I’m learning a lot as a first time mum. And I don’t just mean about changing nappies, understanding different cries or the words for 10 different lullabies to soothe a screaming baby.
I mean about myself: my beliefs and values.
Today I was helped by a lovely older lady, I don’t know her name because I was so overwhelmed by my baby who wouldn’t stop crying that I couldn’t focus on holding a conversation. I was walking to mothers group, carrying a screaming baby and pushing a buggy, totally disheveled in 34 degree heat. She had walked past me and smiled a gentle, knowing smile. Five minutes later she had turned around, walked back and was by my side, offering to push the buggy. She didn’t judge or give advice. But she was there offering to help (perhaps she’d been in my shoes years before?).
It was this experience that made me reflect on the evolution I have been through from corporate life to motherhood.
In my “old life” I worked in a highly targeted, fast paced, competitive ‘sales’ job in recruitment. I was pretty much a control freak, but it meant I performed to the best I could because I didn’t want to be beaten, and I strived to provide exceptional service so I would have a glowing reputation. I thrived in this environment for over ten years.
Until I wanted a baby. And then I was forced to re-evaluate my beliefs and values (if you do your best and work really hard you win and you get what you want. No.). So there started another spiritual self-development journey, discovering what the universe wanted me to learn.
After a miscarriage early on in the process of “trying for a baby” and despite being told it is very “common” and “it happens to 50% of women” my control freakery behaviour went into overdrive. I was 36 and as a women we are bombarded by the media quite happily telling us at that age it’s late to be conceiving and time (and healthy eggs) are not on our side, I spent a year (and a load of dosh, thank goodness for my well-paid sales job) seeking advice from anyone I thought could help me.
This included a fertility specialist (for ovulation monitoring and to discuss IVF), integrative medicine practitioner (who diagnosed insulin resistance and vitamin D deficiency), and an endocrinologist (I have the autoimmune disease Hashimotos). As well as a naturopath, yoga teacher, acupuncturist and Chinese medicine doctor all specialising in fertility; plus a myriad of energy and spiritual healers. I also started swimming, drank green juices every day, took so many supplements I jangled when I walked, and practiced Reiki on myself.
My word for that year was ‘Release’, because what I learnt was to ‘let go’. The process of letting go and releasing control to the universe enables your desires to manifest. Do I think all those treatments helped? Yes (I’m going to aren’t I!). Did I need to get so stressed and uptight about it and let the process take over my life? No. By the end of the year I had let go of trying to control the outcome, to trust that the universe had heard my request (loud and clear!) and knew better than me when I would be “ready”. My favourite affirmation from that year is “I trust everything will happen in perfect time”.
And it did. I conceived naturally once I had ‘let go’ of trying to control the outcome. My dream of having a family was happening, but it made me question what did I want my future to look like as a mother.
Not being able to get what I wanted easily had made me realise there is more to life than working hard and earning money. I spent the year re-evaluating my life and changing my working environment; I hired a coach, dropped to part time hours, re-trained and set up a business all before bub arrived.
Neither pregnancy or business happens overnight; during the ‘trying for a baby-phase’ I learnt the art of ‘Patience’. Another trait that had not been evident in my career. It was becoming clear to me what I was to learn prior to motherhood, that I hadn’t learnt during my career.
Which brings me back to today. Here I was, hot from the sun, disheveled hair, juggling baby and buggy, trying to calm his uncontrollable crying. When I realised I could do nothing but surrender; to him, to this new love and my new life. This was not my corporate job where I am in control, he will do what he pleases and all I can do is let go, be patient, and just surrender.
My word for the first year of motherhood is ‘Surrender’.
Surrendering to the little person who has taken over my life and given it a whole new meaning, who has changed my perspective on what is important and who has made me a better person.
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Images courtesy of Running Under The Sprinkler