Mothers Have Needs Too!

Allison Gilbert, LMFT, Santa Cruz Counselor Lic: MFC 24087

Slow Down

For the past 7 years I've enjoyed spending time with friends who follow the teachings of Hasidic Judaism.  This family has four children, all under the age of 12.  Life is very busy in that household!  But once every week, for 25 hours, everything stops and they slow way down.  From sundown on Friday until sunset on Saturday, they completely separate themselves from modern conveniences.  No phones, no TV's, no radios, no computers, no shopping malls, no cars...

Instead, there's food, sacred ritual and each other - just being together reading, learning, playing, talking, walking and napping.

Life Interrupted
Slowing down, relaxing with family and friends, and letting go of the rat race for an entire day once a week may sound lovely to you.  But for many of us, it isn't a very easy thing to do.  In fact, it's one of the reasons why the job of motherhood can be so hard.  Once you've got a baby to care for 24/7, the outside world and all of its enticing entertainments stay just out of reach for weeks or months and sometimes even years.  Time on the phone is interrupted, plans fall through when nap time comes or illness strikes; your to-do list goes out the window and all you can do is be in relationship, following the needs of another human being.

Taking Time Off
Having children puts us on sabbatical.  The tasks and duties of our previous lives get put on hold for awhile.  This can be a struggle for many of us.  Some mothers never find the value in their new caregiver occupation and so they go back to work and leave the childcare to someone else.  Other mothers can slow down enough to discover that even though being at home can be difficult, there is nowhere else a woman can find a more meaningful experience.

Motherhood is A Spiritual Discipline
Motherhood is like a spiritual practice that involves focusing on giving to others, building loving relationships, slowing down, and going with the flow, following the natural order of Life.  If you can't run to the phone or turn on the TV, go shopping or surf the net at your whim, your relationships become your sole entertainment.  There's nowhere else to go and nothing better to do.

Give yourself a gift this week and slow way down.

2007 Allison Gilbert, M.A., L.M.F.T.; Free Tips

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 "Allison, you were a lifesaver. I hope you don't mind my rhapsodizing about your help, but I am still incredibly grateful to you for helping our family in our time of need, and so I will continue boasting about how awesome you are to just about anyone who will listen."-Mother of a preschooler and a newborn

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