About four years back I put together this little workbook for moms. I had just emerged from what I call the mom-fog, that period of time when our kids are young and needy and we as moms are still new enough in our role to sweat the small stuff. It’s that period of perpetual exhaustion, when, I think, we kind of lose pieces of our essence. I was feeling really grateful for having emerged from this fog and wanted to do something, anything, that could potentially assist other moms to do the same. I gathered thoughts, techniques, and outside inspiration, and put them together into one actionable set of resources.
I had a goal, at the time, to turn the workbook into an online course of sorts, something visual that could be followed along. This felt like a huge undertaking, and something that would take me well out of my comfort zone. It took a few years, but I finally did it. Om is now available as a free download and a free online course.
Could I have done better? Probably. But did I accomplish a goal? Definitely. My hope, as always, is that it bring value to the people that follow it. Self-care matters.
Below is an excerpt from the workbook, the Introduction:
I always knew I wanted to be a mom, there was never any question. My kids are and have always been my number one priority in life. Being a mom isn’t something you can shut off—once you are a mom, you’re a mom for life.
But I wasn’t prepared for how the early years of motherhood would change me. That I would no longer be able to view my beloved crime dramas out of paranoia, that my previously adventurous spirit would be tamed into concern at every turn, that I would forget that there were things I was good at other than diaper changing and expressing Good job!, this was a surprise to me. I didn’t see it as it was happening, but slowly my life swirled more and more out of balance to the point that I had forgotten myself. Every day was about the kids, and only about the kids.
Everyone has turning points in their lives, events that force you to see things a different way. In my life, in this case, it was a series of miscarriages that turned me around. The miscarriages forced me to take care of myself, to heal my wounds, to be temporarily selfish and to add myself to my priority list. I was (and am) no less grateful at the opportunity given to me in life to be a mother, my children are my heart. But, just as I want to raise them to be strong individuals, I was forced into remembering that I, also, am a strong individual. We are bound together, but we are also separate. And that’s not only OK, but necessary.
When my first child was born I had this overwhelming feeling that I had found my life’s purpose, that being a mom was truly my calling. Since then, I’ve realized that a person can have many callings, be multitalented, and that not all my goodies need to cook in one pot. It’s OK to do things for myself only, it’s OK to take care of me as much as I take care of my family. My personal interests are critical to my personal development. If I am not paying attention to all my interests, I am not developing.
I consider the act of caring for our kids but forgetting to care for ourselves to be a bad habit we moms fall into. As studies say it takes only 21 days to break a habit, let this be the place you begin.
After writing a mom blog for four years—which was really an online diary of personal struggle and development—I came to recognize that as moms, in general, we need to keep our sights on ourselves. This is the purpose this workbook is meant to serve.
If you are a mom who, like me, struggles to remember the person you were before motherhood, and struggles to remain aligned with the person you always strived to become, this workbook is for you. If you feel you have all your ducks lined up—great! That’s something to be truly proud of. Perhaps this workbook won’t serve any purpose other than defining the way you choose to spend your “you” time for the next three weeks. Either way, this journey is meant to quiet your mind, take you away from your taskdriven selves, uncover more time and meaning in your lives, and inspire a generally more positive shift in perspective. The goal is to reconnect yourself with yourself, to remember some of the deepest parts if you, forgotten in the chaos of caring for your tiny humans.
My hope is that you get as much value out of this workbook as I got putting it together. Value—receiving and experiencing value that is equal to or greater than the value we give each and every day—is what we’re aiming for.