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Five Lessons - what the mayhem of motherhood is teaching me

Communication is Queen. Especially with ourselves. This year I’ve learnt to check in with myself and have a little chat much more often than I used to - was far too busy ‘just getting through the day/week/year’ 🙃


Whether it’s that five minutes in the shower while baby has his eyes closed, on the train getting from A to B or with cup of tea and a dedicated time slot. 🖊️ ☕️


What are my needs today? This week? Are they being met? Who do I need as an ally to help me have them met? 🫱🏼‍🫲🏾


On the return to work from maternity leave, I feel like I’ve learnt a great deal. About myself more than anything else and things I felt I could have done with knowing pre-motherhood. 🤔


Before I head back, I took a little reflective time and wrote down my top five 🖐🏼thoughts of wisdom to help me take these little gems with me into the next phase.


So take a look, have a read and definitely leave a comment - I’d love to know your thoughts/ reactions/ reflections too. The discussion continues over on Instagram if you want to join us there.


🖍️ Each post will be accompanied by a little quick fire sketch and I’ll tag the tune I drew along to 🎵


How do you check in with yourself? 🧘‍♀️

~

🎶 To Build a Home @cinematic_orchestra





1. THIS TOO SHALL PASS

Or in the wise words of a fellow mama, Charlotte - everything’s a phase! Especially when it comes to babies but let’s step back and apply this more widely.


When you’re in the throes of a high pressure situation, sleep deprivation, uncertainty or whatever else it is pulling the plug on your serenity and stability, not a wiser word was said to me than


there’s nothing you can’t breathe through


I’m sure there are a few caveats that could be thrown at this but ‘just breathing’ even got me a hell of a distance through a 36hr labour.


Giving up your grip on a moment and releasing the anxiety or anger through breath (and maybe partnered with some gentle movement to shed that extra adrenaline), helped me make peace with where I was at, or the situation I was in. That I was safe and I wasn’t going to be in the space forever.


HEROINES that I have worked with that have developed my understanding on what it is to really breathe and move through a moment:


  • @lillianlartey_ : tailored one to one and group practices, a true guru on building resilience and finding peace (especially if you’re a go-getter and career focused woman).

  • @yolandejeevikadiver : antenatal yoga and doula extraordinaire, her classes were pre-baby havens that provided space to breathe and find clarity, and totally influenced the way we navigated an in-the-moment delivery that felt right for baby & I.


Also

  • @justbreathe : daily practice for mind and mental health via app and events, incl music meditation.


👀 Thoughts from you 💭

  • How do you ‘breathe’?

  • What do you do to get through those tricky moments?

  • Do you have a mantra or sage advice, like ‘this too shall pass’, that you frequently call to mind?

  • Any recommendations? Books, classes, practices, apps…


~


🎶 Music: Swimmer, Gold Panda

(I give myself the length of the song to whip up a little sketch to go with the text)





2. NO FUCKS TO GIVE

aka priorities change. And that’s OK! When you’re stripped back on time, resilience, patience or maybe a whole new set of hormones have taken you hostage, you might find you care a tonne less than you used to about certain things. For me? What others think, predominantly. As long as I’m navigating my world with conviction and with care for those around me, I’m good. Whewwwww. What freedom. I should have given those fucks away ages ago I think in our hustle culture, being busy is a badge of honour and as women, we’re encouraged (mandated?) to be people pleasing - the combination of which can make for big time burn out. Caring lots, all the time about everyone. (@americaferrera ‘s speech in @barbiethemovie anyone?) Realising that caring less doesn’t mean negligence was a thing of beauty. Are these things aligned with my values? Are these things my responsibility? Nope? Then give them away Hot tip: examine your priorities and which ones are burdens to you proactively and be one less subscriber to the burnout culture. (I’m still working on it ). 👀 Thoughts from you 💭

  • What burdens have you given up or priorities have you adjusted that’s made life lighter for you?

  • How do you find freedom and lightness when you’re feeling a bit held hostage?

