That headline could be read a few different ways.
It could mean: ‘Here is a
crash diet “detox” that will help you lose all that awful, ugly, shameful weight you gained from having the nerve to make a baby, you worthless human being.”
And it could also read: “The best way to rid the world of mothers, that horrid group of women who are poisoning the world one child at a time.”
Or it could be saying: “The best way to rid yourself of the toxic feelings, emotions, and experiences that you have undergone since becoming a Mom in a world that undervalues us.”
Sadly, most of the time it refers to the first one – and suggests the second.
Well, I have happy news for you: This blog post is not about how to take up less space in the world. This is about how to claim more of it.
A little while ago, after seeing the umpteenth ‘Skrinking Women’ post about ‘It has been three weeks since I had my baby and I still have not lost the baby weight’ on a forum for mothers, something woke me up.
It was followed by: ‘I have decided to cut all gluten/grain/carbs out of my diet and just drink green juice and eat raw meat’ posts… which were followed by: ‘Why am I so exhausted all the time?’
These words were tying my belly into a knot.
As someone who ‘still has not lost her pregnancy weight’ after 6 years, I have been through that shame, self-hatred and loss of self worth. It is a sucky to be banished to that planet; even suckier when you decide to plop down your flag there.
One small retreat for woman, a giant one for humankind.
The other world is so much better. We have cupcakes.
My heart goes out to these Moms who believe they need to look like having a baby never happened.
Which is why after reading that umpteenth detox post, I could not take it any more. And I started my own little private Facebook group for Mamas who have decided to stop obsessing about taking up less space in the world.
Instead, we consciously focus on enjoying life by doing the things, being around the people, and eating the food that simply make us feel good about ourselves.
Because a Mom-filled brunch that includes the most heavenly banana nut bread french toast ever is so much more rewarding than purging our self worth just because we have muffin tops.
Feed your intuition. Please.
It is that beautiful gift that combines intellect and emotion. Intelligence and feeling. And it lives in our gut.
When do not give value to the magic powers that lie in our bellies, when we stop listening to it, when we start ignoring it, it lets us know.
It either starts up a bloated storm where it tries to break out and attract our attention, or it starts trying to pull like a magnet reminding us we need to nourish it.
Sadly, in today’s world, we have been taught to ignore it and mistreat it completely.
I just started a 5-day detox. And guess why? Surprise! To actually detox.
Yes, this week I started a 5-day detox that includes juices from one of my fabulous clients along with healthy smoothies and nourishing, nutrient-rich meals. Yes, real meals. Thank you very much.
I will not be only drinking juice all day long. I will not be stopping myself from eating when I am hungry and I will not be focusing on how little I have eaten or how much weight I have lost.
What I will be doing, is cleansing and healing my gut after years of ignoring, neglecting and mistreating it.
I will be focusing on how this detox makes me feel. NOT how much it makes me lose.
I will be taking yet another step in a long-term plan to claim my space back in this world – and feel amazing in that space.
That plan has included following my own vision of helping women unapologetically use their own voices in their businesses, completing a mindfulness training and now this little BIG step.
I will be flushing out years of toxic build up that has resulted in the sad side effects of having become a Mom in a world that places very little value on us.
And where has this side effect done the most damage?
Not my waistline.
Right in my gut.
The real toxins.
So here are the toxins I will be happy to start ridding of.
- Having lost my job during my maternity leave after having received a promotion and a raise just a half a year before. Hmm. You do the math.
- Having quit another job because I was expected to ‘go above and beyond’ to prove myself when I had to leave by 5:00 pm to pick up my baby from day care on time.
- Having corporate security ‘politely’ escort me with a 10-minute notice because I could not promise 24/7 access to my brain via my smartphone at all times of the week.
- Being told I was not a fit for the job because they wanted someone ‘dedicated’ and ‘ambitious’ and no ‘9 to 5 mentality’ – as if mothers can not be dedicated, ambitious and effective while still drawing boundaries when it comes to our home responsibilities. As if we leave work at 6:00 PM to sit on the couch and watch TV all evening.
- Being constantly told by mass media that the biggest value actress X or model Y has to offer the world is that she looks like she never had a baby just a few weeks after having had one.
