Hi, I’m Yolanda Alvares
My earliest memories of my chaotic life have been of me waking up each morning completely “exhausted”, that’s right feeling exhausted just thinking of my day ahead of me. And the mental chatter in my head through the night left me feeling exhausted.
Because besides worrying for the needs of my family, my 2 daughters and my husband, my list of tasks extended to ensuring that everyone else too, and that covered not just my extended family but all of my friends and theirs families too… PLUS any acquaintances that came along their needs I felt were to be met as much as possible by me too..
Feelings of GUILT had been my dominant emotion in hindsight.
Guilty that I wasn’t a good enough wife, a good enough mum, sister, friend, employee and the list went on. I was working full time, rushing kids around to afterschool activities, cooking meals to suit everyone in the family, kids homework and helping with school projects, being part of church committees and school committees the list went on.
And then entertaining guests in the weekend because we ‘definitely’ needed to balance our hectic lives with a social life! And in the midst of all of this busyness.. I felt very alone. I had taken on responsibility of everything in my world and deep within me I was craving connection with myself,,, a connection with my partner.
This added another item to my long list of things to do.. was me organising baby sitters and date nights in my strife to find connection in a very emotionally disconnected marriage. On the outside we looked like the perfect family unit but in reality our marriage was starved of love & connection. You may have heard of the saying that ‘Pain’ is our greatest personal growth driver… I can confidently say that was a 100% true or me. I was burnt out… I felt it but I didn’t feel I had a choice. Someone had to do it? Right?! And it was me and my NEED to Control! I recollect one morning.. I got out of bed and collapsed to the floor, my back had given way. It refused to support me anymore. I even remember at that time thinking as I lay helpless on the floor about my long list of tasks scheduled for the day and how I was going to get through it all?
However, the real ‘light bulb moment’ as they say came when my daughter asked for help on her math assessment, which was due the next day and it was 8pm, her bedtime! I found myself yelling at her saying that this was not the time to come to with help on her work, forgetting that she had told me about it when she received it, I continued to yell at her & question her what did she go to school for everyday? You see I was over reacting and that’s what we do when we’re burnt out, the language I used when I spoke to my 9 year old child did not match my expectations of the mum I wanted to be and how I wanted to raise my child!
And after she had fallen to sleep crying and her self-esteem crushed by the person she focused on pleasing in all her little life… I broke down crying through the entire night.
That night I asked myself 2 questions:
- Was this the mum I wanted to be?
- In all of my rushing around and anger outbursts did my child really know how much I deeply and unconditionally loved her?
My answer to both those questions that night was NO & NO…
There were too many similar incidents that had occurred to bring me to this point, however it somehow felt that this incident was a turning point for me! You see at the end of that year, I received a call from my daughter’s school principals office to say that my daughter had made such significant progress through the year that she was now receiving the academic award for the year. I remembered a quote from Marianne Williamson that says ‘as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same’. I have today,,, 10 years on, since my decision to transform my life, weaved that very quote into my everyday life.
Today I work part time as a business analyst, I run 2 businesses one in kid’s empowerment and the other in guiding women towards shining their own light, in my work as a life coach. I continue to work at my day job as an analyst in Swinburne.
I chose to end a marriage that didn’t serve any of us not my ex, not me and not my kids.
I am a single mum raising my 2 teenager daughters Yanika & Jonelle in a home that feels like it’s the weekend every day of the week. We still face all of the usual challenges to do with their friendships, the time they spend online, boys, alcohol, hormonal ups and downs…
We face our challenges approaching them from a space of love by which I mean we recognise that we have the choice to consciously respond from a space of Love. Where we respect each other equally and we acknowledge the unconditional love we have with each other. All of the work I do whether it’s with the kids empowerment parties, the workshops, my book, I do it all alongside with my kids recognising that this is their journey as much as it is mine. My kids have co-authored my book with me, where they have shared their perspective in chapters of their own. We live our empowerment message every day in our daily lives. Our intention is to shine our light to share with all what’s possible in parent child relationships. And that it’s never too late to make the shift.
You see I do this and still have plenty of time to spend quality time with myself and enjoy quality relationships with my kids, my family, my friends, I even have a very amicable relationship with my ex.