I’ve always been a sensitive person. I remember being a little girl and having really big feelings. I can remember grown ups saying they weren’t upset but could feel their “upset” energy. Even though their words said one thing, it didn’t match their actions or energy. And if someone was upset, I remember feeling “their upset” in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t know why I felt it when someone else was upset back then. However, I have a name for it now and it’s called being an empath.
Empath: a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.
I still have big feelings AND I’m still really sensitive. I think being an empath has served me well as a mama. I’m able to connect, validate and empathize with my kids in a special way.
This year, I’m learning to protect myself with limits and a boundary bubble. I’ve been setting and practicing boundaries with my kids for a couple of years. We practice respect, grace, courtesy and kind communication at home. Boundaries with adults is much harder I must admit. Post Surf Sparkle. Learning to surf, post 3 kids and in my 40’s has been humbling and beautiful all at once.
Being able to hold space for my kids is something I’m very good at. It’s natural and so automatic for me. From the second I found out I was pregnant with all of my peanuts, I’ve been able to prioritize their health and well being. And once they were born, it was on. From a sleep schedule to daily and life decisions that were in the kids’ best interest were and still are an easy choice for me.
However, I found myself agreeing to things I didn’t want to do to accommodate the other adult person’s feelings. Setting boundaries in my adult relationships is hard because I love connection and camaraderie. And I have a very fun public life and job that allows for lots of fun conversation. Sometimes, I will say to the same co-worker 10 times I don’t discuss my personal life at work. I know that people can’t help themselves and are so curious because I do have a wonderful life. But protecting my energy is one way I hold space for myself. And It’s not my job to entertain other adults when I don’t want to. I want to talk about the good stuff, like surfing and how happy and healthy my kids are. And whether or not we’ll open a present on Christmas eve? You know, important holiday traditions.
As I continue (daily) to hold space for myself with adult conversations and adult plans I agree to. I’m breathing into it. Sometimes, it still feels hard to disappoint other adults by not doing exactly what they want. But I know that modeling healthy behavior while speaking clear, open communication is the best teacher for my little people.
And when I see AND hear my kids empathize with one another and other people I know I’m doing good work. The real work. Teaching my littles from a place of integrity and love. For the first time since they were babies my kids have joined me at the the chiropractor. They always came with me as babies (annual exam, dentist, eye appointment) you name it, they came with me to my mandatory appointments. Don’t be jealous-haha! These days I can usual schedule my dentist and annuals while they’re at school. #winning
But I take them to the chiropractor and the gym here and there on purpose. So, they can see me taking care of me.
Mama needs to take care of mama so she can take care of us. ~Quote from Blaize, Pepper and Kai on the reg