Space to be Whole {#wholemama}

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We chose pretty today.
Space to be whole. 

I’ve been wondering lately if I’ve been leaving myself enough space to be whole. I work to fill each moment of my day with something useful or productive in an attempt to be whole. Reading, cleaning, cooking, shopping, writing, herding my kids. And then the social media habit. Those are probably the main categories. 

Then there are times I have difficulty engaging with anything. In my rush to consume and produce, I gather clutter into my thinking space, my calm space. The space where I would hope to parent from. 

My soul needs space to gather quiet and regroup. And I’m trying to force it full of information.

It leaves me too full, and yet still empty. Like binging on candy at Easter when you’re little. Or making a meal out of popcorn or chocolate when you’re bigger (let’s pretend I would never ever do that, ahem). 
I want to mother from a place of wholeness instead of mothering from a place of wanting escape, or needing a break, or fighting for time to be myself, or wondering what others will think, or trying to convince myself or them of my love and good mother potential. 

As a young mom, I’m constantly told how fast these times go by and how I’ll cherish them later. I know it’s true but still struggle to accept these light and easy words from total strangers. Because life with littles is hard. Even if you get to stay at home as you want or work as you want. It’s hard. Growing people into adults is no easy task. 

But maybe when, instead of focusing solely on cherishing the little years, we intentionally expand our focus to living whole and ourselves in the little years, then we can move towards our children in an attitude of graciousness and connection. And maybe those comments from strangers will come more lightly as we become more secure in our mothering spaces. 

I want to mother as me in our now. Not some other lady in the future in perfect circumstances. 

I want a full and whole soul to feed my outer life and loving. 

I’m learning slowly the importance of making intentional changes. And how I get to choose to make these changes. And how often these changes look like space. 

I’m creating space. I’m establishing some better rhythms where I step away from my kids during the week, where I can accept some time alone or expect some help or count on a date with my husband. I have been learning the art of leaving space for creativity. I have time set aside to write each week. I have been making time to move.

I’m beginning to feel the recharge from having these times on my own. I’m beginning to feel more able to give.

And more like I need to give.

To create more free and gentle space with my children. A little more breathing room. Connection. No extra words or directions. Simple entertainment. Fewer distractionary measures. Stem the constant flow of information. Slow down to listen at their level. 

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simple, together, pretty spaces
I want to step into new rhythms where I move towards my kids. Rhythms of connection where I meet them in their space instead of primarily demanding they meet me in mine. Stepping down from the mommy throne of offering up orders and into the mama’s heart space in their little lives. 

It may be hard, at first, to allow my head to be that unoccupied, but good for all involved. A moment to breath and drink in the now with them instead of constantly moving forward with my own agenda.

It might mean not picking up a book or a screen to fill every given moment. It might mean paying attention to the my outer life, as it cirlces in their space, a little more even when it exhausts me. It might look like stepping into their space. It might look like hugging when I feel like hiding. It might look like sitting on the carpet. It might look like expecting less and doing less. It might look messier from the outside. It might be hard. 

But it might be as easy as smiling more.

It’s a dance of embracing the together spaces in the midst of the apart spaces. It’s a dance of creating shared space, giving the gift of space, and creating and moving into your own space freely.

Rhythms of connection and space.

And then a shower of grace for when we fall out of step, because God made beauty in that, too.

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Maybe these words met you where you are, but maybe you’re struggling with the another piece of whole. What space do you need to give yourself to be whole? Where are you grasping at thin air? Or gasping for air?

Take this as an invitation to make space for it, even if you’re simply making space for empty. 

It’s important.

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Our #wholemama friends are linking up on the word Space today over at Esther’s where Cara is sharing her story on being given the gift of space. Join us, please! 

Also we’re giving away books on instagram each week so you should join us there with our #wholemama hashtag and be entered to win (this week) Wild in the Hollow by Amber Haines.

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One last thing: Emily P. Freeman has put together a lovely video series (only four 5 minute videos, so no overwhelm) about creating space for our souls to breathe in our fast-paced world. You might like it :) 

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You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads!
  

9 thoughts on “Space to be Whole {#wholemama}

  1. “I want to mother as me in our now. Not some other lady in the future in perfect circumstances. ” Me too, I think I will join you. :) Thanks for these great words, Erika.

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  2. This. “But maybe when, instead of focusing solely on cherishing the little years, we intentionally expand our focus to living whole and ourselves in the little years, then we can move towards our children in an attitude of graciousness and connection.” My heart stopped because this is exactly it. I have been slowly learning the truth in these words this past year and you put it perfectly into words. Thank you.

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  3. “My soul needs space to gather quiet and regroup. And I’m trying to force it full of information.” Me, too! I think I have input overload, which leads to overwhelm, which leads to panic. It’s definitely not the ideal place for me to mother from. I must take your suggestion of making space for empty. I got out of the habit of meditation even though I know I need it to handle the stress. It’s hard to be intentional every single day, but I know I just need to start small and persevere. Thanks for your thoughtful words. I love how you process and explore the depth of each prompt. Beautiful.

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  4. “I’ve been wondering lately if I’ve been leaving myself enough space to be whole.” Yes. I tell my husband from time to time that I feel like a fraction with slices of me devoted to life’s everythings … and I’m left feeling so fragmented. I’m really fascinated by this idea of WHOLE. #wholemama, yes … but “whole woman” too. I don’t want to live my life as a sum of my parts – if that makes sense. I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts .. thank you!

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  5. I love this line: “Rhythms of connection where I meet them in their space instead of primarily demanding they meet me in mine. Stepping down from the mommy throne of offering up orders and into the mama’s heart space in their little lives.” Thank you for this image!
    ~Renee

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  6. Oh girl, I am in this with you, all the way. It is such a messy, delicate, beautiful, hard balance to find when caring for little ones (and trying to make sure our insides are in a good spot as well). Glad to #wholemama it with you.

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  7. “My soul needs space to gather quiet and regroup. And I’m trying to force it full of information.” I struggle with this, too. I need to take more time for quiet, away from all the info. constantly coming in through social media. I love reading how you are making more time for creating space, setting aside time for your different interests and being more intentional, wanting to “mother as me in our now. Not some other lady in the future in perfect circumstances.’ I think we always have to be intentional to live in the now, to slow down and enjoy each moment. This #wholemama summer is helping me to do that. I love reading the different perspectives we all have in these linkups. I think it all serves to encourage each other in so many ways.

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