My Most Unexpected Teacher Of Motherhood
Being pregnant has brought with it many surprises — among them the return of my migraines. I tackled and eliminated these suckers years ago with diet, acupuncture, and lifestyle changes. Now, with a new surge of hormonal cocktail coursing through my body, I find myself in a familiar position of dealing with the sparkly vision, the sensitivity to light and noise, the pounding headache and “bruised brain” feeling that can last for days after the initial onset.
But one thing is different this time: I have an improved relationship with my body now than I did years ago. When it speaks to me, I listen.
Every time I have a migraine my body is telling me to stop, breathe, close my eyes, and rest. (Because, the truth is, if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t.) The more I honor my body’s request to slow down, the less severe the migraine. The sparkly vision sets in, clears, and then no headache follows.
I read an incredible book recently called The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson, which I highly recommend if you have over-achieving, do-it-all, disappoint-no-one tendencies like me. She will teach you Extreme Self-Care techniques like asking yourself if you’re hungry, tired, or have to use the bathroom. (Seriously, think about how many times you ignore these bodily signals during a busy day!)
Cheryl makes an interesting correlation that I find particularly relevant on my journey into motherhood, “On a fundamental level, that’s what Extreme Self-Care is all about: extraordinary mothering.”
In attempt to avoid migraine onsets, I’ve learned how to be a good mother to myself in the process: I’ve had to limit my time in front of illuminated screens, like my computer, tv and iPhone, I’ve had to implement techniques to clear worry, stress, and over-thinking from my head, I’ve had to make sure I’m eating a clean, healthy diet, and I’ve had to clear my schedule significantly to make room for resting and moderate exercise.
Wow, what a good mom I am! Thank you, migraines!
This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, ask yourself:
1) What 3 small changes can I make to be a better mother to myself?
2) If I were my own child, what would I tell myself to stop doing?
3) What is my body asking me for right now that I’m not hearing?
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Photo: Me, 6 months pregnant.