School, Changes and Ego Trips

I've been struggling with mothering these weeks/months (perhaps always without realising!) and, as I prepare to close Matt's first term in KG2 at his little Montessori preschool, I'm finding myself excited and drained. Motherhood, as you might know, isn’t a linear journey. It’s this web of highs and lows, packed with assignments, appointments and, in some cases, anxieties… and it’s also full of awe and wonder. It’s a paradox, a privilege and a full time investment.

Motherhood, as you might know, isn’t a linear journey. It’s this web of highs and lows, packed with assignments, appointments and, in some cases, anxieties… and it’s also full of awe and wonder.

 Matthew and Michael joined me in the last Longines World Champion Tour at Shaqab last month.

Matthew and Michael joined me in the last Longines World Champion Tour at Shaqab last month.

A few days ago, on a call with my coach Dr Frantonia Pollins she reminded me of how my boys are my mirrors, showing me what's within myself that I'm too busy ignoring, reminding me of the parts of me that I haven't addressed though they are sore... pushing me to growth, to become a better Anahi. These boys of mine, whether I was aware of it or not, are the best triggers towards helping me heal my own wounds.

I say this with equal amounts of wonder and oh-shit-ness. As much as I ignored these for years into motherhood, in this 2018 if there’s one thing I’ve become aware of is that Matthew and Michael came into the world through me but with two massive roles:

  1. To discover the world for themselves in their full unconditional worth.

  2. To help me recover from the wounds that led me to believe my worth was anything buy unconditional - aka to push me to grow and heal.

The first one it’s the role most parents see for their kids… now, the second one? Let’s say many of us can agree that when we got into this parenting malarky, we didn’t signed up for that one at all!

In the past weeks, with worries about school preparedness, assessments and what is the "best" school for Matt and our family, I forgot along the way that the one being pushed, observed, questioned and tested is HIM. He is 5 and going through massive shifts and changes, including a new class at Preschool, whilst mami keeps putting pressure on him. Non-stop and all the time.

Suddenly, I was left wondering: Who am I when I behave like this? Who am I acting like? Why is this even important NOW?… and then it hit me. Like an effing tonne of bricks: I’m ego-tripping, I’m making this about ME, about MY worth, MY sense of achievement as a mother, as a woman, as a “mommy blogger”. Eck!

 Matthew all smiles and joy at a recent trip to Baladna Farm

Matthew all smiles and joy at a recent trip to Baladna Farm

That was a hard pill to swallow. But, I needed to change things or both Matt and I were going to continue on this journey pulling at each other and causing more pain than joy.

So I stopped on my tracks and slowed down. For a moment, I stopped focusing on what school I wanted him to join (for either prestige or my need to fit in and be enough) and instead, decided to start paying more attention to the moments we were sharing daily and the quality of them.

Now, in the upcoming months we have hard decisions to take. We’re waiting for schools assessments and then we most commit to one for September but at this very moment my focus won’t be on the “then-and-there” but on the present; and whilst we still have much to tackle, I’ll be focusing more on being and less doing. 

This journey is truly triggering and fascinating. Not sure I would have chosen it had it not chose me, but I sure am happy I’m on it.

What have been some of your struggles with ego and change as a mother and beyond?


My worth, movement and embodying me

 

I grew up thinking myself lazy. Useless. Non-athletic. Non-elegant. Never in my body. Always less than the rest. I believed I hated to move and never challenged it, just assumed that it was like that and so I moved on.

I developed my mind, my wits, but never my body. I became the “Funny Fat Friend”, the extra in the movie, the kind one who would buy love and friendship through goodness, the one always challenging her worth base on her body and its lack of compliance. I was a mind with legs, nothing more.

Until I decided to try loving it and see what would happen. Now, let me be VERY honest here, this whole thing started with torturing myself into thinness. I'm not gonna lie to you guys on that. The whole "sweat is fat crying" thing kept me going... until things slowly shifted within me.

One day, years after starting this journey at 25, I realised that I wanted to move because I wanted to move, no outcome beyond moving and enjoying that experience. There was no need to reach a goal, accomplish a number on the scale or win a medal. I was just in it for the pleasure of it.

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Every day, I loved seeing where I could take myself by letting my body, and not my mind, guide me. It was a reclamation of my right to enjoy it, against what society and culture had told me… and let’s be honest here and say that, if there is a message society gives us day in and day out, is that our bodies exist for everyone’s enjoyment except our own.

I have done loads of therapy. This hasn’t happened on one day, year or even decade… I’ve been healing wounds that come from childhood day in and day out, committing to loving myself non-stop, allowing me be me unapologetically. So, yes, it has been a journey.

Today, I would go on a limb and call myself athletic. I demand movement from myself, fit it in my schedule no matter what, play with it, change it, always curious as to what experience will my body gift me next and how will I feel through it. It is scary and refreshing and wonderfully awesome. It has taken me YEARS to be here. But I'm glad I made the trip.

