Nine years ago, my first child was dragged out of me and my life changed.
Up until that moment, I had believed that hard work and doing the ‘right’ thing would get me where I wanted in life – and I had a pretty clear idea where that was going to be. Success. Foreign Correspondent for the ABC. Travelling the world. Publishing a book (or four).
And life had shown me that this was the way to success. I’d been working hard my whole life, being the busy one juggling everything that came my way, so surely I was on my way? Surely it will all pay off?
That little girl with her dislike of breastfeeding and her struggles with life did not follow my rules, or the rules that Life had shown me so far. And with that, everything I knew fell apart.
It’s been nine years of trying to unlearn everything I believed about life. I had to change my idea of success, of what a ‘good’ day was, and of my role in my marriage and in the world. I had to rethink my career, my health, my finances, my definition of a good life.
And now, here I am, a completely different person.
Here’s the thing about motherhood: there’s no time to stop and figure out how your life has changed. Whether you became a mama six months ago or six years ago, I bet you haven’t had a chance to catch your breath. Right?
Neither did I.
Despite the commitment to rethink everything in my life, I very quickly slipped back into trying to do it all to be happy. I juggled the part-time then full-time work with two little girls, a yoga class, and a business on the side. I rushed from daycare to work to playdates to ballet classes. I never stopped – never.
My mind raced all of the time, but I wouldn’t stop.
Even when my body tried to tell me to slow down, and that perhaps what I was doing wasn’t working, I didn’t listen. The diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease was a shock, but with medication, I pushed through.
I had to. No-one else was going to do it all.
I had so much to do with my life!
And then – the biggest turning point in my life came along.
Pregnant with my (unplanned) third child, I was producing the leading ABC Breakfast Radio program in Sydney. This means 3.30am alarms, and at work by 4.15am. And I did that everyday of the week.
Until, at 28 weeks pregnant, after running into the studio (in heels) to deliver a breaking media statement, contractions started.
And they continued, until they were three minutes apart.
This is the thing about life, mama…
If we don’t listen to the whispers, they turn into screams. If we don’t pay attention to the little things our bodies are trying to tell us, they will do something bigger and bigger, until they do get our attention.
And nearly giving birth to my tiny premature baby boy at 28 weeks gestation finally got my attention.
Why was I so addicted to being busy?
Why have I done this to myself?
Surely this isn’t what life is meant to be like?
Life is meant to be enjoyable, right?
And parenthood is surely meant to be filled with joy and wonder.
But when we are so busy ALL OF THE TIME, it certainly doesn’t feel like that.
We rush. We push. We yell.
We reach for our phones because the noise in our head is just too loud.
And we fall into bed at night wondering ‘is this as good as it gets?’
Well let me tell you, beautiful mama…
It can get so much better.
And you don’t need to end up in hospital, terrified about what you’ve done, to hear this wake up call.
Our addiction to being busy is a learnt behaviour.
From the moment we started noticing the world around us, we have been sent messages that busy is better, that hard work equals success and that women have to do more than just have babies. It’s hard-wired into our brains.
The world doesn’t value us unless we’re busy.
But here’s the thing – you can unlearn this, just as I’ve had to over the past four years.
Ever since that moment in the hospital room, as I lay there trying to keep my little boy inside for just ‘one more day’, I promised myself that things would change. And whilst I knew that the outside world needed to shift (my work, for one, was over as I was now on couch-rest for the rest of my pregnancy), it was the inner shift I really needed.
I knew that I had to change. I had to slow down, look inside, and find a new way of being.
And this is what I’ve learnt:
- I can completely shift my mood, my energy and the way I speak to my kids in just three minutes.
- The way I speak to myself in my head changes everything. When I’m beating myself up, I yell at my kids and it all falls apart. But when I breathe, remind myself of what’s important and what an amazing job I am doing, everything gets back into flow.
- If I don’t value myself, no-one will.
- Success doesn’t equal happiness. (Seriously big lesson here. Having my book on the best-seller’s list taught me that one: despite it being my lifelong dream, my world didn’t change. Shock.)
- If I don’t prioritise meditation and movement each day, I am a seriously grumpy mama.
- And only I can change my world.
This is what I’ve learnt, and this is what I have now taught more than 400 mamas.
Once I realised what it was that I needed in my own life to turn the crazy rollercoaster off and finally feel at peace with myself, I started to take note of what the steps were, and this is what I now teach in 40 Days.
The Reconnect Program covers all that I have learnt and know works – kindness, strength, trust, grace, value and mindfulness. These six areas of life, along with the most powerful three minute meditation, will turn your story around too.
No more rushing.
No more yelling.
It’s time to listen to that whisper, mama.
It’s time to Reconnect.
JOIN THE RECONNECT PROGRAM BEFORE SUNDAY 30TH JULY.