A month ago I started to write a blog post on ‘giving myself permission’ but the words didn’t come. So I saved the post I’d started as a draft and let my subconscious ponder the idea for a while. Then, last week in my Mondo Beyondo class jen and andrea talked about the importance about giving ourselves permission to do the things we want to do, and honouring those choices … and it brought my struggle to write about the concept of permission to the forefront again. Let’s see if my thoughts will flow for me on this topic this time.
If I just scratch the surface of my current relationship with permission, I will admit that there are several material things that I have really never been able to give myself much permission to buy. Makeup and jewellery come to mind right away. These items have always been sticking points for me, and I’ll try to figure out why that is another time. But here I’d like to go beyond material things and get a little deeper. I’d like to admit to you that the thing I currently struggle with the most is giving myself permission to take time. And in particular take time to do things that are just for me.
I never used to understand why people were so busy, because as a single person and then a married person I always seemed to have enough time to do most of the things I wanted to do. It was always everyone else around me that couldn’t seem to fit everything in, and I wondered why people ran their lives so hard. I just didn’t ‘get it’ then.
But two years ago I had my daughter and life pretty much turned upside down. Becoming a mother has brought with it a million wonderful joys I never could have dreamed of, but things have gotten pretty busy around here. And somehow, in the midst of adding the position of “mom” to my resume, I seem to have added the position of “chief carrier of guilt” as well. I now struggle a bit with allowing myself the time to do things just for me, and when I do take the time I sometimes feel guilty about it! (What is that?)
Other women I have talked to have experienced the same phenomenon. More than one of my friends has told me the story of the time when they got away on their own sans bebe to, say, go out shopping for a while, and then ended up going home early because they felt guilty that their partner was “stuck” doing the parenting thing all alone – something they just spent the whole day or week doing themselves. Other women friends with small children have mentioned that they almost don’t know what to do with themselves once they get time on their own these days, as if they’ve forgotten how to be a woman with personal interests and not just a mother to someone.
I can relate. It is easy to forget how to be myself when parenting takes up so much time and giving myself permission to do the things I want to do has sometimes been difficult. It doesn’t help when doing those things often costs money and – here comes that guilt again – we don’t have as much of it now that I am working part-time in order to partially stay home with our daughter to raise her.
I do have many questions as to how I can break free of this newly-acquired guilt to give myself more permission to be me. But I think I have some of the answers too. You know, a friend told me the other day that we most admire the qualities in other people that we actually possess ourselves. And I do have the belief that I, too, can draw deep from within myself to be more like people I know that seem to be able to honour their dreams more fully than I. As a mother I suppose I can suggest to myself that baby steps are the answer here, so I’m going to keep taking mine as sure-footed as I can. I’ll give myself the permission to crawl and then to walk and then to run … right into living the life of which I’ve always dreamed.