Who knew that motherhood would be filled with such mundane tasks? I, for one, did not. Before becoming a mom, I thought about having to wash little onesies, sure, or picking up a book or ball here and there. But I did not think about those onesies equating full-on loads of endless laundry, or those balls and books translating into a plethora of toys that would grow in size and volume as my boys grew. And I most definitely did not think motherhood would feel, at times, like one long repetition of words and actions, almost as if every day were in a loop, playing over and over like an episode of your child’s favorite show. Turns out being a parent comes with a lot of mundane routines that easily could wear any human down, and when you add in the exhaustion, well, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Five years into being a mother, I have picked up a few lessons on how best to combat those feelings tied up with repetition. I decided to change my mindset about routine, and turn it into ritual. To consider that these things I do every day are really sacred acts of motherhood, done by me and done for many generations before me. Here, a handful of ways that I weave the sacred into my daily actions.
Repetition allows space for stepping into divinity. I know, it is a wild idea that doing the same thing over and over again can be a direct line to our highest self. When we think of repetition, we often think of the quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It is hard to keep putting the toys away and the laundry, knowing that it will only have to be done again tomorrow. But let me offer you this view instead: in meditation, we often repeat the same words to tap into our highest self, so repeating our actions can hold the same symbolism. As we wash the dishes after we eat, we can give thanks for the healthy meal that fed our family, that nourished our selves, and filled our actually belly. As we fold the laundry, we weave in prayers or reverence that these clothes protect our loved ones. That these clothes embolden whoever wears them to be more themselves, to brave, and to be kind. Repetition and expecting different results may in fact be the definition of insanity, but as we shift our perspective and make them holy, it no longer becomes repeating. It becomes sacred. What ways can you make the everyday tasks more divine?
Make your solo time sacred. Whether it be in the shower, brushing your teeth, or making your morning cup of coffee, allow them to be an act of connection. Make yourself a sugar scrub for the shower to slough away what is old. I like to use my shower time as a way to wash away things that do not serve. I imagine them spinning down the drain to go back to the earth to be recycled. When I brush my teeth, I ask that all the words that come from my mouth be said with love and purpose. May I add to a moment or conversation, instead of distracting or come from ego. I wash away the words that I may have said in anger or frustration (and as a mother, I dare to admit I have my moments!) from the day before and ask that I make better judgement with my words. And when I make a cup of coffee, I let it be a cup of bravery. My cup of calm while there is chaos. A reminder to slow down. Sure, these all are my way of my 10-15 minute segments of my day into luxurious moments, but there is plenty of room to make them your own! How can you make your solo time more sacred and fulfilling for you?
And when all else fails, go outside! Sometimes these tools do not work. Let me repeat that one more time: sometimes even when I try to make routines of motherhood, it does not always work. Sometimes I leave the laundry in the wash for days or the dishes in the sink. Other days, it is hard to even find a minute for solo time. And days that I cannot find the magic or ritual in my day. So, we go outside! Motherhood is hard enough without the push to make everything in our day magic. When we go outside, it changes our view. It reminds me that life really is pretty magical. Nature is amazing and when we get to go play in the garden, it makes whatever conflict or bad mood that infiltrated our day, disappear. We play with bubbles, we swing, and we watch the clouds roll by. There is ritual and connection in being outside. The air we breathe is filled with the sacredness of life. And as run around, as we change our scenario, we all are reminded that life is sacred. Even if it is far from perfect.
Motherhood is a tremendous journey, caring for a small human and finding yourself in the middle of it. It can be exhausting and tiresome, but weaving life into a balance of ritual and sacred with the literal poop of life. Motherhood can be filled with poop, so we need a good sense of humor and a way to make it feel as if it is part of the greater plan, the bigger purpose. If saying prayers while folding laundry makes it easier, great. If you need to take a bubble bath at any point in the day so you can feel like you, great. If going for a walk when your toddler or teenager is throwing a fit, great.
The truth is, however we can make the days feel connected and let us feel connected to ourselves, that is what we need to do. Turning the routine into ritual is all about our intention, adding intention into our lives is how we make motherhood work.
A few more resources for parents everywhere:
- Beyond Birth: five ways to prepare yourself for life with a newborn
- Tips for raising healthy, adventurous eaters
- Kid friendly knives to give your little ones confidence in the kitchen
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