Ever since the birth of my daughter (almost two years ago), I’ve been interested in the idea of intentional motherhood and—in the words of my friend LaToya—parenting with a purpose. I haven’t written much on this topic because it’s something I’m still learning and figuring out for myself.
Of course, I don’t think we ever completely “figure out” parenting! Instead, it’s a lifelong journey and someone who has been helping me find my way is LaToya from The New Mom Show.
I met LaToya when she asked me to be a guest on the podcast she hosts with her sister Alexys. I don’t do a lot of podcast interviews because I’m quite shy but I’m SO glad I said yes to this one because I felt an instant connection with these two wonderful women.
The podcast episode will be live soon (here it is!) but in the meantime, I asked LaToya to share some of her thoughts on intentional motherhood. This was her beautiful response and I knew I had to share it with you. Enjoy! ❤️
This is a guest post written by LaToya Granados of The New Mom Show.
The baby bump appears, and it’s love at first kick. Sometimes. Everyone has a different story.
My love for my daughter was, in fact, instant and has never wavered, but my feelings about motherhood definitely have. It’s a little hard to talk about honestly.
But, I’m going to keep it real with you friends. There are moments where I have honestly thought to myself, “what in the world did I freaking sign up for?!” But even on the hard days, I have known that more than anything I want to give my child everything that matters to me. Essentially, I want our life to be built upon our core values.
As a mother, I want to build her an environment, every day, where I take hold of as many opportunities as possible to give her a childhood that creates a healthy foundation for the rest of her life to be built upon. I want her childhood to be filled with wonder, and exploration, and physical safety, and emotional security.
As a yoga instructor, I entered motherhood with an aim to be mindful, to be present, and to do motherhood on purpose, and with a purpose. I’m writing this today because I believe in the notion that motherhood can actually be amazing! I believe that doing life with your child can be the most fun and rewarding experience of your life!
THE DECISION TO HEAL
But backtrack a little. Some of you may know that I’ve been in a difficult season of life in the last six months. I have decided to address childhood trauma that I repressed for many years. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and have been in therapy to learn how to manage my life and recover from this trauma.
I have been terrified to enjoy the life I have for fear that the other shoe will soon drop. I want to run from the pain and discomfort and never look back. I want to eat and shop my way out of the dark tunnel.
But friends, let me tell you…I went into the tunnel on purpose, with a purpose.
Months ago, I made a conscious choice to look backwards and do the work to heal in order to become the best mom I could be. I had no idea what I’d embark on. As a result, I get to tell you that the only way for me to be whole, to be aware, to experience perfect closeness with my daughter is to do my work to heal.
CHOOSING TO BE INTENTIONAL
In order to be intentional as a mama, I have to be aware enough to know I’m not parenting from my wounds. For example, some of us are really co-dependent with our kiddos (that’s me), or easily frustrated, or struggle with discipline, or take your pick.
I lean towards parenting out of fear when I’m not aware and present. When I am unhealthy, I show my daughter unhealthy patterns. I am not perfect (nor am I aiming to be) and I will, for a variety of reasons, have to apologize to my daughter.
But the more intentional I am the more I can sleep in peace knowing I truly did my best to show up for her, and myself! Let’s not forget ourselves in all of this. ?
AN ABUNDANT LIFE
I am now seeing that I have been given this beautiful opportunity to be here and enjoy the amazing life I currently have! I have issues, don’t get me wrong. But I get to shift my focus to the blessings. Doing healing work allows me to open my eyes and see things differently, more honestly.
I can miss blessings when I get stuck in what was or I focus on what doesn’t serve me. But I realized today that motherhood does not equal misery sprinkled with some magic along the way. It is the abundant life with all the ups and downs and glory that life can possibly offer.
So if you want more out of your motherhood journey, if you want to offer your children the most wonderful childhood imaginable, join me!!! I’m not talking about perfection. I am talking about healing, fun, joy, learning from mistakes and moving forward. I’m talking freedom, and wisdom, with your values at the forefront.
We are going to take back our lives and we’re going to create an amazing childhood for our littles while finding our true identities in the midst of it all.
HOW TO PARENT WITH A PURPOSE
OK, the practicals for intentional motherhood:
- Make space in your life for reflection. It’s gotta be part of your weekly rhythms. I try to do yoga 3x a week and I go to therapy once a week. I also sit and journal at least once a week.
- Establish your support system. For me, it’s 2 friends who I can be totally transparent with (I often tell them ahead of time, I don’t want advice I just need someone to listen and validate my feelings). Also, my husband, and my therapist.
- Have a go-to affirmation. Either daily, sometimes weekly or even monthly, I’ll grab an affirmation for the hard moments. This month it’s “I am strong enough to face the pain.”
- Make self-care a priority. I know we all try to do this, but just start with one manageable thing every day. My goal this month is to wake up a little before my kiddo to exercise and have coffee.
- Simplify your life by getting rid of whatever takes away time from you being the healthiest you possible. Having more stuff means cleaning more stuff, which means less time for you to take care of yourself. Overpacking your schedule means less time for what matters most to you.
You are not in this alone friend. You can reach out to me for personal support at @the_new_mom_show on Instagram. You can also find practical tips to manage the dailiness when you subscribe to the newsletter at thenewmomshow.com to get all the freebies!
I can’t wait to connect with you again soon!
Your new friend,
The New Mom Show
3 thoughts on “Intentional Motherhood: Parenting With a Purpose”
Great post Latoya. “Parenting with purpose” is just the perfect phrase for all the mamas who care their kids with all their hearts while teaching them to live life rather just spending it.
Gosh Latoya-you wrote out my exact thoughts on motherhood. My daughter is 8 months old, my first child, and from the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew that however I chose to mother, if nothing else it was going to have to be intentional. There’s no other way. We have one shot at raising a human- there’s no second chance-so it has to be done with a lot of thought and care and love. Just as you say.
I’m so happy that you weave in having a purpose (because how can you mother with genuine intention without it), and the self-care and minimalist pieces. They are all so important in mothering deliberately, because without them life is complicated and messy and without an anchor. A lot of people talk about motherhood without addressing these super important topics, so I really appreciate you for this. It’s a very holistic approach.
Can I just add a few things? I come from a massage therapy background, and know firsthand the unparalleled benefits of movement, because this is what will move the stuck emotions and stress of life, and motherhood specifically. I don’t mean exercise per se, I mean long walks in nature and more movement throughout the day. This is a huge part of “self care”-a foundational part.
Our bodies hold so much and only movement can get to the roots of the problem, although I firmly and whole-heartedly believe in therapy to address serious mental issues like you write about. Years ago, after the sudden death of my little brother, I developed a debilitating anxiety disorder that no amount of movement could help. I had to see a therapist and a doctor to truly address the problem because I was so deeply wounded- but I did keep moving and walking and stretching the whole time to process what was going on.
Anyhow, thank you so much for your words, and I’ll be checking out your podcast for sure! I want to link to a piece I wrote about the issue of self-care and motherhood where I talk about moving our bodies more as a crucial, foundational piece.