiscing, and by the time we got to the party, I was feeling fun, carefree, and sexy… I almost forgot that I had a sleeping toddler in the backseat.
I don’t always feel fun, carefree, and sexy in my everyday life. I tend to get caught up in all of the responsibilities of motherhood and its constant demands, and forget about connecting to those parts of myself. But listening to this music brought me back to a time when those feelings were the norm. Music has the power to transform us and lets us travel back to specific eras in our lives.
This experience made me remember the importance of staying connected to ALL parts of myself. It helped me realize my desire to stay connected to the young and carefree part of myself; the part of me that liked to go out dancing instead of going to sleep by 10pm, the part of me that stayed up all night talking to friends on the phone, the part of me that was more concerned with having fun in the moment than in worrying about the future.
This pre-baby part of me is still with me underneath all of my daily routines and responsibilities. And she wants to be acknowledged too.
What parts of your pre-mom life do you miss? How can you acknowledge the old parts of you that want to come out and play?
If you were an avid runner, you can go for a jog around the block.
If you loved going clubbing with your girlfriends, you can plan a girls’ night out.
If you liked fashion, you can buy yourself a new outfit.
If you enjoyed romantic dinners, you can get a babysitter and plan a special evening with your husband.
If you loved traveling, you can plan a day trip and go on an adventure.
As mothers of young children, it can be really easy to get caught up in the daily routine and forget to make an effort to nurture these parts of ourselves. But it is so important to remember that although mothering may be the major focus of our lives in this season, it is not all that we are.
Connecting with our pre-mom selves reminds us that we are WHOLE people with individual needs, wants, and desires. It is easy to forget that amidst all of the responsibilities of motherhood. But when we start to check in with ourselves and acknowledge ALL parts of our unique selves, life becomes a lot more fun.
Is this something that you struggle with? What parts of your pre-mom self do you miss most? What small steps can you take to bring them back into your life? I would love to hear in the comments below!
Hi friends! I have a little bit of a personal and somewhat vulnerable topic this week. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may know that I live in a beach town and I ADORE the beach; it is my happy place. Now that summer is getting into swing, my little beach town is livening up and my family and I have a lot of beach days on the agenda. One of the perks of living in a beach town is that we often get visitors dropping by during the summertime to get together with us and go to the beach.
Recently, I noticed that whenever friends would reach out wanting to get together at the beach, I wasn’t as excited about it as I usually I am. I started to get curious about this… clearly I love going to the beach, so what was the problem? I realized that my hesitation was because I’ve been feeling a little self-conscious about being out and about in my bathing suit.
I felt really disturbed to discover that I felt this way. You see, when I gave birth to my daughter two years ago, I started to really love my body and feel more empowered in it than I ever had before. I was in amazement that my body had been able to create my beautiful, healthy baby girl and continue to provide nourishment for her. I recognized my body’s true purpose and all of the feelings of self consciousness that I had carried with me for much of my adult life simply fell away. It was great!
At this time, I also vowed to myself that now that I was raising a daughter, I would never let her hear me speaking poorly about my body, or mistreating it in anyway, because I know that she will learn how to treat her own body by witnessing how I treat mine.
So, I was surprised to see that some of these old feelings have recently resurfaced. And I quickly decided to do something about it.
I am willing to bet that I am not the only woman who feels uncomfortable in their bathing suit, so I want to share the steps that I’m taking to learn to love my beach body, in hopes that it is helpful to you too!
There are many things that we can do on a daily basis to start feeling more comfortable in our bodies. If you have a beach day planned, you can start using the following tips to build up your body love.
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
I find that when I am feeling the most self conscious about my body, it’s because I haven’t been taking very good care of it. Treat your body well by drinking enough water, making healthy food choices, and making time to move your body in ways that feel good to you, each and everyday.
2. Thank your Body
Think about all of the things your body does for you and begin to thank it for it. For example: “Thank you arms for being strong enough to hold my daughter. Thank you legs for allowing me to enjoy walks to the beach everyday. Thank you hands for letting me cook, write, type, and hold hands with my loved ones. Thank you body for sustaining a healthy pregnancy and feeding my baby. Thank you for letting me taste delicious foods. Thank you for letting me smell my husband’s cologne. Thank you for keeping me alive. I am grateful and I love you.” You can do this in a journal, in your head, or for an extra powerful exercise, try looking at yourself in the mirror and saying these words out loud.
3. Sleep Naked
There is something about sleeping naked that makes us feel more sensual and connected to our bodies and more at home in our skin. If you are not ready to sleep naked, invest in a silky or soft nightgown that feels luxurious on your skin. I promise this will be a gamechanger!
4. Treat Yourself
Treat yourself by getting a manicure and pedicure, a bikini wax, or a massage! These small treats feel great and pampering ourselves goes a long way to making us feel well cared for and relaxed.
5. Buy a Bathing Suit + Cover-up that you Love
There are tons of cute bathing suits for every level of modesty. I always liked wearing two piece bathing suits, but always felt like I had to be walking around sucking my stomach in! Once I made the switch to a one piece I haven’t looked back! I have so many nice cover-ups and cute strapless bathing suits in bright colors that make me feel happy and cover up the areas I’m most self conscious about. I suggest that you do the same! If you are feeling frumpy or like you need to hide in your bathing suit, that is not going to help you love your body! So buy a suit and cover-up that makes you feel good!
Bonus: Accessorize! A fun hat and big sunglasses can show off your style and add a boost of confidence!
The Day Of
Now that you have done your prep work it’s time to head to the beach! The following tips will help you enjoy your beach day without being consumed by what you look like.