  • Any recommendations? Books, classes, practices, apps… ~ 🎶 Music: Beautiful Day (thank you for the sunshine), Trinix, Rushawn, Jermaine Edwards




3. THE LAUNDRY CAN WAIT

aka put the big boulders in the jar before the sand. We’ve all heard the analogy, if the important things in life are the big rocks and the petty stuff is sand then you need to fill your jar with the big rocks first. It’s hard to get those big uns into the jar if it’s already full of sand. For the carers out there, it was @looking_after_mum that highlighted this brilliantly when she shared on post on prioritising self care (e.g. going for a run) before the laundry. Do the run first! The laundry will happen (or it won’t) later but if you get to the end of the day and still need to do the run… that’s definitely not going to happen and I know which one is going to make me feel better So get your big rocks in the jar first! Some of mine are:

  • Getting to @pausestudiolondon studio to reconnect mind and body

  • Coffee time with my

  • Connecting with my tribe 👀 Thoughts from you 💭

  • What are your boulders/ priorities?

  • How do you prioritise them?

  • Any recommendations? Books, classes, practices, apps… ~ 🎶 Music: Empowered, @abifarrellmusic



4. TRIBE IS EVERYTHING

It takes a village… and not just to raise a child. It takes a village to support us in delivering our dreams, hopes and raising our professional babies too. Sometimes the village needs to be sought out. It’ll be no surprise that finding your tribe is a top priority for the Gather gang but a good (and perhaps timely, if you’re feeling isolated in any way…) reminder. Who’s your tribe in the wee hours? In the wild times? In the good times and for the tough times? Feeling so fortunate to have connected with an even broader tribe through motherhood. In the throes of motherhood? Here are some communities you might want to tap into:

  • @motherlylove_uk

  • @mumswhobuild

  • wonderful mothers’ circles by @cherbrightonyoga Looking for your career focused pick-me-up tribe?

  • The Girls Club for senior professionals (girlsclubmembers.com

  • @ilikenetworking for creative industries

  • @london_cm for the London Cohort of @creativemorning


Looking for your band of all-rounders for when you need to pitch an idea, natter over coffee or a make a new connection?

  • we hope you’ll pick us! @gatherwoman - but you might also find @meetup a good starting point.


👀 Thoughts from you 💭

  • How did you find your tribe?

  • What other communities do you know, love and would recommend? ~ 🎶 Music: Together Again @janetjackson (a classic!)



5. PERFECTION GAINS US NOTHING

aka don’t sweat the small stuff. Enough said? Done is better than perfect. Life is messy. Embrace the chaos. There’s joy and creativity in the unexpected, the ‘mistakes’. What else you got for me? 👀 Thoughts from you 💭


  • What have been your favourite mistakes or happy accidents?

  • Any recommendations for our perfectionists out there? Books, classes, practices, apps… ~ 🎶 Music: Messy, @oliviadeano




It’s Friday so you know what, here’s a bonus gem… 6. THERE IS ALWAYS TIME FOR THE SWINGS

Say yes to joy. That look in your son’s eyes. Please mama? Yeah alright…. Let’s live a little. There’s always time for a bit of fun if we choose it. 👀 Thoughts from you 💭

  • Favourite fun thing or treat that brings you joy in the everyday?


I love:

  • The swings with my son

  • Taking the team meeting offsite to somewhere fun/ change of scene

  • Cookies at the cafe

  • Spontaneous mini golf with the other half… the competitive spirit is WILD but joyful ~ 🎶 Music: Shake it Off, Taylor Swift


And that's a wrap. We generated some great discussions on these themes over on Instagram and in our WhatsApp chat. Got something to add? We'd love to hear it! Drop a comment below.

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Shigei Geb
Shigei Geb
09 oct 2023

This was a breath of fresh air! So many great resources too! Thank you for sharing your reflections with us.

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Lisa Pike
Lisa Pike
09 oct 2023
Contestando a

Thanks Shigei, so glad it resonated with you!

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