This post was written by Bethany Bootsma as part of my ‘Dear mom’ series. I have a passion for moms supporting moms. Therefore, I want my blog to be a place where other moms’ voices are heard and all motherhood experiences are shared. I am blessed to have amazing women who have agreed to guest post here to share parts of their mothering journey with you.
Dear Mom who needs a mother,
I know how it feels to be a motherless mom. To have small lives depending on you and no one with the same right of passage to back you up.
If you’re lucky you have a considerate partner. If you’re REALLY lucky, an aunt or mother-in-law who is just the right amount of hands on, then hands off when you need it.
But if you are not quite so blessed with a relationship that is there for the encouragement you want or advice you need, I know how you feel.
I had three kids in 4 years, 3, 2 and new baby. My husband worked full time and my in-laws moved far away when the firstborn was just two months old.
Oh and my parents went through a very disorientating divorce just as I was ready to welcome our last baby into our lives.
To say I felt alone was a understatement.
I felt like not only did I have to do this all myself – I had to do it better then my mom with no guidance because my mother-heart wound and strained relationship with my own mom.
It was a year after my daughter was born and I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to learn about the Mother Heart of God.
I was surprised because the Holy Spirit had always been the one I felt least connected too (ironic, since I feel it’s the “female” representation of the Trinity (God the father, Jesus the Son and Mother Holy Spirit) stick with me!
Once I started intentionally learning about the Holy Spirit I realized IT was the mother I was so lost for.
S/he, was the Comforter, the Wisdom, the Guide, the Organizer, the Creative Light hovering over the waters in Genesis 1.
I started to pray “Help me mother, like the Holy Spirit mothers.”
Mothering with Intention & Love
Slowly I had tapped into new ways to connect with my kids.
How to discipline , how to connect to their hearts, not just control their behavior. It wasn’t a magic fix, but it has helped me stay the course these 10 years of being a mum.
My own relationship with my biological mother has not improved as the years have gone on. And My mother-in-law lives even farther away than she did before.
But I have made a few small changes to mother myself.
5 WAYS I'M MOTHERING MYSELF WHEN I NEED CARE
- Giving myself some kid free time – Once a month I do a kid swap with a friend. We each get one day at the beginning of the month to ourselves while the other watches our kids. We also do an alternating week date night swap. Saves the $ and keeps us accountable for having dates and a day alone!
- Treat myself how I would treat my daughter. She is 5 and has brought so much healing to my life. How do I take care of her when she’s sick? When she’s tired? When she’s sad and overwhelmed? I try and do those things for myself too. My kids know I need alone time and are usually respectful in giving it to me to “charge my battery”.
- I don’t subscribe to mom guilt. Waste of time. I homeschool, run a home daycare and am with my kids 24/7. I refuse to be shamed for letting them have a daily show so I can have a hour of re-group time in the middle of the day.
- Finding mother figures who build you up and inspire you. They do not need to be someone you know personally (social circle, though great if you can!) but even on social media or books that inspire you. Beware and mindful of mom groups that just complains about being a mom. Find one person you can absolutely vent too and be heard, but don’t glory in circles that just love to sit around and complain about the difficulties of motherhood.
- Seek support when needed – A mentor or counselor may be helpful if you feel very stuck or overwhelmed and I’ve had my share of therapy!
If you have felt the lack of a mother since becoming one, for whatever reason! Don’t lose heart.
There is a Spirit who is more consistent, more overseeing , not wounded , not insecure who is more then delighted to guide and direct your steps! All you have to do is ask.
“I Am Not A Victim” by Bethels was my anthem after my “happy Christian family” fell apart during my parents’ divorce.
And now, nearly 6 years later I testify to the fact that I am not motherless, I am held in the perfect circle of support and care I need.
I encourage you to find simple and impactful ways to mother yourself when you are feeling motherless and in need of some love and care. #inthistogether
Bethany Bootsma (you can follow my mom journey @bethany.soul)
I’m Bethany, an old soul with young eyes, a mother heart and a wisdom-filled mind.
I enjoy anything hot and dislike the cold.
I’m what I consider a post POST natal doula of sorts, keeping babies safe and nourished until Kindy (kindergarten).
And championing mums, biological or not in any way I can.
Resource for Mothering Yourself
We as moms are often our own worst enemy and are very critical of ourselves as we accept the high expectations that are pressed upon us.
Instead, as Bethany shared with us, we need to learn how to mother ourselves by showing ourselves self-compassion which is deeper than self-care.
Want to learn more? Check out Kristin Neff’s research, quiz, and resources on self-compassion. Self-Compassion Activities
“All your body requires of you is that you turn toward it with kindness and compassion, with non-judgement and plain-vanilla acceptance of all your contradictory emotions, beliefs, and longings” ~Emily & Amelia Nagoski
Become the mother you wish you had
A free download to help you become a better mom for both you and your children.
* Setting intentions for your motherhood
*Dealing with Mom Guilt/Shame
*Creating more time for the things that matter to you.
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