- Constantly hearing other Moms belittle their own value because they have not achieved the above.
- People/restaurants/the world being offended by breastfeeding.
- Low-rise skinny jeans being in fashion.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Fueling myself for the first few years on coffee and the ‘Mom diet’ – eg, anything my child did not finish or that I could pop into my mouth in the rush of things.
- Pelvic instability, internal tears and chronic infections that went uncared for.
- …and then way too many years on antibiotics once I did start getting care.
- Not putting myself, my self-care and above all my voice first because I was starting to believe the lack of value the world had placed on me since becoming a mother.
- Thinking I had to be everything for everyone – aside from myself.
- General and constant pain, discomfort, unease, and the downright eeuw feeling in my GUT. Gee, I wonder why.
- I created a human being. I felt her grow inside of me, from that first little wiggly goldfish-like tingle I ever felt, to the way she kept me up at night dancing the baby disco, to when she turned into birthing position because she had decided for herself that it was time to enter this world.
- I brought a life into this world, darnit. And I did it with determination, focus, force, and a purely female strength that I did not even know I had until I gave that final mighty push – and there she was.
- I am raising that little big girl-powered human being. I am nourishing and nurturing her to the best of my abilities from her first steps to her first ‘no’ to her first day at school to the first sentence she wrote on her own – and every day she never ceases to inspire and amaze me by how she owns her space in this world.
- Practicing amazing feats beyond normal human capacity, such as:
- I have carried a sleeping baby, groceries, and a diaper bag up four flights of stairs – without waking the baby.
- Not blinking an eye or feeling guilty when my child has a tantrum in the middle of a public space.
- Letting my daughter successfully cycle herself to school with her own two little legs.
- Providing her home-cooked, healthy school lunches and dinners that still taste yummy even when the world is trying to feed her other crap.
- I have accomplished such great things on only a few hours sleep for weeks at a time.
- I found my own solution to a working world that puts no value on Mamas – and created my own business.
- I have supported my family with that business for half decade.
- I have acquired skills that make MBAs bow their heads in shame – talk about people management, change management, time management, crisis management, project management, team management, budget management, client management, priority management, delegation and customer focus!
- I have learned the art of listening to the real message inside little voices – no matter how little they are, no matter how awkwardly they try to express themselves, no matter how angry, sad or overtired. And those messages are pretty BIG.
- I have been taught how to play, explore and see the world with new eyes again.
- I have relearned how to not be limited by my body, no matter how little or big I am.
- I have been reminded that my voice is very powerful and I MUST use it.
- I have reclaimed my value in this world – and it is inspired by the inuitive love my child has for me and I have for her.
I didn’t just bring a life into this world. That life brought me into the world.
The other night, the first night of my Detox, I was putting my daughter to bed when she suddenly said something to me that even a year ago might have had me in tears:
“Mama, sometimes it still looks like you are pregnant. Your belly… it is so soft and warm, I just want to cuddle with it. I love your belly.”
I stopped putting the folded laundry into her drawer, walked over to her bed, put her head against my tummy and said, without hesitation.
“I love it, too. And you know why?”
My daughter paused to reflect, hugged me tighter – and smiled a smile that seemed to say “Thank you for teaching me that.”
And then she said: “Sometimes I just want to crawl into your mouth, down your throat and back into your tummy again.”
I laughed, squeezed her, kissed her gorgeous cheeks and answered:
“Oh yes, that was a beautiful time and a beautiful place for both of us. But let me tell you something. The world is so much better now that you are in it – so keep take up space in the world.”
And with that, we both grew a bit bigger.
Ready to re-write your narrative?
Little businesses, mompreneurs, and coaches… if you feel it is time you owned the narrative about your value, contact me for a FREE half hour-ish Skype call where we will discuss how you can effectively work your story into your brand and business message, including:
- Where you are in your business story.
- If my one of my two 1:1 programs will give you the insights, process, structure, and accountability to get you there.
- If you are really ready to invest your time, energy and funds to become the little big business you are meant to be.
- …and last but not least: if we would make a good team in bringing you closer to fulfilling your vision.
Looking forward to hearing your voice!