When you need a new thought — as a mom.
When You Need a New Thought — As a Mom
By Nicola Torres
"I need a new thought, I need a new thought, I need a new thought," I kept repeating to myself over and over, as I walked through the small town of Braunschweig in Germany where I live.
I had gotten to a point where life felt piled on top of me and I could no longer breathe.
It started when we were living with my in-laws and the demands of everyday life were building.
Suddenly, my father died 10 days after the birth of my third child. It felt as though the rug had been pulled out from under my feet.
Over the next 4 years, we would move multiple times — including once internationally!
We would also add two more children to the family.
Then, we lost a third of our belongings in a flood.
When my Mom was diagnosed with cancer that summer, I was beyond exhausted.
My body started giving out to the point that I was bedridden with back pain on the morning of Christmas Eve… when my Mom passed.
I felt alone, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
I had had enough.
Slowly, I physically recovered, but emotionally, I still felt completely aimless.
What was I going to do? I knew I couldn’t keep on keeping on in this way. Something had to give.
Prior to this moment, I felt every single responsibility sat on my shoulders. Whether that was actually true or not is a different story, but I was a mother with five children, so I absolutely felt completely responsible in so many ways!
But, enough had become enough, so that one day, Albert Einstein’s quote popped into my mind:
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
A new thought did come: "Ain’t feeling it, ain’t doing it!"
That was it!
For the next two weeks, I decided I was not going to do anything I didn’t feel like doing!
I was going to pay attention to how I truly felt about things and I would only do things that nourished myself.
If that meant PBJs for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the kids, then so be it. If that meant, I slept all throughout the day – as the kids permitted :) – then that was what I was going to do.
As easy as that thought was, the next few days were tiring in its own way.
I had never given myself permission to just feel into myself, to truly pay attention, to what I felt I needed.
I had to learn to be with the discomfort of this new choice and the actions I was taking — my soul knew what I was doing was incredibly beneficial, but the old me was struggling with this new way of being.
It took what you likely already know: PRACTICE.
In the process of opening up to a newer version of myself, I actually started feeling my environment crowding in on me.
As a result of this new commitment to “Ain’t feeling it, ain’t doing it!”, I stopped arguing with myself over all kinds of things. As I was clearing the emotional clutter, I decided it was also time to clear the physical clutter.
I went through our entire apartment and got rid of over 300 pounds of “stuff.”
This physical act complemented how I had started giving myself more space to breathe, and life began to change on all levels: physically on the outside, in my body, and in my emotions.
Self-care starts with honoring your needS.
I learned that self-care just starts with honoring your needs. It doesn't always have to be as drastic. It can just be, “I need a cup of tea right now.” Or, “I need to sit down right now.”
You can listen in, and get to know yourself.
Follow these little nudges is often enough to nourish yourself in ways that pay off substantially.
Do you know how to take time to listen to yourself?
Do you know how to find out what you need?
Do you know how to give in to those needs and desires?
Sometimes, we need a little help and a little guidance, especially on those days when everything has gone haywire, before we can tackle the greater idea of self-care. That’s why it’s vital to have women around you, a sisterhood of mothers, who won’t judge you or shame you, but simply be with you as you’re going through what you’re going through.
About Nicola Torres
Nicola believes in sisterhood in motherhood. She believes that becoming a mother is the most profound and forever life altering experience that no one could have prepared for. As a resident mom, she tells you to eat your vegetables, rest and go out and play — in short, she’s here to inspire you to take care of yourself! Learn more at www.nicolatorres.com.