Over the past few weeks, it seems that every client of mine, both men and women, have discussed how mothers are the emotional touchstone of a family. If you have young children, you will know this to be especially true, as the youngest children seek Mama above all else for comfort. And as sweet as this is, it can be tiring to be covered in drool, and hugs and love all of the time. It can be difficult to be everything. Even if you have an amazing partner, children often only find solace in their mamas.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”- but I hadn’t really put any stock in it. Perhaps I hadn’t wanted it to be true, because if it was, I would have had the extra responsibility for taking care of me, as well as being everything as a Mama, and that’s a lot.

Yet, as a Mama, if you’re off, everyone else is affected. Anyone who has been in a family knows this. If you are a mother, this means that every emotion you have will ripple throughout the members of your family, particularly the big emotions that you haven’t taken the time to deal with and process. Knowing this, the importance of self care, of ensuring that you are balanced and well taken care of before interacting with your family is paramount. And this is exciting, but seems exhausting because it’s just something else to do. But, consider how would life be different if you actually did take care of you. What if you were relaxed and your cup was filled when you interacted with your family?

So YES!, take the time for you. This is the permission you’ve been seeking- to go to they gym, to take a walk in the woods by yourself, to drink tea cozied up in a chair reading a book by yourself. To go grocery shopping by yourself. To run, journal, go to yoga, to get your hair done. If your cup is filled, only then can you fill another’s. As a mother, you are the compass that guides everyone else- and there is a lot of power and responsibility in navigation. If you are off, your family will be, too. If you are upset, your children will most likely reflect that. From this perspective, self-care seems like something that is non-negotiable, because we must be prepared to be in our families. We must be ready to step into the position as the family compass.

For thought:
Imagine what life would be like if you had the time you needed to take care of you. Would you use a kinder tone with your children and partner? Would you feel more confident in your body? Would you ask for what you needed? Support? Childcare? What would it take for you to be balanced, joyful, centered, and happy? An hour? Six hours? Take it. Your family will thank you.

The Need for Women in Community:
Over these past few years, especially as a mother- I have felt a gap in my life. Often times I’ve wondered where the women are. We scurry around so quickly and I always seem to be ticking off to-do lists, and it’s time to create a change. I have felt like I was in need of something, a village perhaps, a place where I could turn to, discuss things with, be open and vulnerable and supported. I have women in my life who I love and adore, but I feel like it is time to bring those women together.

I miss seeing my girlfriends, and so often when I do see them, it is with kids in tow and therefore difficult to reach out and dig deep to work through the things that we need to. For me, it would be wonderful to know that there is a set time to connect so that we can create the village that we have longed for. I do believe that there is a huge gap within our society, where we are more connected than ever on paper and social media, but less connected than ever in actuality. I want to create the time to have relationships and cultivate them so that we can look back and celebrate 50 years of joys and the growth we’ve shared. My grandmother was a model for these relationships, and even at 70 years old, had group sleepovers with women in her life who she had shared over 55 years with.

And women are special. We nurture not only our families, but one another. In order to do this though, we must actually spend time with one another. So, this is an invitation to go deep. To take the time to share yourself and support others. To cry and cheer and laugh and be. To drink tea or wine and discuss things that are necessary but often forgotten, or swept aside as unimportant. This is a reminder that you are important. You are a light in this world and I love you and want to listen and connect and help you burn brighter.