Yesterday I gave a talk followed by a Q and A to a group of new moms with children between the ages of 8-14 months . The theme was on relationships and the butterfly phase ( new mom ). I Wanted to write a blog about what I spoke about and some great advise some of these awesome women shared .
I often use the metaphor of the caterpillar becoming the butterfly when speaking about the life changing transformation that takes place when a woman births a child . Not only does she give birth to a baby but also to another part of herself that never existed before … she becomes a mother .
You start off one way as caterpillar ( the person you were pre pregnancy ) , during pregnancy you go into your cocoon ( the pregnancy ) and then the birth /post birth period I like to call the emerging butterfly . If you notice that when a caterpillar comes out of the cocoon it doesn’t fly right way , It hangs on the cocoon for a while and learns to flap their wings . This is exactly what a woman goes thru post birth . A few months or around a year later ( maybe more depending on the person as no two women are the same ) she starts thinking about how she want to fly .
Up until now the new mother has been in a baby bubble of new mommyhood and often in the baby bubble you tend to isolate. The butterfly period is you being ready to fly out in the world in this new way of being .
With every birth there is a death of some kind . You might find that things that use to matter no longer do now and things that never mattered to you before matter a lot to you now . The people around you might have changed and the way you live is different . This is a great time to take inventory of your life and to start thinking about how you want to fly , play and express this new you into your life and out in the world.
HOW TO YOU WANT TO FLY AND EXPRESS ???
Yourself – Like I said above you have been in a baby bubble for a while . Often in this time we forget about ourselves . This is a great time to start thinking about how to integrate yourself and your needs back into your life . We spoke yesterday about guilt that some women had about leaving their children to do something for themselves . Example : if they stepped out to take a yoga class they felt bad or if they rested in bed for an hour reading while their baby napped they felt guilty like they should be doing something around the house like paying bills . I can’t stress this enough , If you don’t take the time to put that oxygen mask on your self every once and a while to recharge and refresh you will be of no use to others . When you take time to recharge and have some alone time you will come back refreshed , present with more patience and able to be a better parent overall to your children . Taking the time for you is not being selfish its an act of self love . When you don’t have any alone or you time how do you feel ? When are you the most impatient and snappy with others . Usually its because you haven’t nurtured yourself enough. Take the time to recharge not only for yourself but also for those around you. Where and how can you integrate some time for you back into your life ?
Your intimate relationship – After a child is born there often is natural gap between the mother and father . Around this time period I often hear my clients usually say , “I miss my partner ” or” I feel so disconnect from my partner “. This is a great time to work on closing the gap , bringing back the intimacy and coming back together again . Also a few of my clients that have year old children start talking to me about wanting another baby . I say ,” close that gap and reconnect with your partner before bringing another child in” . Lock in that foundation with each other as both of you as well as your home environment is the Mecca center for your children . Buy or borrow from a friend a sexy outfit or wear some pretty lingerie and go out on a Date night and have some fun !! One on one time spent with your partner is sooooooo important !
Your friends – How many of you have a whole new set of people around you ? As you and your life changes so does the people in it . This is a good time to see who you resonate with , where are the common interests and energy ? With whom and how do you want to play now that you are this new person ? I see my friendships as a bullseye . I’m in the center and I have my core group close to me . there are layers of rings that keep extending out … some of the people from my past I have moved out to the outer rings so I had the space to bring the new energy of like minded people . Nothing new can come in when we are taking up space with what no longer serves us at this time . By moving these people to the outer layers but not out of your life you are leaving the door open for them to come back in when there is more of a common connection between you both .
Work – If you haven’t gone back to work yet you might start thinking about if you want to and if you do then how do you want to work . I can’t tell you how many women that I work with change their careers after they have a baby or work totally differently then they once did . How do you want to express yourself ?
You have just gone through a life changing transformation don’t rush into anything. Take this time before you fly your beautiful self out in the world to get to know the new you and all the ways you want to express , play and live in this new way of being .