Today, on International Women's Day, I found myself reflecting on the moment changed everything for me. The moment the way I saw womanhood in a completely new light. The moment I became a mother. So I went back through journal entries and old letters to myself and found this.
I wanted to share it with you because it filled me with that feeling of pure strength and empowerment that I felt when I was writing it. It reminded my how much of a badass woman and mother I am. I needed to read this right now. I don't know who else needs to read it, maybe it's you... or maybe no one does! But it's better to be here for you in case it fills you with the same appreciation and strength for yourself as it does me. Empowered women empower women.
From my Journal...
As I write this I'm sitting in my bed, a three day old babe is dozing beside me. I've been freshly ripped apart. I'm in pain... exhausted. I'm sporting a very comfortable, but not-so-stylish, adult nappy. And look, I may be in a state of delirium in my loved up newborn bubble full of oxytocin, but I have to write this down. I have never, ever loved myself like this before.
I have never known myself to feel so strong, so empowered, so proud to be a woman!
I know it sounds so cliche and everyone has probably heard it said before - 'you have to love yourself before you can love others.' Before going through pregnancy, birth and the early stages of motherhood, I never really understood self love. I thought I did... but if I’m honest with myself, I was kind of faking it. I told myself that I loved myself, but in fact I was always looking to do more and be more. I was never really happy with who I was. I never felt enough. I’m not sure if I had a case of anxiety, or perhaps mild depression, but I always thought there was something wrong with me. I always thought that I should be better. I felt that people were constantly judging me and not liking who they saw. I was always judging myself.
Now? Oh my god, it’s like I’ve had a crazy awakening or something. I couldn't be more proud to be a women. I kind of think I'm pretty amazing. Inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not perfect. But I know my intentions. I know that I'm a good person. I know how bloody strong my body is. I know exactly who I am and I'm not afraid to just be me anymore.
I don't care what other people think about me anymore because I know that I'm always trying my best to do the right thing. Since having Aubrey, I am so much more aware of the amazing support and love I have from my friends and family. So someone doesn't agree with me? Maybe someone actually hates me!? Meh, I'll live on.
When you love yourself you're free to be yourself. Opportunities become so much more available. You're more inclined to try new things without the fear of failure. The more things you try the more things you discover you're passionate about. You do things you love fearlessly. It's easier to say 'no' to doing the things you don't want to do. Because you actually care about yourself. And when you care about yourself, you're happy. When you're happy, it's easier to care about others. When you care about others, they're happy. When you make others happy you'll feel even more happy! You'll make more friends. You'll be surrounded by more love and support. It's some kind of love/happiness cycle! - I guess that's Karma baby.
I discovered something that I love doing and that I'm good at. I had been searching for a long time before I stumbled upon something that I'm truly passionate about - this turned out to be motherhood. Motherhood is hard but rewarding. Not going to lie, it's not for everyone - but it turns out that it's definitely for me. There might be some Mums reading this that are thinking 'yeah, I love my kids, motherhood is great and all, but becoming a mother didn't make me love myself.' That's FINE! There's something else in this world that is your thing. Maybe you haven't discovered it yet. Maybe you have but you didn't give it enough time. Maybe you're in between passions (because we all change with time right!?). Anyways, trust me, whatever it is that sets your soul on fire, you gotta find it and you gotta do it!
It can be anything. Music, teaching, writing, family, cleaning, painting, animals, nursing people, relationships, travelling, posting amazing photos on Instagram of your kids. Whatever it is, just do it. I was so lucky to be forced into what I love. I wasn't expecting it at all. I thought being a mum was just going to be another stage of life... but here I am, loving what I do, loving myself, and in turn loving others.