To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.
— Maya Angelou
These words encapsulate what mothers can be, and what being a mother feels like. I can imagine how it would feel to rage like a tempest when my child’s safety and well-being are at stake. Fortunately, that occasion has never arisen for me (and I hope it never will). Mothers are also founts of loving wisdom and inspiration for their children. Such is our fundamental power, such is our sacred responsibility.
At the heart of it all is nurturance — that capacity to care for and empower another human being. This ability is not confined anymore to the traditional roles of society and the expression of it transcends borders and cultures. More often than not, motherly people go above and beyond to ensure the physical and emotional nourishment of their families. And oh, the many hats we wear! In the process, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.
From One Mother To Another
So how do we stay sane? (haha, kidding… but not really)
We cannot quench another’s thirst from our empty cup. That is to say, we also need to replenish that motherly energy ourselves. We are human — our bodies tire and our minds fray. To care for our loved ones, we learn and practice the personal ways we care for ourselves.
I know it can be difficult when so many things need to be done or others call for your attention and you can’t even take a moment to enjoy your coffee or tea while it’s hot and — you get the point. Take a breath, several even. Sit down and hold space for yourself for a while. That’s it. Now, think about these —
What activities make me happy?
Which ones can I do on a regular basis to recharge myself?
Which ones can I do anywhere, anytime, when I have the chance?
Self-care can take many forms but the reason for it is the same. This is especially vital for mothers. I have caught myself losing patience with my family several times — only to realize that I was physically worn out or my introverted nature just needed some time for myself. As we learned from each other, my family appreciated it when I came back to them more grounded and replenished. Being a mother does entail some compromise on our part. I feel that includes our family understanding our own needs as well.
Focus on yourself from time to time. It’s not selfishness. It’s a necessity for your own well-being. It renews you enough to take care of others. So please consider these questions above.
My Favorite Thing
Since you’re here reading Sunday Scribble, you may have probably figured out where I’m leading up to. Yes — one of my tried-and-tested ways of refilling my nurturing cup involves using fountain pens.
At first, my pens, inks, and paper were used for sketching since that’s what made me happy. Then, I incorporated journaling into my self-care practice because it gave me an outlet to freely express myself — a place for my daily thoughts, unfiltered rants, and unleashed emotions. I carved out time and space when I can to sit down and just let it all flow. Like all habits, it needed repetition to take. Eventually, it became an essential part of my routine and I’ve since then reaped the rewards. Expressive writing has helped me calm down, introspect, and recalibrate enough to help me get back on my feet and be a loving person once again.
That is the beauty of our writing instruments. For one thing, they’re handy. You can tuck them in your bag and take them anywhere. With a good-sized, fountain pen-friendly journal, you’re all set. And those fountain pen inks! (Yes, I am an inkaholic.) Each one can be a mood, how wonderful is that?! These self-care tools are now staples in my everyday kit. They have enabled me to make use of my free time because of their accessibility and ease of use. The sheer variety of choices available has likewise helped me personalize my experience with using them.
From Blues To Blooms
This Mother’s Day, celebrate who you are in all your aspects — the joyful mother witnessing your family’s growth and having a hand in it, the personally challenged one who accepts this responsibility with resilience and courage, and the unique person you are beyond your family role.
This lifelong journey of nurturance can be both difficult and rewarding. So keep this in mind and center that caring light on you from time to time. Let yourself be human, in need of rest and replenishment. Discover your own ways of harnessing what revitalizes you from day to day. Then you can blossom once again and warm your loved ones’ hearts.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and me!
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!