6. Indulge in your Senses
When you get to the beach, take some time to really take it all in. Being surrounded by nature has been proven to decrease stress so make sure that you take time to appreciate your surroundings. Take some deep breaths and feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin. Listen to the waves crashing and the sounds of children playing. Taste the saltwater on your lips. Feel the sand underneath your toes and look at the beauty of the ocean. Admire it all and soak it in with all of your senses.
A smile makes everything better. By having a joyful attitude, laughing, and smiling, you ensure that people will remember you as the happy woman enjoying herself instead of as the unhappy weirdo hiding underneath the beach umbrella! And let’s get honest… we are each our own worst critic, and no one is paying that much attention to you anyway!
8. Focus on Having Fun
Focus on having fun instead of on what you look like. When we are having good experiences, we get lost in the moment and don’t have time to feel self conscious! So make sure to have fun! Go swimming, play with your kids, make sand castles and toss Frisbees! A beach day is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so take the time to enjoy it and make some happy memories!
I hope that you find these tips useful and helpful! I have started using them myself and can already feel my self consciousness starting to slip away.
There are so many women struggling with their body image and letting their self consciousness stop them from enjoying themselves as much as they could be. This is is such an important topic to talk openly about so that we can join together and know that we are not alone, and that we are committed to ending our body struggles.
Which of these tips will you be trying for your next beach day? I would love to know in the comments below!
Wishing you a week of body love.
Be well, Ambar
P.S. Do you want more help learning to love your beach body? Sign up below to get the free Body Love Daily Planner!
In celebration of Mother’s Day, I have been thinking a lot about the legacy that a mother leaves behind. My own mother passed away nearly 16 years ago, but the lessons that I learned from her are still very much alive. I am blessed to still have my maternal grandmother to learn from, and am always aware of the many lessons she has taught me, and continues to teach me. This will be my second year celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother myself, and I have been reflecting on what type of legacy I want to leave behind for my own daughter.
I come from a lineage of very strong and devoted women. My mother and grandmother both were hardworking women who believed in sacrificing themselves in service to their families. They poured their whole heart, body, and souls into motherhood.
My grandmother was always a very strong matriarch. She has not had an easy life, but she has always stayed strong, and maintained an attitude of “I can do it myself”, never asking for help, even now that she is almost 90 years old. She is a kind, loving, and affectionate woman who has demonstrated love and devotion to me her entire life. Her strength has carried her through life and allowed her to be the glue that holds our family together.
My mother was also a very strong and loving person. She was the kindest person I have ever known, and she made sure that my sister and I grew up knowing just how much we were loved. She went out of her way to care for us and was always the epitome of grace, elegance, and compassion. She was truly the most beautiful person, both inside and out. Unfortunately, my mother did not have the best health. She had juvenile diabetes from the age of 5, and this disease continued to wreak havoc on her body as she got older. As I watched my mother get more and more sick, I was always amazed by the positive outlook that she was able to maintain throughout. She was always happy and smiling, and continued to give of herself until the very end.
I have learned how to mother from watching my mother and grandmother and I have immense gratitude for their beautiful examples of motherhood. I have adopted many of their traits that I am hoping to pass down to my own daughter. I hope that my daughter grows up watching me be a strong, loving mom. I want her to know how much I adore her and that my devotion to her runs deep.
I have also been thinking about the shadow side of motherhood. In motherhood, as in life, everything is not 100% good all the time. I am very much aware that we are always teaching our children, not only by our strengths, but by our weaknesses. Think about it… as much as we grow up learning to follow our family’s examples in some ways, in other ways we very much learn what NOT to do. These are also valuable lessons that need to be learned.
The women in my family have always sacrificed their own needs for the sake of their families. And while this can be viewed as an act of devotion, I have learned that there is a better way.
We do not have to give up on ourselves for the sake of our families.
There is a difference between sacrificing our own well being, and being of service.
I want to be of service to my daughter, and to my family. What I mean by this, is that I want to be able to help and provide for her to the best of my ability. I want to show her an example of a strong, confident woman who knows how to take care of herself, because this is what I want her to grow up learning about her own self.
I know that the only way to be of service, is by serving myself first.
And that is why I make self care a priority. Every day, I do my best to make sure that I am feeling happy and well, and that I am well taken care of in mind, body, and spirit. Only from this place of fullness, am I able to show up as the mother and woman that I desire to be in this world, not just for myself, but for my daughter, for the legacy that I want to leave behind.
When we are well cared for, everyone wins. We are best able to nurture our children by learning to nurture ourselves first. We can only teach our children to have positive relationships by having healthy relationships ourselves. We teach emotional health by doing whatever we need to do to cope with our own feelings and emotions. We teach our children to feel good by doing the things that make us feel good.
Our children are always watching. They learn from our actions more than they do from our words.
By putting our family’s needs above our own, our children are learning to put other’s needs above their own.
If instead, they grow up watching us filling ourselves up first, and serving them from a place of fullness and fulfillment, they learn to do the same.
This is the legacy I hope to leave my daughter with: Love yourself first. Take care of yourself. Make yourself happy first. This is the truest act of service. It may sound selfish, but it is truly the most selfless gift you can give to your loved ones.
What have you learned from the women in your own life? What lessons have been instilled in you by growing up witnessing their strengths and challenges? What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
Please share in the comments below. Let’s honor our family’s legacies and start to get intentional about the legacies we are creating with our own lives.
I honor you, your mother, your mother’s mother, and all of the mothers who came before them. We are all learning from the generation before us, and are each doing our very best in this crazy world of motherhood. I raise my glass to you, your strengths, and your imperfections. They are all learning opportunities, are all welcome, and are all needed.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.
Be well, Ambar
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