I realized recently that I have been acting like a victim of my motherhood. I’m not sure how this all transpired but I had a wake up call and realized what I had done.
At some point after my daughter was born, I felt as though I couldn’t handle it, maybe it was post-partum depression that I didn’t understand, maybe it was my physical circumstances I am a little woman, and my daughter was a big baby. I don’t know what started this mode of thinking, but it happened. I said to my self, “I can’t handle this, I’m not good enough to be a mother.”
And of course I had evidence everywhere to back this up. As I said my girl was a big baby, I couldn’t carry the car seat and carrier with her in it…ever. I always struggled with caring the diaper bag, or undoing the stroller. And as she got older, I had to keep an eagle eye on her, and stop her from doing all of those dangerous, and unacceptable things. I remember being at our temple for a Bris, and I was just chasing her everywhere feeling totally out of control, I felt like all of the other moms were feeling sorry for me. And the evidence was my daughter’s teacher and the director came up to me and suggested I bring her to pre-school 5 days a week.
Then I think I realized that I needed help, which meant that I was a failure at being a mom. I wasn’t equipped to do it all, even with part time preschool. And then of course I could use this argument when things went wrong. If she made poor choices, it was because I didn’t teach her well enough. When the school said she was too hard to handle in the big class. Everything that went wrong, I personally took on as my failure as a mom. The pain that I just kept inflicting on myself was just shredding the soul of the person whose body I was residing in.
I really started to believe that it was all so very true, and that if I was going to be a good enough mother, I would have to give up everything to raise her right. I know the expression, I’d die for my child is so often true, and I don’t doubt that every parent would give their life for their child. I think I did, but unknowing in that moment, I let myself die. It may sound drastic, but I think that the woman I was before She was born, the strong powerful woman, who took on the world, made difference through coaching, and was unstoppable, she died. That part of me, I killed off because I thought she couldn’t be around, she couldn’t come out if I was going to be the good enough mother.
I stopped going to seminars that I loved, and I stopped spending that much time with my friends, I stopped being unstoppable in having a life that I loved, and I was just fine with surviving that day. I was sleep deprived for 4 ½ years, so I’m not even sure I could have been aware of any of this sooner.
I work hard for my marriage, and paid attention to our needs, but I really wasn’t the lit up and energized woman that my husband fell in love with. Don’t get me wrong, we have had fun, and passion a midst all of the exhaustion and struggle. But what about my needs, my wants? I had killed off all of those notions, and hadn’t realized what a disservice that was to my entire family –especially my daughter. She has been telling me lately that she doesn’t want to be a mother – she’s 5 ½, and is pretty clear about this. This is what really got me thinking, “what if all she is aware of is my struggle, my resentments for killing off part of myself, the fact that I haven’t been owning how powerful I am, or that my authentic self has been hiding?” BAM!! I lost it, I was crying as the reality hit me.
I love her, and I want her to be happy, but I can’t model happiness for her, if I am not being UNSTOPPABLE about my own life and my own happiness.
I have been telling my clients for years how important self-care is, and I think I really just got what I meant. Self-care isn’t just for health of body, and doing something nice for your-self to say I’m worth spending $50 on a mani-pedi. Self-Care is about being a stand for loving my self, all of me, and making sure my authentic self is present at all times. My spirit needs to be fed, and nurtured, along with my body and mind.
There is no more hiding who I am because I am a mom, there is shining bright and living loudly because I am mom!
I am Meredith, I am an amazing relationship coach, I am a loving and compassionate friend. I create love and acceptance wherever I go. I live for making a difference in the world, and I am powerful at what I want to create! I do it all while having a blast!
I am a great wife, and I am the best mom I can be – because I am now fully present to me!
This reminded me a bit like a 12 Step Program; maybe I am a recovering struggling mom.
May be I should create the 12 Steps for a Recovering Mom?
- Step 1 We thought we were powerless because we were mothers, so we gave up part of ourselves, told ourselves our life was a struggle, and accepted the truth.
- Step 2 We came to realize we are the power to restore our sanity
- Step 3 We choose to look at who were are being, and committed to being our best possible selves
- Step 4 We gave up comparing our lives to the other mothers, and the idea of the“Perfect Mom”
- Step 5 We take on Self-Care for ourselves, our partners, our children, and the future
- Step 6 We bring love, acceptance, and compassion with us where ever we go.
That’s a start … I’d love to hear your thoughts on the rest of the steps, please share.
I love you, and I’m committed that you find and own your greatness!