Nothing really prepares you for motherhood. It's something you have to grow into, learn through. Oh my, am I learning.
I’m learning about my kids: that my daughter needs prompting and patience to share her true feelings, that my son’s tantrums are often rooted in anxiety. I’m learning about me. As a woman, as a mom. At 32 years old, I’m still learning. Still unearthing what I need in this season, what I need to be present and at peace, and be the mom my little ones deserve.
Lately, I've been mindful of caring for myself, sometimes even before I care for my children. I have to be whole and healthy to be their best mom. I've come to think of these little things as my sacred practices of motherhood—the things that help me thrive, that help me pause and believe that it is well. Whatever that day’s “it” might be.
The best part is that they're simple and mostly free. These little things are easy to incorporate into my day. I hope you’ll find one or two that can meld into your daily habits.
Taking a selfie
Sometimes it’s just me, sometimes it’s with one of my children. I do this because I want to remember who I am in this season—bags under my eyes and all.
Remembering my vitamins
And not just saying that I’ll remember to take my vitamins. I really do it, thanks to an alarm on my phone.
Writing a gratitude list
This has been my latest addition and is by far my most favorite. I read Ann Voskamp’s "One Thousand Gifts" recently, and on hard days especially, it has kept me watching for the good in the mundane.
My worries are many, and what I truly control is small.
Making fresh air a priority
Even if it’s raining, I get fresh air. Even if it’s just two minutes of closed eyes and deep breathes on the back porch.
Praying over my children
My worries are many, and what I truly control is small. Saying a prayer releases all that angst.
Stopping the scroll
I’ve instituted a no-scrolling rule when in bed and while rocking my youngest to sleep. My time is better spent sleeping, listening to an audiobook or typing an email to a fellow mama.
Plating my food
No more nibbling off the kids' plates or skipping meals. When I dish up the littles, I dish up Mama, too. Food is fuel!
Pinning up inspiration
On my bathroom mirror, I've hung my 5K personal record; on the fridge, a quote about thankfulness; and in a frame in the stairwell, “Always be kinder than you feel.”