Hi to all of you wonderful mothers out there! Today I have some very special thoughts for you!
I am sure you have all heard the saying, “When mama ain’t happy, no one is happy.” YOU set the tone for YOUR home. Your home, your words, your gesture, your mood are all the reality that your children know. They have no idea until they are older all the myriad of choices and reflection of values that go into your style of parenting!
So this flows from you! You are special and wonderful and chosen to be this child’s mother!
And the only way to set the tone in your home is to be able to take care of yourself. If you are physically not well, emotionally not well, spiritually not well, then how can you run your home well?
So, as part of your inner work for Advent and into the Holy Nights (the 12 Days of Christmas extending from Boxing Day until Epiphany) is to think about these areas and plan:
PHYSICAL HEALTH/OUTER APPEARANCE: Okay, mamas, when was the last time you had a comprehensive physical check-up? Dental work? Do you use any alternative care such as chiropractic, homeopathic, body work?
Are you suffering from depression or chronic pain? Have you spoken with a health care provider about this at all?
Finally, and I know this can be a sensitive subject, but how are you eating these days? Do you exercise? Do you drink water?
One thing my husband said to me the other day was how happy he was that I take care of myself because he had known so many women who let themselves go after marriage and children. I will be honest with you all, I want to look attractive for myself because I feel better when I feel healthy and beautiful, but I also want to be attractive for him. I think part of being married is that we want to be attractive for each other.
Do you get up and get dressed and feel beautiful every day? Have you bought any clothes for yourself this entire year? Shoes? Do you wear skirts at all? Sometimes just little things make a big difference in how you feel!
It seems as if being a mother often means we take care of everyone else often to our own neglect. I am asking you to think about these areas and devise a way to put yourself first here and there. Talk to your spouse or partner about how they can help you make this happen. This is especially important in homeschooling families where we are always with our children; you need to carve out a little slice for those appointments and exercise. Get out your 2010 day planner and see if you can make it happen this coming year!
EMOTIONAL HEALTH: How are feeling these days? Do you need a mental health tune-up these days? Can you do this yourself by getting more sleep, carving out some time for yourself, exercising – or do you need an annual mental health check-up just the same way we need an annual physical check-up?
I am a big believer in support for the journey – support through family, through friends, and yes, through mental health professionals if need be.
One interesting project for you to consider for the New Year is the notion of biography. The book “Tapestries” by Betty Staley is a really interesting perspective on Steiner’s seven-year cycles for adulthood and I wrote notes to all the chapters of that book on this blog. This book is well-worth your time; find out where you are, think about where you have been. Then think about where you will go!
Another thing to consider for your own development is the artistic piece. Just setting aside one hour twice a week to wet-on-wet watercolor paint yourself can be such a meditative and healing experience! Think about what artistic work you would like to try and schedule a time!
SPIRITUAL HEALTH: How do you bring joy into your parenting and your homemaking? This journey should be one of joy!
For inner work, I recommend exploring any spiritual or religious path you feel drawn to. I think it is actually important to have something higher to believe in and draw upon, to connect to, as you do this most important work.
We do devotions in the morning and at night, and I also do a Bible study during my Quiet Time each day. I also pencil in nights to read Steiner and to study these works. Every family’s plan will look different, but what is most important is that you have a plan!
When will your daily time to pray or meditate be? Children perceive our thoughts and our soul in the very gesture of what we do. Inner work and striving is such an important piece of all of this!
Make some time for you,