I stood in the classroom waiting for the smackdown as a Mother asked to speak with me. My internal defence mechanisms shot up and I said “here we go” silently. Yesterday, your daughter asked me a question.
I said “Yes and” watching this heavily pregnant Mum tentatively move from foot to foot.
She said “Excuse me, is it possible that I could come on an excursion to see you give birth to your baby?”
We both looked at each other and burst out laughing.
Motherhood is a battle ground, that I mostly try and sit at the back of the playground and walk with tenderness. Each day at all the different activities this uber driver drops her kids too, I watch Mum’s talk and breathe deep, getting ready for their next battle cry.
This morning in the shower, I remembered what it felt like seven years ago on my first ever Mothers Day, holding my son so closely, so overwhelmed with gratitude. Today I need to remind myself what it was like on that morning, soaking in the beach pathway and my husbands hand. I was grateful. I was jobless. I felt lost and unsure, with no briefcase in my hands but I was so very happy.
That happiness that cannot help but overflow out of every pore.
Today that happiness is like a treasure that I am searching for again. I feel purposed, content and grateful but pleasure, the intensity of being at home with my kids wears that bit off a bit after seven years on the ground.
Lately, I’ve been watching this clingfilm appear over parenthood and it is framed by a little set of squares and rainbow logo tv. Instagram has developed culture that shouts across our thread that we need more things to be happy. Matching outfits with our kids, holidays in far off places and gumboots in duck egg blue.
Let’s remember that our children’s spirits are more important than any material things. When we do, self-esteem and love blossoms and grows more beautifully than any bed of flowers ever could.Jack Canfield
As the story keeper of all my kid’s emotions, I have to been thinking that maybe that new outfit from the latest store or a book to escape into, will be the answer to fill my happiness cup.
To counteract this growing wrestle in our eyes and hearts as a family we took 6 months off buying any new clothes, books or things.
We have been prioritising people over things. We have been leaning into experiences over consumable products. To begin with, it was fun, heck a creative experience. As a young adult I had a whole year of not buying anything new, it was a blast.
As a parent, I have realised that things become a refuge in a society that continually tells me I need more to feel satisfied.
In my personal retreat daybook Pause; I have this exercise that helps you unpack some of these ideas. On one piece of paper you brainstorm out this question:
What makes you feel happy?
And then on the next page, it asks you to describe stories and memories when you actually felt it.
A very simple exercise that helps me to remember I don’t need to do more or be more or have more, but to dig deep into the memories that reminded me how happy I have been and it never has to do with the stuff I own, but the people sitting in my circle. In this season I’m learning to zone in on the people in front of me, than the things in my hands.
Including my phone, Instagram, Facebook, new clothes, books, crochet (Lord help me) and so much more. In those moments that I want to escape into the land of internet shopping, I am learning to explore the feelings that I am trying to escape from.
Tell me in the comments below how you are prioritising people over things?
This is our 2019 manifesto. We are far from nailing it but so far its the fifth month of the year and I haven’t bought a book or any new clothes! How is this a thing.
Happy May friends.