Written originally for and posted at Mom Gets A Life
I am a physician, a mom to 4 fantastic kids, a wife, a friend and (now) a writer, coach and entrepreneur. I am married to another physician who is equally as diversified in his energetic portfolio. Part of my mission in life has been to invite women to let themselves off the hook to show them that their dreams are possible. Being a mom is hugely important. AND Mommas are human beings with dreams, aspirations, needs, desires. Mommas also need love, care and tending
I see a lot of Mommas out there who are shrinking (not shrinkage!! she shrieked!) from their own greatest most AMAZING AND SICK life by saying:
I can’t [pay attention to myself, go out and have fun, focus on me for a day, take a fun trip with friends, get a sitter….etc] right now because [fill in your belief about what your priority should be when you are a momma].
I am here to tell you: Mommas must party. We must pay attention to ourselves. We must dress up (if that sounds fun), cavort with friends, get sitters (or other humans) to watch our kids, write our books, paint our paintings, check things off our bucket lists, laugh our asses off, act like children- you know what I am talking aboutJ
I stumbled into the most amazing and magical way to help Mommas (and daddies and Grandmas too- and kids but, I digress) …by re-connecting with Beasties. By Beastie I mean any creature from ladybug to elephant (including mythical Beasties like dragons and Unicorns too!).
Take a moment and think back to when you were around 3rd grade. What was you very favorite Beastie? Did you have a poster, a necklace or a favorite film that featured them? OR if that is too hard- quick look around your home- do you have any artwork, sculpture or other representation of a Beastie. Is there a predominance of wolves….whales?…..geese?
It turns out that the Beasties are some of the best role model for us. Did you know that even elks and giraffes get sitters? Yes- I witnessed it with my own two eyes in Africa. While one lady giraffe is out and about at the waterhole (read: party!!) the other lady giraffe is covering her kiddos.
Bears, one of the Beasties near and dear to me, it turns out, ask a lot of their growing cubs and have very high expectations when it comes to their independence. Why? Because bears live (for the most part) alone and must be fiercely capable of taking care of their own needs. This helped me understand why I need my older children to step to the plate- unload dishwasher, mow lawn, help clean for company…etc.
Momma lions are exquisitely affectionate with their cubs and also (it turns out) responsible for the vast majority of hunting in their pride (males are “pretty” but really cannot get the job done alone effectively….. mommas are the kick ass hunters) When a momma lion is done hunting for the day and had her share of the feast (read: done with work for the day) ….she often will sleep in a heap for up to 21 hours. It turns out that female lions expend so much energy during their energetic hunting that they MUST rest very deeply. Yawn. I’m getting sleepy.
So by studying the parental (and otherwise) moves of your favorite Beastie- you just might be able to become the Momma (AND actress, world traveler, coach, musician, teacher, inventor, lover, comedian, forester) that you were meant to be?
Check out my book “What the Walrus Knows: An Eccentric’s Field Guide to Working with Beastie Energies” which has a dictionary of 50 different Beasties and a Manifesto for each to show you how to live LARGE and be a fabulous Momma.
**Another hint- finding out your spouse’s, friend’s, kid’s and parent’s favorite Beasties may also help guide you to figure out how to discover the best in them too? Just ask your kids and they will tell you their favorite Beastie- it can be that simple!