In one of our motherhood circles last week we were talking about identity and the conversation shifted toward exploring our expectations of motherhood. These expectations were formed from our childhoods, our evolving ideas of motherhood, cultural norms, and our peers (just to name a few).
What emerged was this: What we thought motherhood would look like often isn't our reality once we're here.
And as we're here in the cocoon of early motherhood - the messy, uncomfortable in-between space between our old selves and our new ones - trying to make sense of it all can feel completely overwhelming.
I keep coming back to this line from "Surface Pressure" from the Encanto soundtrack...
We're taught that pressure is the way.
"Busy" is a badge of honor.
Productivity is everything.
But what if that isn't true?
What if we could lean in to joy, relaxation, and pleasure?
We have to lean out of something first. When we start to examine expectations - from our culture, our families, our peers, and ourselves - we can start to discard what doesn't fit and unravel some of the pressure. We can create some space.
Here's a simple way to start:
Step 1: Ask yourself the question: "What are the expectations I am trying to meet?"
Step 2: Make a list. Let it all flow, stream of consciousness style. No judgment of the list!
Step 3: Look at your list, and for each item ask, "Is this REALLY important?"
Step 4: Cross out the expectations that don't fit or that you don't need to meet. Maybe even make a new list called "Expectations to Release" as a reminder of what you don't need to be doing.
Here are a few of the expectations I'm working on releasing:
What are expectations you releasing? What could they make space for?
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.