BEFORE I CLAIMED ANY SPACE
14 years ago I was a bit of a lost soul … I had just quit university, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t like where I was living, and I didn’t have a sense of what was next in my life.
I met this guy called Steve at a personal development–type workshop and was invited to stay at his new house in the hills as a border/cleaning lady until I worked out what to do next. After I eventually said yes I bravely jumped into his car and he drove me to his house in the hills.
I was kind of expecting a wooden house with floorboards and a cozy fire or something … the kind of house I would expect to live in if I built a house in the hills. But it was one of those new modern houses. It was BIG. Tiles. Marble kitchen bench. NEW. The furniture was very bachelor-like and way too formal for me. There were no paintings on the walls. I wasn’t used to big and new. This was Steve’s house for sure.
CLAIMING MY SPACE ... BIT BY BIT
14 years later and I am STILL here in the house in the hills! Married to Steve with 4 daughters and a dog. How did that happen!!! Anyway… I am STILL claiming my space! I never felt at home in this house. I never felt like it was mine too … even after being married and having what sometimes seems like 100 children! But now I ALMOST feel at home. How have I done this? Here are some of the ways I have made Steve’s house feel like mine too:
There are still more physical things I want to do with this house like rip out the carpets and put wooden floor boards in and put a fireplace somewhere to keep the house warm and cozy and build a “sound nutrition” room upstairs just for me and my bowls! But everything takes time and money…right? Bit by bit. Doing the physical stuff has really made a difference.
But the physical stuff you can SEE isn't EVERYTHING!!!
THE MORE EFFICIENT WAY TO CLAIM MY SPACE!
I have recently experienced a simple yet powerful way I can claim my space without having to buy furniture or add fireplaces or wait for 14 years! It actually only takes a few seconds to transform a room/house into a space that feels like MINE. That nurtures me. That makes me feel safe and cozy. That makes me feel alive again! And it's almost FREE!
Here's my secret!
I PLAY MUSIC I LOVE TO LISTEN TO!
That’s it! Simple!
I turn off The Wiggles!
I turn off the Top 20!
I turn off the TV!
And I turn on music that I love and have loved in the past.
I choose music:
NICOLE THE DOOR MAT
I have found that over the years of having kids I have listened to The Wiggles and PlaySchool WAY too many times to keep the little ones happy ... and now I let the big kids listen to the top 20 over and over again … but hey … what about me? If you succumb like I have to your kids music choices all the time (or your husband’s music choices for that matter) just to "KEEP THE PEACE" and "NOT ROCK THE BOAT" then see what happens and how you FEEL when you decide to choose music YOU LOVE … and turn it up LOUD! Notice what happens to your space. Notice how you FEEL.
Whether you are outside, in the car, at home, in hospital giving birth MUSIC and quality SOUND is THE tool to transform any space into a sanctuary. Into YOUR space.
DO IT BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Why is it important to claim your space? Because you are a woman. Because you deserve it. Because you are TOTALLY WORTH IT. Because when YOU feel good, everyone around you will benefit! (which is a good point when you are a Mum ... believe me!)
So, what’s your favourite music? Quick … go find it, put it on and turn it up loud!
P.S. And WHO CARES what everyone around you thinks, says or does! They'll cope! They may even enjoy watching you come ALIVE!
I had a thought this morning that I wanted to share with you!
I know that I SO often put myself down about how I parent, about the choices I make, about what I haven’t done today etc … You know the story! But then when I DO look at the great stuff I say and do for my kids I can see how friggen lucky they are that they have me as their Mother! So I thought that I could write a letter from them to me! You know…a pretend letter! I’m not going to wait for THEM to write to me after all! It might NEVER happen!!!
And why would I do this? To stroke my ego? To make them feel like they owe me? NO and NO! Rather it's to make my mind focus on all the awesomeness that I am rather than all the yuckiness that I sometimes am! And why is this important? Because when I feel good about myself I AM a better Mum! I have a better day! And my kids are calmer, feel safer, whinge less and feel happier! Totally worth it right?
So here we go!
Thank you for being my Mum.
Thank you for wiping my bum. (I just wrote that coz it rhymes ... and is true of course)
Thank you for choosing to speak to me kindly, when really you wanted to yell really loudly!
Thank you for giving me fun activities to do, when really you wanted to do what YOU wanted to do.
Thank you for birthing me gently into the world, so my first experience of life was one that makes me feel safe and secure and happy to be here.
Thank you for not making me go to school when you knew that all I wanted to was to hang out with you!
Thank you for taking me on holidays, so that I could grow up with fun and happy memories!
Thank you for giving me chocolate and lollies, when you wished that I loved green smoothies and carrots.
Thank you for planting flowers in the garden, so that I could admire them and pick them for you.
Thank you for buying us a big goofy dog, so that I could experience loving an animal.
Thank you for giving me boobies mostly whenever I wanted, so that I could experience having my needs taken care of.
Thank you for cuddling me close at nighttime, so I could feel safe and sleep soundly.
Thank you for keeping our house tidy and clean (most of the time) so I could play in it safely and find my toys and not get sick!
Thank you for trusting me enough to let me learn in my own way, in my own time.
Thank you for choosing Daddy to be your husband so that I could experience having a solid, grounded male presence in my life.
Thank you for never leaving me for good, when I knew you were exhausted and frustrated and tired.
Thank you for being YOU (hippy, warts and all) because without you I wouldn’t be me!
Your letter will look different to mine of course because we all give of ourselves in our own special ways. Just ask yourself questions like:
See? You deserve a massive pat on the back and 1000 Billion gold medals! And no more criticising yourself OK?!? Because that in itself is what turns us into Mummy Monsters! Scary! Especially for our kids!
So I challenge you to spend a few minutes writing a gratitude letter to yourself from you kids in the next 24 hours! Do it! You’ll feel like the Mother of the Year!
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!