The Sacred 7: Non-Negotiables for Thriving as a Mom + Wife
This list was born during one of my low points. Mark and I were talking at 4:30AM. Yes, sometimes that’s the only time for adults to talk with four kids in the house. He woke me up. (well, I wasn't sleeping). And we finally talked. The reason for my pain, I realized, was that one or two or, nope, three of my Sacreds were slashed. I learned then that without all of them intact, I’d be suffering. While my then angry, but still loving husband listened to me ramble half-asleep, my non-negotiables became clear to me. Up until then, I didn’t know I had any. By rambling in the dark, I understood what they were. We both understood. These have held true through the best of times, too. To negotiate the crazy-motherhood, unrehearsed-wife rapids, I need to never negotiate on what I now call the Sacred Seven.
The Sacred Seven:
- my marriage
- our intimacy
- my mothering
- real food
- abundant sleep
- yoga + walks
- simple beauty
To engage fully in all of these things, allows me to maintain my well-being. In difficult times, to engage in only these things allows me to restore it. It took me 15 years of marriage and 14 years of mothering to actually be able to name my needs. Be patient with yourself. Learn what makes you well. Make a list. Then do those things every day without compromise.
The Sacred Seven: Non-Negotiables for Thriving as a Mom + Wife
- A relationship that’s solid makes a ho-hum woman amazing. Really. Does that mean we rely on someone else for our happiness? No. But it does mean we need to receive love and nurturing, not just give love and nurturing—to thrive.
- Particularly for us women, intimacy involves investment. A big investment. Ten years of constant living and loving (and even some hating) together, finally got me to a point of total relaxation with my husband in the intimacy department. Remember: be patient.
- I was interviewed today on this topic at Peaceful Mothering with Olga Dossa. This stuff is the meat and potatoes of staying calm with kids in a crazy world. Check it out (here).
- Simple, farm-fresh, local foods are our sustenance. No boxes. No cans. No chemicals. No rules, really. Just food.
- When Napoleon Bonaparte was asked how many hours of sleep a person should have each night, he replied, "Six for a man, seven for a woman, eight for a fool.” Because I like to put in my 2¢ whenever possible, for me the quotes continues: nine for a wise man, 10 for a wise woman,11 for a wise breastfeeding woman, 12 for a wise pregnant woman.
- This was true for me through four pregnancies and 117 months of breastfeeding. It still is—10 hours every night for this (hopefully) wise, non-baby-sustaining woman. Know your needs. And meet them. You'll be wise(r).
- yoga + walks
- Getting outside and walking, no matter the weather, (well, it has to ‘feel like’ at least 19ºF and not be raining... hard) is required. I wouldn’t be me without it. I talk about my daily yoga practice in my interview at Peaceful Mothering (over here).
- Beauty is a must. A simple, natural sort of beauty fills a part of me that seems to need regular filling these days. I love that long-term, deep-rooted beauty that bursts from the inside out. Like a genuine smile, a belly laugh, a child’s joy, a flower, a marriage that’s weathered broken hearts, sick children, moving and money problems. Through daily, monthly, yearly, sometimes a whole lifetime of love and nurturing, simple beauty starts with something tiny and becomes something bigger than any one of us.