A lot of work goes into preparing for a baby. New room arrangements, child-care decisions, childbirth classes, and endless shopping help you plan for all changes a baby brings. But how do you plan for changes that might occur in you?
Many women find that motherhood changes them. In truth, it may shake very foundation of their lives. Their priorities shift; they see world differently. For many women, change that overcomes them in motherhood is inspiring and joyful. But for some women, it’s scary. For others, it can be downright depressing. How do you make sure that as your world suddenly changes around you, you still feel solid in knowledge of who you really are, so that new motherhood is most positive experience possible?
One way is to secure a strong sense of yourself before your baby is born. We often hear that being a good mom comes from being a good you, but how can you do that if you don’t really know who you are? You need to be clear on what you care about most. In other words, you need to know your core values.
Living in sync with your values is key to your fulfillment and contentment. And trust us, at no time is this more true than when you become a mother. Suddenly, focus of your life changes. Your identity changes. Your perspective changes. As you care for, play with and fall in love with your baby, it can be easy to lose touch with yourself. Knowing your values will keep you grounded. You will feel more centered as a person, and therefore, as a mother. As a result, you can give more to your baby without giving away your self.
In order to live your values, you need to get to know them, understand what they mean to you, and remember them so you can stay true to what’s really important to you. Doing so will help you be more relaxed and content despite overwhelm and excitement that new motherhood can bring. The steps below can help you identify your values so they become your foundation for motherhood.
Identifying Your Values
Identifying your values is a personal process that takes time and reflection. When we work with women in our workshops and private coaching sessions, first step we have them take is to identify their values by brainstorming all things, people, activities and states of being that fulfill them and make them feel alive. You can do this on your own by simply asking yourself question: “What’s truly important to me and brings me to life?” We encourage you to let answers flow without trying to analyze, edit, or approve them. Just scribble them all down on a piece of paper and don’t censor anything!
The next step is to use your brainstorm to start defining your values. The things that you listed are important clues to your values, but they are not necessarily values themselves.
Values are intangible – they are essence behind things that gives them their worth. For instance, if you listed your friends as important to you, look at what it is about your friends that you value. Is it sense of belonging? Laughter? Support? Those are all possible values. If money made it to your list, what is it about money that you most value? Security? Freedom? Pleasure? Again, these are potential values. It’s easy to mistake thing or person or activity as a value, but these are only manifestations of your underlying values.
Ideally, we suggest having a short list of five to seven values that represent what matters most in your life. We have included a list of sample values below to give you ideas. Try circling ones that ring true for you. Then narrow your list to five or seven by asking yourself, “Which values do I need to honor in order to be truly fulfilled?”