Getting In Flow Alongside Distractions: The Mom Life Dilemma
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden
As I am sitting here working on an overdue blog post and trying to set the agenda for my Sacred Bliss Women’s Circle event I have been interrupted 5 times in the last 40 minutes, and it got me thinking about an important topic that I know I’m not alone in---how to get in your creative flow amid distractions, specifically the mom life.
I used to trivialize my interests and not create space for my passion. I would let the mom guilt creep in--I should be spending all of my precious time with my children, cleaning the house, working on things for my day job. But as anyone who has also tried this tactic knows the results were less than favorable and inevitably led to massive frustration, resentment, and ultimate breakdown on my part.
And as experience is our best teacher, this time I have wised up and realized that the only way to best serve my family is to serve myself first and to make sure that I am living my truth and following my passion and curiosity. If show up fully for myself then I can show up fully for my family.
But...that doesn’t mean it’s easy and that doesn’t mean it solves the mom/ creative, spiritual dilemma and so as I am reflecting on ways to make it work for myself, I figure I am not alone in this dilemma and I may help out a mama or two by sharing my reflections.
So what are some ways to maintain your flow and passion and sense of self amid distraction?
Remember that your joy is a worthy investment. Of course it is very easy to dismiss your creative process to take time for the kids, clean the house, do work for your ‘day job’--but do those things bring you joy? Your investment in the things that bring you joy provide a ripple effect for the others in your life. You can’t show up for your family if you’re feeling resentful or distracted. You feeling your joy allows you to do those other things like spending time with your kids, cleaning the house, working on your 9-5 in a more activated way and sends a message to your children that passion is something worth making time for.
Utilize your resources. As I am writing this my daughter is watching Netflix, and maybe that statement is going to bring about some judgment (also from me--but I will address mom guilt next), but that’s a resource. We don’t do screen time often so when we do it’s a treat and gives me some of the time and space that I need. So yes television is a resource. Other resources include babysitting exchanges with friends and neighbors. Paying for a babysitter. Working out a schedule with your partner that includes time for your passion. Going to places like Mellow and Play cafe or Work Nest (can link if you feel appropriate)
Rewrite your story on Mom Guilt In her book Grace Not Perfection Emily Ley has a chapter called Mom Guilt is a Liar, and I think that is my favorite section of the entire book. You have to commit to letting your mom guilt go and go back to number 1 in realizing that your joy is worth the investment. Your kids aren’t going to be slighted if you don’t spend every waking moment with them--they will be slighted if the time you spend with them you are wishing you were somewhere else. Let. The. Mom. Guilt. Go!
Honor what you need: There are times when I have advised clients and friends to fit their passions into the pockets of their lives, but at the same time don’t overdo it. Don’t sacrifice sleep and self care if that is what you truly need. The passion projects and to do list will always be there, but it won’t be done to full capacity if you’re depleted. In fact, that is the quickest way to lead to resentment and to squash that passion. When your passion becomes a chore, it no longer serves its purpose in your life.
Be Flexible: As always, the name of this motherhood game is flexibility. When you are raising humans there are a lot of variables that come into play and you can’t expect things to go exactly as planned ever. This is true of all of life but especially so, I believe anyways, during the mom life season. So if things don’t go according to plan, take a step back, breath, regroup, and remember that your most important job as mom has to come first.
There is a lot more I could say on this topic but even just writing this has been helpful for me in gaining perspective. Going along with the flexibility thing, this is not what I intended to work on or write about today, but it is what came up. So sometimes in embracing this season of life, we are lead down new paths and activate new inspirations if we are open to receiving them.