Being a working mother can be exhausting...
…and by “working mother”, I refer to all mothers. Because whether you do paid work outside of the home, paid work at home, or non-paid work outside or inside of your home (many women do all three), all mothers are working mothers...
...and man, do we work.
Don’t get me wrong, being a working mother is by far the most rewarding, growth-inspiring and purpose-filled role I have ever held. Being a mum is tops. But it can be exhausting. When I start to recognise a twinkle of exhaustion emerging, it’s a signal to me that my Yang has forgotten my Yin.
Yin and Yang are synonymous with Chinese philosophy. They are two sides of the same coin. They are light and dark, they are expanding and contracting. Yin and Yang are two energetic polarities; they are energy in, and energy out.
Yin and Yang exist in a super-impressive, simultaneous duality and unity. Although seemingly opposite, they are complimentary. One doesn’t exist without the other, and together, they form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than its parts. Whilst Yang is driven by the fire and energy inside you, to make things happen, Yin is there to restore you.
When your Yin and your Yang are in balance, you’re in the best position to be awesome.
… and mum’s need to be awesome, which is why losing my Yin is something I need to be mindful of. Many of the activities of being a working Mum are Yang activities, because they involve giving energy, sharing energy, inspiring energy production in others and using up lots of your own energy. And whilst there is an element of all of these activities that is energising at some level, if I don’t make the time to balance out the Yang stuff with the Yin stuff (or my energy-in), I start to become less awesome.
Yin for me is yoga, Yin is sleep, Yin mindfulness, and it is meditation, it is rest. Yin is reading, it is doing puzzles, making Lego, colouring in. Yin is being out in nature, it is walking by the beach, in the bush, around the country. Yin is singing, it is cooking, it is playing piano, it is painting, it is writing (I’m ‘Yinning’ right now in case you hadn’t noticed).
Making time for your Yin tends to be something working mothers aren’t particularly good at. There never seems to be the time, the place, the priority. Yin can feel self-indulgent. I’m here to remind you that Yin is ESSENTIAL. When I make time to invest in my Yin, I never regret it. In fact, I’ve recently started to realise the enormity of the importance of not neglecting my Yin. When I am able to engage in restoration, I think better, lead better, love more freely, I parent more mindfully and I feel more fulfilled overall. When my Yin and my yang are in balance, I shine.
Yin rocks, it really does. Yang does to, but I feel like most of us are pretty good at ‘Yanging’, and could benefit from a little more Yinning each day.
So as you go about your day being a magnificent working mother, perhaps you could benefit from considering what is the Yin to your Yang?