How do YOU relate to your body? How do you enjoy it for yourself only? Let me know and let’s support each other on our journeys back home, to ourselves.

PS: These leggings are from Pineapple Clothing and they are AWESOMELY comfy, thick and cute. Get yours here and use promo code ANAHIB for 20% off!

 

Self-Care, Expectations and Motherhood

This is Matt.

He is having a sheet mask on a Friday morning when he and his brother Mikey (who apparently was responsible for the horror of waking up before the day had officially started) woke up at an ungodly hour (probably earlier than 5am 🤷🏽) ready to start the day.

 Favourite Sheet Mask for him is a Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera one I get from iHerb

Favourite Sheet Mask for him is a Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera one I get from iHerb

Now, what this little one and his sidekick didn’t know, was that I had plans. After a week without end, I was tired and looking forward to waking up before them to do a sheet mask alone. Maybe have a coffee whilst the house was asleep. In my delusion, I even imagined myself watching something cultural (ahem, Jane the Virgin!) on TV as I waited for everyone to wake up.

As they marched into my room (and I cursed under my breath), I made a decision not to let this derail my day. So, I rushed to the bathroom and grabbed 3 sheet masks from my stash (I have one inspired by fellow mom Layla Saad) and then the 3 of us went downstairs for some quite time before #MrB, who had called dibs on a lay in that morning, fully woke up.

Mikey had 0 interest in them, he wanted to play. But Matt sat there relaxing, happy and zen-like, whilst I did my own mask, I was committed to pampering myself however possible, and his brother destroyed the house like a T-Rex would. In the chaos of the whole scene, there was also lots of joy.

Let me be honest with you, I'm not a relaxed parent. In fact, I have read, heard and researched loads around how to let go of the stress and be much more flexible as a mom and human. However, that morning by finding a way to match our reality with my expectations, by being flexible and playful, I realised I was creating a better impact in their childhood and my own mothering satisfaction.

So, apart from inviting you to prioritise on some Self-Care today, on your own terms and to match your life, I would highly vow to use more flexibility and fluidity in parenthood and letting expectations and perfection go for a bit... Who knows? I might even become an expert on this ordeal and teach courses on how not to lose it with kids in the near future!

Whatever happens, I can honestly say that this is one of my proudest days as a mom and happiest early Friday morning memory to this day.

How could you use flexibility today to empower your own journey? Where can you let go of expectations to leave way for joy?

Let me know and let’s share our journeys into womanhood and beyond!

Shame, Vulnerability and Navigating through Sacred Womanhood

Shame, Vulnerability and Navigating through Sacred Womanhood

After every launch, event, workshop (every corporate or business birth, basically) we go through a low period. The adrenaline goes, the excitement washes off and we're left naked, open, raw, exposed to a crowd of one or thousands, vulnerable and real.

That's when our ego (or as Layla Saad cleverly calls it: SHEgo) charges up, taking one swing after another, pushing just the right bottoms to get us to shut up, to go small, to stay confused and purposeless. To forget why did we raised ourselves, why did we spoke at all. At least for me, that's ALWAYS the case.

So, on the Sunday following my first Sacred Womanhood Tribe meeting I was crushed. Ironically, starting these new program with a focus on Vulnerability meant I basically spent 1 hour talking about my eating disorder, my weight and body acceptance issues and, prepare to be amazed, my extensive plastic surgery (before you wonder: tummy tuck and breast enhancement) and how all of these experiences are shaped by vulnerability and my fear of not belonging, by how much I worked on altering myself (both physically and emotionally) to fit into a mold made for me by society and a culture I thought was my cage.

Anger

Anger

As soon as I picked him up, lifting him from his little shoulders, bringing him to ‘my height’, as if that was something to be proud of, I knew it was wrong. Yet I pushed through. I couldn’t stop myself. I got him to see eye-to-eye with me and then I delivered my: ‘I have enough!’ speech and set him roughly back down.

It was one of those days. ‘Those days’. The ones where it feels like all the energies around are against your goals and wishes. Those that make your skin crawl and itch. Those days that many times are the beginning of an end. That was precisely the day.

Holistic Packing as a Holistic Coach and Momma

Holistic Packing as a Holistic Coach and Momma

This post started like a little inside joke. I have been packing for what feels like days in preparation for our short family holidays, and decided to tackle our First Aid kit (a good excuse to take a break from actively potty training my almost-3-year-old toddler) before I would forget. So, I took a little bag and started putting our essentials in, and then I took a glance and started laughing. When did the transformation into a full on crunchy mom happen?

Now, I say this with a heart full of laughter and with knowing that this path I’m in feels SO in tuned with my family and me. But, we’re as crunchy as it comes nowadays, and the funniest part is that it wasn’t always the case. In fact, quite the opposite!