There are up-sides and down-sides to incredible mamma love. My boy, now nearly six and a half, has a mamma crush the size of Table Mountain. And if you’ve never seen Table Mountain, I’m talking a 1km high hulk of mountain, bang in the middle of the gorgeous Mother City of Cape Town.
Jethro’s love of me is like that. At least a kilometer high (although he’d have me believe it’s galaxies wide) in the middle of our lives. It means he can’t get enough time with me, and he can’t imagine why I should be focusing on anything other than him. Not his father, not the house, not my work, and not (heaven forbid) my phone.
And the dilemma starts right there. I am the proponent of a balanced life for women, and the author of the recently published book The Mentor Within. There I encourage, with great confidence, that we should put ourselves first in order to meet our own needs and the needs of those around us and the world. There I suggest bracketing time to work and to be with family. I suggest listening to what it is that we need to do, and doing it: making better decisions and taking powerful action. And when everything is running according to plan this is possible.
But sometimes it’s not.
Sometimes illness gets in the way, or a particular friend or family member who needs our time and energy more than the planned bracketed time. Sometimes we don’t feel well, or there’s a retrenchment or loss of a contract. Sometimes, yes more often than I care to admit to myself, mothering becomes more important than anything else on the agenda. Sometimes my mentor within tells me that not much else matters, and that I need to refocus.
My book recommends really listening to your mentor within.
And mine, at the moment, tells me that this incredible love from my small child (which is returned) is the place to focus right now. In many ways he’s telling me he needs me a bit more than usual, and I need to hear him. Not indulge him, but really hear him. I need to be part of his building resilience in the world, learning to deal with powerful emotions and still get on with life. He needs to share me with his father, with the house, with my work and yes, even my phone. At appropriate times.
It’s a lesson I have had to learn a few times in my life, and now is my chance to mentor him through it. And so my plan is to keep my boundaries, and to listen to his. To allow my Mentor Within to meet his, and to plan together.
I reckon this will work.
What wisdom has your Mentor Within shared with you on this challenge?