"I Understand Now That Taking Time Away Is Healthy"—How Sisilia Piring Mothers Herself

"I Understand Now That Taking Time Away Is Healthy"—How Sisilia Piring Mothers Herself

Mother is a verb. It’s an action, a pursuit—and an intention. And, to absolutely no one’s surprise, it can be all-consuming. Being a mom tends to make putting yourself first (or, let’s be honest, even putting yourself second) a feat of radical proportions. But mothering ourselves is the only way mothering others is possible. Whether it’s carving out a solo ritual, granting ourselves permission to exist beyond the title of ‘mother,’ or simply finding time to rest, taking care of ourselves helps us show up as our best selves for our families and our communities. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a more than worthy practice. In our new series, Mothered, we explore the many ways that motherhood profoundly deepens our connection with ourselves—and how self-nurturing fuels us to show up for others.

Sisilia Piring is a photographer, content creator and mom of two living in Tucson, AZ. In 2019, Sisilia and her family traveled around the US in a picture-perfect vintage trailer. Through it all, she learned more about the balance of mothering those she loves and carving out time for herself. Keep reading for 7 powerful perspectives.

Ask for support when you need it

“I had an emergency surgery in 2021 that left me bedridden for 3 months. It was the most humbling time because I’ve had to ask for help from others. I’m the first born daughter to immigrant parents. I’ve felt that I’ve always had to be tough, strong, resilient, and perfect like I had it all figured out. Asking someone for help felt like I was showing weakness and my imperfectness.  I couldn’t cook for myself or my loved ones, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t lift anything over 5 pounds and I felt so much shame. It felt like I was asking so much and in my mind it felt like I was taking up so much space. I broke down constantly. It felt so uncomfortable asking for help but my loved ones were more than willing to help in any way that they could. That’s when I realized that mothering for myself was something I had to learn. Mothering myself was asking for help when it felt uncomfortable."

Nurture your relationship with your kids

“The way I mother my children is through quality time. I love when I can give my kids individual attention. Go on mom and daughter dates or mom and son dates. Get to know them and ask them about their day, their opinions on certain things. Making sure they have that space to vent or talk or just be themselves. Also letting them know that they will make mistakes, we all do and I think letting them know that has created this openness in our relationship. I didn’t get that growing up, so I want to let them know they always have a safe place—even if what they’re going through is uncomfortable either to them or for me and their dad.”

Don’t stop doing what you love

“I’ve always enjoyed traveling. It didn’t really change when I became a mom. But it wasn’t until this year that I traveled without my family. I’ve always felt so guilty at the thought of traveling without them. What if I miss them losing a tooth and I’m not there to share the joy that they have when they get a visit from the tooth fairy the next day? What if I have a memorable experience, but my kiddos aren’t with me to experience it, too, and I know they would absolutely flip out if they were there? Then there's the guilt of spending money on myself, especially on something that feels 'frivolous,' like going on a solo trip, staying in a nice hotel, treating myself to a spa day or experience. But as I’ve been healing that part of myself, I understand now that taking time away is healthy too. It’s a nice little reset for myself.  and the energy transfers and it’s honestly better for everyone.”

Stick to your routines

“I roll deep and bring all of my wellness supplements whenever I travel. It’s a non-negotiable. Thankfully most of my travel is via road, otherwise I wouldn’t know how to check everything in. I habit stack, so my morning ritual is the same when I travel so it doesn’t feel any different from any other day. I love my morning concoction. I look forward to it. I make sure I’ve had some protein then take my supplements on a full stomach.” 

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Do your thing

"I think it was a little easier to carve out time when I had Zoe, , because I’ve already had the experience of being a mom. I didn’t feel as guilty that I wanted some time to myself. I knew that if I didn’t take the help that I would regret it and feel the overwhelm later."

Be intentional

“I’m intentional with choosing the type of community I want to be in now that I’m mom. I want to make sure I can be a good example for my kids and the people they see me surrounded with. Sometimes it’s not words that the kids are learning from, but also my actions. How do they see mom react or handle things. How does mom interact with the world. Kids are likely to mirror those actions."

Acknowledge the work

"After becoming a mother, my empathy for my own mother grew even more. Wow! She did so much, much of it unbeknownst to me. So much love, sacrifice, dedication. Mother-daughter relationships can be difficult and it hasn’t always been easy with us, but after becoming a mom I understand her so much more and there’s so much more compassion there."

Connect with others on their own motherhood journey by joining our community, Village by Perelel on Geneva, or read more about adapting to the new identity of “mother.”