As a new mother I’ve become increasingly aware that I’ve got less resources available to me. I’m more tired, I’ve got more on my mind and the ‘pushing through life‘ I used to do has more of a toll on me than it did before.
I can feel the impact of my diminished resources. I have less to give…or perhaps I’m giving the same amount (if not more) but mostly to my newborn son.
If I’m honest, sometimes even connecting with my husband – giving him something as simple as a cuddle or a kiss – has felt hard at times over the past 5 weeks when I’ve felt depleted beyond my means and left with nothing left to give.
Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the full picture. There are times where me and my husband dance around the kitchen in each others arms. And there have been times where I feel so superwoman strong that I feel I could go back to work right now because I have so much to give. But there are times when I feel like a hollowed out version of myself.
It feels a little like I’m living in a world of extremes right now.
One thing I’m noticing just thinking about what I’ve written so far in this blog post and questioning why I’m feeling so lacking in resources is that I still take far too much responsibility for the happiness and wellbeing of other people. And this takes up too much of my energy.
It shows up in many ways – being sharply aware of the person who is on the periphery of a conversation and frantically (or so it seems in my head) trying to bring them into the conversation. Accepting every invitation I receive even though I know I want to focus my energy on what truly matters to me in life. Worrying a bit too much about how I’m coming across to new people I meet and whether they’re enjoying our encounter.
Again, don’t get me wrong – this isn’t my constant experience. But I’ve been more aware of it over the past week. I’m expending my precious energy this way and I feel that I would enjoy my maternity leave more if I could just relax a bit. If I could spend a moment just breathing deeply and experiencing the discomfort of the situation instead of trying to take responsibility and control of everything.
Can it really be that easy?
Well, yes and no.
Yes it is that easy because I truly believe that this is all that it will take. Relaxing instead of taking responsibility for the happiness of others (that they’re not even asking me to take on, I might add).
And no, it’s not that easy because this behaviour is hiding so much beneath it – remnants of my people pleasing tendencies, the difficulty I have with expressing myself to others, accepting that I’m 100% worthy of love and acceptance just the way I am.
So relaxing may not be easy, but it’s what I need to do and so I’m going to give it my best shot.