Personal growth had alluded me, I had gone, all in on raising my kids. When I looked up, five years had passed. On the way back to knowing myself, I realised I hadn’t laughed. Not a deep belly laugh from the depth of my stomach, for a long time.

Existing Outside of Motherhood

I ventured to London last week for myself, for work and for space to exist outside of Motherhood. Never able to completely disconnect; whether reminded by the container of milk from pumped breasts or people’s enquiries about the kids or my self-incited mention of them and how I’d missed them (even though all I’d wanted for the past year was this trip).

The same contradiction of the love/hate afflictions of Motherhood could be applied to working for yourself. It feels so good when it’s going well, but it hurts so much when it isn’t. Days where it feels overwhelming and insurmountable. Days where we don’t know if we’re doing it well, doing it right or giving away too much of ourselves. We want to grow, but, how when we are short of oxygen and sunshine?

Personal Growth Comes from Reconnection with Our Shadow

The reality is, that not knowing is normally from a place of dishonesty with ourselves. I experienced those moments because I was stalling – I wasn’t ready to act out of authenticity. Rather, I was trying to be what I thought people wanted –  not what felt right for me. Evolution, levelling up, elevating, and personal growth; isn’t always nice, but it’s necessary if we are interested in being better humans. It will cause us to question what we know, what we thought we knew and what we thought we wanted. One of the ways I’ve been able to elevate through these experiences is by accepting that some parts will hurt and acknowledging the pain and where it’s located. Probing ourselves to understand our “readiness”, to say what the root of the pain stems from. Fear of failure, fear of shame, fear of weakness, fear of abandonment, fear of being alone – is big work.

The Bits We Don’t See Online

My understanding of self-care is that I see many people advocate for it, but it’s at a surface level. Silence ensues when we’re faced with the bits that don’t feel nice. So we check out. I’m guilty of doing it too. These were things about myself that I had to admit whilst reflecting on last week:

  • – My priorities have changed since becoming a Mum of two and spending time with them is more important than I’d cared to admit.
  • – I thought I would lose “myself” and be judged by outsiders for admitting that, but the reality is: that I’m surrounded by people who love and encourage me. They see the power in taking breaks, stepping back and listening to our bodies. They’re my people, so other people’s judgement doesn’t (really) matter.
  • – I can help many people, which I do, but that doesn’t mean it should come at a cost to my wellbeing.
  • – I don’t have to do one thing, but I do need to concentrate and do my best on the projects I choose to work on. That is at the core of me. I like doing things well.
  • It’s okay to feel scared but to still say yes. It doesn’t mean you’re going to fail. You’re doing fucking great!!

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