Reconnect to yourself
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
We, as mothers, often put our kid's needs, our partner's needs, our friend's needs, basically everyone else's needs before our own. Sometimes, we get lost in this whole mom identity. We stop doing things that are fun or creative just for ourselves.
After the birth of my second baby, a year ago, I have not gone out with my friends much. I have always been with my baby girl 24/7 as I am breastfeeding on demand. Another reason is that currently, we cannot afford to send her to daycare or hire a babysitter. So basically I have not been away from her much since her birth. Our typical day goes something like this:
7 am- Wake up, breastfeed
7.30 am- Shower
8 am- Breakfast, clean up, laundry
9 am - Yoga, breastfeed
10 am- Housework
10.30 am- Play, breastfeed
11.30 am- Make lunch
12.00 pm- Have lunch, clean up
12.30 pm- Breastfeed, nap
2.00 pm- Go out for a walk, to the shops, playground, library or play dates
4.00 pm- Snack, breastfeed
5.00 pm- Prepare dinner
5.30 pm- Breastfeed
6.30 pm - Have dinner
7 pm- Clean up, bathtime
7.30 pm- Breastfeed, sleep
9 pm- Fold laundry and watch Netflix
9.30 pm- Write my blog
10.30 pm- Meditate, get ready for bed
11.00 pm- Breastfeed before sleeping
11.00 pm- 7.00 am- Breastfeed on demand when she is teething
As you can see, I have not had much alone time. After a long day with the kids, I hardly have any energy left to go out with friends. I just want to sit on the couch with my husband and watch something on Netflix or most recently, I decided to get back to writing my blog on weekdays. Then we meditate together and go to bed.
It was only a few months ago that I started to go out with mama friends without kids. So far, I have gone out four times and taken one weekend ladies trip in the past year. Just the other month, I had the most fun with a mama friend. We went dancing together. Yes, you heard me, we went DANCING! Not in a bar or nightclub but together with a conscious dance movement group- Ecstatic Dance.
If you have not heard of Ecstatic Dance, it is a form of dance with no specific steps. The only rule is that you do not speak throughout the whole dance session. You only make eye contact if you want to dance with someone or you can just dance by yourself. You move your body according to how you feel, I find this very liberating! You rest whenever you want to. You can even close your eyes and meditate when you get tired. To me, Ecstatic Dance is a beautiful form of moving meditation.
I have been wanting to go back to Ecstatic Dance for the longest time. I discovered it in 2016 but due to the change of their schedule, I could not make it for their night-time sessions. Then I fell pregnant with my second baby so I could only join the event last month- two years after my last dance with the group. Now that my daughter is over a year old and easier to care for by my husband, I decided that it is time for me to get out more.
In those three hours of intense Ecstatic Dance, this was the longest I had been away from my family in a long while, I forgot about my husband and my kids. I was not thinking about them the whole time. I did not even check my phone until almost at the end of the session. Somehow, I knew nothing will happen to them. I was completely one with the music. I felt so good to feel my heart beating so fast from dancing and the beads of sweat that were falling off the side of my temples. It was an amazing feeling to express myself through movement and music.
Being back on the dancefloor again, I was reminded of who I am before I had kids. The one who loves life to the fullest- good company, good food, good music and a damn good dance. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love to dance!
Dancing allows me to be playful, it helps me to connect to my inner carefree self. Not my mom self where I am constantly thinking, planning and carrying out my responsibilities. Sometimes, what we need is to do something completely different from our day-to-day routine so we don’t forget who once were before the kids arrived.
Maybe it is joining a ceramics class, creative writing class, dance class, photography group. Choose an activity outside of your home so you have a reason to get out of your usual environment. I promise you, it does wonders to your soul.