I’m so pleased to see this lovely Mama’s story of becoming an Abundant Mama shared here in this space today. Lilyam is such as sweet mama and I love that she has learned to trust herself as a mother and to really believe in herself, too.
This confession is about the sparkling moments I missed of my precious daughter who was about to turn 5 a year ago. And I missed them because I was so used to rushing all the time and also because of lack of sleep and tiredness after my youngest was born.
I found myself in a place I don’t wish on any mother.
I couldn’t say YES or even smile even though I had so much to be happy and grateful for in my life.
And even with family around helping me out, I didn’t feel like a playful, peaceful or present mama.
Our family was very stressed with the arrival of our new baby; our daughter was full of energy and about to turn 5. All the time there was the same answer to her: NO! and I thought it was so unfair to her (thank goodness she doesn’t remember that, I have checked).
I was sleep deprived and I was reading one of your emails at 4 a.m.; that email said that I could be the mom I wanted to be, and wanted my children to remember. That it was possible to say yes and enjoy the childhood and the new discoveries of my children.
I was looking for answers to my questions: Is it normal to be this sad? Have other moms felt this when a second/third child has arrived? Is it possible to feel understood even when I don’t know who is on the other side of my screen?
I felt so alone and wanted to feel support; I wanted to know that it was normal (not just OK) to react the way I was acting with my daughter. I told my husband to find any kind of help because I was concerned about our reactions to my daughter’s requests, at that time he thought our daughter was the one who needed help because of her behavior, but in my heart I knew it was us.
I had subscribed to receive emails from the Abundant Mama Project blog (as I love mama blogs) and heard the words I needed most to hear at that very moment: “You are not alone,” and “You are enough.”
I became an Abundant Mama a year ago and found a place that can inspire me to be the mom I want to be rather than the joyless mom I had become.
Going to bed early and doing my gratitude journal are the two practices of self-care that keeps me happier.
I have learned to think before saying no (I say: “give me a minute and I’ll think about it”).
I can now predict my daughter’s happiness with my yeses so I’m prompt to say yes more often.
I am enjoying the development of her ideas (which she is full of) and can notice my triggers when something unexpected happens and I can let go my frustrations easier by repeating this Abundant Mama mantra: “Find the joy in this moment.”
I have started journaling and that has helped me a lot as I’m not very open to sharing my feelings or thoughts.
I feel more intentional in my parenting style and feel that I am creating good memories; that is very important to me.
I am seeing positive rewards like being more present to my children and by putting them intentionally as a priority in my day.
I’m feeling more centered in my daughter’s days, as before was such a rushing; I recognize that she needs more time doing and thinking and I’m able to let her be and use her own time.
I can trust more in my decisions about parenting than before and feel very proud when I can manage misbehavior or meltdowns calmly and peacefully. I have learned you can trust yourself as a mother more than you even know.
I want to tell you that I have learned to let go, to trust, and to find my own time to be myself (not the mama, not the wife, not the daughter, just me!)
Well, my days are now slow, I mean, I’m savoring the littlest and innocent things that my daughter wants to show me, little details that I wouldn’t notice a year ago.
Lilyam is a 2013 alumni of The Abundant Mama Program. She is the mother of two little ones. She enjoys riding her bike in the early morning hours as part of her self-care routine.
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