I often feel that my role as mom takes the most out of me. It’s not a complaint really, just an obvious fact of life. And I’ve been feeling it more and more as they get older and the girls’ needs and wants get more and more complex. And while I love my girls with all my heart and soul to the moon and a million times back (and forth), it really can be quite exhausting. Hence, there is the prevailing concept of (much-needed) “me time“.
Of course, I enjoy a good massage, some brainless TV, shopping, and/or time out with my girlfriends, but I also try to use the little “me-time” I have to improve my knowledge of motherhood. Actually “me-time” is really an escape to re-charge so you have more to go on when you return to the daily grind; so why not learn how to be better for my girls? (This study of motherhood is lifelong after all). It becomes beneficial to every member of the family in some shape or form too. That’s why I consider our #BetterMe sessions with Coach Pia me-time well spent. I learn a lot, about myself and the people around me. And in my attempts to apply these bits of information, I hope that I really am becoming a #BetterMom in the process (and hopefully for those of you who have the patience to read through my ramblings and follow my Tweets and Instagram posts, you pick up a few useful nuggets of information too).
The last session we had at Sambokojin focused precisely on investing time in oneself. As Moms it is in our nature (and part of our job description really) to constantly give of ourselves for our children. We can only give of ourselves if there is something to give. And it’s not just about giving per se, but rather giving the best of ourselves and our talents and skills to be the parents that can raise the best children.
Coach Pia drilled down on the key points from her book, Born to Be a Hero (side note: copies are available in any National Bookstore).
In the book, Coach Pia talks about what it means to be a Hero, and building on one’s Hero Currency.
It actually simplifies — and quantifies! — how someone can look at the events and aspects in one’s life, and see if it builds towards increasing your Hero Currency, or draining from it, through a bank account with a “passbook”. And like any bank account, the goal is to build it so it gets bigger and bigger. 🙂
Coach Pia advises to start at an arbitrary number which you will assign when you felt your self-doubt as a person was equal to (or as close to) zero as possible. Then from that moment on until present day, identify the key events in your life and assign numbers to it, where the numbers on the left drain from the currency, and the numbers placed on the right, build up to it. It’s a good way to “visualize” how much you’ve invested in yourself and what you need for you as well at present time. And when you know where you stand and what you need, it’s much easier to proceed with life from there. After all, self-awareness is always the necessary first step.
I do pretty well when it comes to visualizing and quantifying things for myself. I like the structure that way. But the wild cards that Coach Pia threw into the mix, were (are) indeed true wild cards for anyone in real life, including me.
She calls them Wild Cards because they can create a big swing towards a positive passbook balance. They aren’t easy steps either (and they require a lot of transcendence!), but they do work wonders, or so I’m told.
Once you know, you can go (Okay I had to say that)! Set goals for yourself. And Coach Pia gives us a few tips to try to achieve these goals, two of which stuck to me like glue.
This particular one, about articulating myself and my needs without any guilt, I consciously try to practice, even around my kids. We are raised in a culture of putting others first, thinking of others before you think of yourself; saying we’re okay, even if we’re not. And we’re taught that if you think of what you need and say so, then it sounds selfish. So not true! In fact, I love the way Mish puts it in her own #BetterMe notes, “Exhale and speak your needs. Let go of the guilt… all of it (no matter what your mother or your religion says).”
No judgement: just say what you feel you need (to the relevant people of course!), you’re also just taking care of yourself (it’s not the same as always getting it, but saying it out loud helps and paves the way for — well, more honest conversations for one thing). And then let the Wild Cards come into play.
This other one — a willingness to get down to the basics. In one word: Simplify. And if I’m being honest (no guilt!), that’s what I miss about life in Chapel Hill; it was easy to simplify and just cut back. I’m still trying to figure out how to constantly do that here in Manila, where (I feel) things have a tendency to get a bit more complicated. But challenge accepted: I’m working on it. As it is with everything, it’s a process. And each one has his or her own pace, but we eventually get there.
I found this session very relevant to Moms because really, by nature of our role as moms, we are our children’s heroes. We are their “last line of defense” (in a manner of speaking). And really if only for them, I’d like to do all I can to bring out the true potential of the Hero inside of me. It would do the world a world of good, if all of us moms work towards that goal. 🙂
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mom-Heroes out there. 🙂