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You’re a person, and amazingly you’re a mother. Not the other way around!

Updated: May 30

About 19 years ago I experienced one of the most monumental shifts in my life –I became a mother! Emotions like joy, pride, and immense love flooded my being. However, fear and uncertainty were increasingly present. The expectations concerning motherhood are daunting enough. But the thought of having to navigate this journey as a single mother seemed unimaginable. And for many years, I walked through this journey with the same burdens many mothers carry.

H&S Therapist Michelle Lloyd and her 3 year old son touching foreheads
Me (Michelle) and my son at the age of 3

Out of everything I made two paramount realizations. One was that I needed a village - not only for my son but also for myself, to help keep me grounded and supported in moments when I was lost in the sea of expectations and too many “to-dos.”

Secondly, I learned that my individual value could never be negated by my responsibilities as a mother. On the contrary, my individual value required much nurturing, honoring, and allowing to blossom, in order to gracefully meet my responsibilities as a mother!

"...[M]y individual value could never be negated by my responsibilities as a mother."

So, what does this have to do with you? You may be saying “This sounds wonderful in theory, but how does this become my reality?” I'm glad you asked! 

Before anything you must pick up where you left off. What were your dreams or plans prior to pregnancy? What personal wounding or shortcomings needed healing prior to motherhood? What were your passions, hobbies, and heart desires? Sitting with these questions will allow you to remember, and reconnect with who you are as an individual, and become aware of aspects of your personhood that have been neglected or forgotten. As we rediscover the Self and reconnect with our authentic essence, we are naturally able to show up for our children, and others around us, with the fullest and brightest version of ourselves!

White woman sitting on the floor smiling and painting

"Before anything, you much pick up where you left off. What were your dreams prior to pregnancy? ... What were passions, hobbies, and hearts desires?"

Now that you’ve sat with these questions. It’s time to pinpoint any limiting beliefs you find yourself operating under. Limiting beliefs usually come from outside, as well as personally adopted, judgments, opinions and expectations. These limiting beliefs are thoughts that may repeat over and over in your mind, such as: "I can't take a vacation. People will think I'm neglecting my children, especially if I don't take them with me." "I can't ask for help. I had these children so it's my responsiblity to do this on my own." "I'm a bad mother. All I want is time to myself - away from my children. What kind of mother thinks like this?!"

All of the above thoughts are false. And all of the above are examples of limiting beliefs. Family members, people of authority, or social media and more can be the root of these limiting beliefs. When we operate according to these limiting core beliefs it changes how we view ourselves, and therefore, it impacts how we actually live and experience this life. If we are not mindful, these limiting beliefs prevents us from achieving our true personal goals and dreams - and limits our experiences of joy in motherhood.

After addressing and challenging our limiting beliefs, as a part of our healing journey we must move to action steps! It’s essential to carve out time to make meaningful change. As a mother, much of your time and precious energy is used caring for others, and other things. The magic here is that, believe it or not, there is actual time available for you to carve out caring for yourself and creating meaningful change. I know! It does not seem like there is - but I promise you, it is available to you - once you challenge the limiting beliefs that tell you that you are not supposed to take time for yourself or focus on yourself.

Black woman standing on a balcony smiling over a city

Engaging in action to create meaningful change can look different for everyone. Some examples are: creating time for socialization with friends and family again, reconnecting with your spirituality, rediscovering hobbies, practicing some form of exercise to strengthen your body, experiencing time of relaxation, exploring and deepening new relationships, and enhancing your overall self care, and sense of wellbeing. 

"Taking time for yourself is not stealing time from your children."

It’s easy to experience guilt and shame in this personal healing and reconnection process. However, taking time for yourself is not stealing time from your children. Have you ever heard the saying: “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” Proactive motherhood changes shape as our children grow. So, when you confine yourself to an external/societal standard of what motherhood looks like, you’ll almost always find yourself in a state of deprivation and potential resentment. Therefore, it is vital to allow yourself to let go of  guilt and shame (change the negative thoughts and energy that bring forward these emotions), and start prioritizing your needs, as these emotions will weigh you down mentally, emotionally and eventually, on the physical level. Learning what helps fulfill your needs and desires, and tapping into change, will  begin the process of “filling up your cup.”

Women sitting at a table with food smiling and toasting glasses with water

The strategies you use to pick up the pieces of your identity and personhood are the same strategies you can use to “fill up your cup” until it overflows! And none of this requires you to spend thousands of dollars or take a 12-hour flight to an island (unless you wan to!). Small changes are changes - and they are all meaningful and important towards replenishing and reclaiming the lost parts of your identity. And some of these are changes we can make and implement on a daily basis, for example: 

  • Creating a morning and night ritual

  • Regular stretching and regular hydration throughout the day 

  • Regular mindful breathing

  • Spending quality time in nature 

  • Healthy eating

  • Listening or dancing to music 

  • Aromatherapy 

  • Relaxation techniques, meditation, and affirmations

  • Giving and receiving love

  •  Simple prayers

All of this can drastically improve your state of mind and your experience as a mother! And, it models for your children that caring for yourself is important.

Everything we do, if done with ease and love, can be done beautifully.  This wonderful journey of keeping our individuality through motherhood allows us to mother authentically, while experiencing  joy, deep satisfaction and expansion! It’s easy to feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and alone in this process, but don’t let this stop you! Remember that you are worth the time and care it takes to rediscover your personhood and to live life to its highest potential, while also being a parent.

Need more support, we are here for you! Contact us and we'd be happy to support you in making meaningful changes that celebrate you as an individual and as a mother! While life will look different with children - life can still be amazing.


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