When I was in my twenties, new to infertility and barely learning how to make myself a priority, a mentor taught me this:
You must mother yourself. If you think you want to be a mother, you must learn to mother yourself first.
That advice stopped me cold in my tracks.
– I had been working myself to the bone at a job, wanting to be the superstar with every last ounce of myself.
– I ate Oreos for breakfast, Nutter Butters for a snack, and a big slice of Junior’s cheesecake in bits throughout the day. And likely some matzo ball soup, too.
– I did not love myself. I didn’t think I was good enough. I believed that I wasn’t attractive enough, funny enough, lovable enough.
So there you have it. My “soil” for any future motherhood was a wreck. There was not going to be any fertile growth there – literally or figuratively (even if I had given birth.) I wasn’t even taking care of myself. How on earth would I be able to be a healthy, whole mother (emotionally and physically) for another being? I needed healthy soil for “life” to take root, whether or not I was going to get pregnant. I needed to nurture my center, opposed to just barely surviving.
My life from that point forward changed course…
– I made my health a priority.
– I stopped eating sugar, gluten, dairy. (whew!)
– Every day going forward my lunch came from an Organic Cafe, where I ordered vegetable soups, hemp smoothies, and lentil burgers.
– Instead of opening the work candy cupboard everyday, I brought in my own healthy snacks: rice crackers, almonds, raw cashews.
– I actually left my job when needed for acupuncture or dentist appointments or any other reasonable thing I needed to do to take care of life; to take care of myself.
– I got home early enough to chop some vegetables instead of having the late night car service driver make a stop for Thai food or whatever else was still open.
– I started treating my soul with respect…I started to admire who I was and protect any light that was within me, regardless of what anyone else said or thought.
– I treated myself as I would if I had a daughter watching.
And all of this, my friends, changed my life forever more. I’ve been a different woman ever since. And I became more confident than ever that if motherhood ever did come my way, that myself and my kids would be 1000% better off than we would have been otherwise. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
My dear friends who are mothers and those who are not – it is my greatest wish for you that you can put yourself first and mother yourself in whatever ways you need – whether it’s taking the time, spending the money, healing your center, nourishing yourself, saying yes or no, following a dream. I believe this could be the hardest thing we as women ever do. It feels like a massive sacrifice, it feels impossible, it feels like we can’t make time for ourselves, it feels like we really shouldn’t do it. But I believe that we should. Every single one of us deserves this. No single person knows our needs more than ourselves. Mother your center. And it will change you; your soil will be healthy; and your life and all those around you will be better than ever before.
How can you mother your center more? What care do you need?