Motherhood and Following Your Own Path November 16 2014, 0 Comments

I'm not a mother. However, I have many friends, family and colleagues who are. I know how tough it is, stepping in to babysit my gorgeous but energetic nieces and nephew for a mere 24 hours and often wonder how I would survive if I was a mother. I hear on a regular basis how hard it is to make the transition to motherhood unscathed. With high rates of post natal depression, social isolation and the massive change in roles, the transition to motherhood is highly underrated! Mums-to-be frantically read all the self-help books they can get their hands on to prepare for the much anticipated arrival of the bub, only to find that it doesn't quite cut it.

For today's blog I have invited along a very special guest, Yvette Lee-Archer, mother of one and owner of Ella Rinnova to discuss her thoughts and tips on how to survive motherhood. 

How did you find the transition into motherhood? Was it what you expected? 

Initially, I found the transition to motherhood quite challenging. It took a while for me to feel comfortable with my new responsibilities, but also to adjust my mindset. My background was in a fast paced corporate role, and I approached my life in an organized and methodical way. I also had a tendency towards perfectionism and ensuring that I was always in control of my outcomes. Well now as a mother, the words 'organised,' 'methodical,' 'perfection,' and 'control' are not very often experienced in my day - and not by choice! I have to confess that I still frequently try to reach an organised state, or to feel in control, and sometimes I make it. Usually I just need to come to terms with the fact that life is different now and I have different priorities. I found this frustrating for quite some time as I continued to aim for perfectionism and ‘failed’ over and over again. I’m a firm believer that children mirror us and highlight the parts of ourselves that we need to work on. That certainly happened in my case, and so now I do my best to go with the flow a bit more.

What would you say is the one thing no one told you about motherhood?

The one thing I didn’t expect was the internal conflict and guilt associated with allowing myself some ‘me time’. I’m sure other mothers can identify, that once you become a mother everything in your life revolves around your child/children. It’s easy to lose yourself in that. Part of you desperately wants to be alone and spend some time doing things you enjoy, part of you never wants to leave your child’s side, and part of you can’t even remember what you used to do or like before having children! I don't think anyone really told me that you do leave a part of yourself behind when you become a mother, and transition into a totally new life in a relatively short period of time.

What have you found the hardest being a mum? 

Sleep deprivation is a big one for me. I’m someone who needs my sleep, and because my little boy suffered from very bad reflux from an early age, my sleep was significantly disrupted for a long period. This impacted my life in a big way, and actually I felt totally ‘out of it’ probably until my son was about 18 months old. I was also unprepared for the workload of motherhood. There is so little down-time and absolutely no sleep-ins!

What are your top 10 tips to surviving motherhood?

  1. Be brave.

  2. Be intuitive to your needs and the needs of your children. Every mother is different. Every situation is different.

  3. Connect with others (even if you don’t feel like it).

  4. Focus on your nutrition. Prioritise eating well to stay well. A lot of mothers skip meals because ‘there’s no time’, but this needs to be a focus for you.

  5. Prioritise sleep. Get to bed early if you know your sleep will be disrupted.

  6. Find your support circle to allow yourself some time off, and do it without guilt or worry.

  7. Seek help if you are struggling. See a maternal nurse, naturopath, GP, or other health care practitioner. If you don’t feel right then speak to someone about it. They can refer you on as needed.

  8. Spend some time doing what you love - for you.

  9. Go with the flow, and know that you are doing your best.

  10. Recognise when you are ‘on edge’ and need some time off.

What advice would you give to a mother-to-be?

I would encourage a mother-to-be to focus on clean eating and minimise exposure to harmful chemicals in the home environment, in food, and in cosmetics. I would also suggest that not being attached to any specific outcome or expectation could be helpful - be ready for anything and everything! Stay true to yourself and be aware of your own needs, follow your own path, and breathe. 

Ella Rinnova is about empowering women on their journey through motherhood. It’s a place for mothers to live a blissful, healthy, energised, harmonious, and purposeful life to their fullest potential. Through tailored health programs, we guide mothers who are ready to invest in themselves and are wondering where to start. Our programs are health centric with a focus on women’s wellbeing, purpose, nutrition, and lifestyle. We provide private health coaching, support, programs, monthly mothers’ circles, workshops, resources, and the perfect space for mothers to reach their desired outcomes.  To find out more about Ella Rinnova or to book a complimentary one hour wellness consultation, visit www.ellarinnova.com or come and say hello on Facebook or Instagram.

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