Last night I went out to dinner with a girlfriend for the first time in what seemed like decades. We were child-free, sitting on the deck, sipping our Pinot Noir while the wind tousled our hair, discussing just about every aspect of our lives. We sat there together as friends, as women, as mothers, as wives. We laughed and cried and laughed some more. It was so refreshing. I honestly didn’t realize how much I was yearning for that connection. It was  a reminder to carve out time to connect with friends and have fun more often.

As mother’s we are so easily consumed by the needs of our children, our partners, family, work, that we forget about ourselves. One of my biggest challenges as a new mom was the absence of feeling “whole.” A very foreign experience for me as I always carved time out to exercise, do yoga, mediate. Those days were long gone after baby arrived.  It was as if the moment I became a mother I felt compartmentalized. There was; “Gina the mother”, “Gina the wife”, “Gina the therapist”, “Gina the step-mother.” I felt pushed and pulled in all different directions at the same time. Would I ever feel whole again?

The importance of Self Care….

Taking time to nurture all the different elements of myself allowed me to feel whole again, or at least 3/4 whole! It takes time to reconnect with yourself on a spiritual, emotional, physical level after becoming a mother. Each aspect has to be delicately and patiently tended to. My support system was essential during this time. Friendly check-in’s like, “let’s take a walk” or “do you need some dinner?” were just what the doctor ordered! Support groups can provide the same kind of nurturing. A place where we can embrace the joys and sorrows of life in a way that we can be real with one another without fear of judgement. During our mom’s night out, my girlfriend and I agreed that no one really tells you how difficult motherhood is. Maybe it’s because we forget or we don’t want to seem challenged by motherhood. The reality is, motherhood is hard. We need support and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. Make sure your village is nurturing you and if you don’t have access to one join a support group at Bring Back the Village. You will be sure to find other mom’s experiencing similar adjustments, struggles and joys as you are.

Stay tuned for a Mom Support Group coming to a town near you!