Every mother at one point has thought, “I want to be a better mom — the perfect mom — but I don’t know where to start.” There are a whole bunch of other thoughts like these that creep in and weigh us down. Some of these thoughts come from a growing list of things moms say, that we’ve been trained to take as truth. I like to call these “mom myths.”
Maybe you’re reading this because you’re thinking you might be mildly crazy. It’s OK to feel that way, because you are not alone in thinking that. These mom myths we play in our heads contribute to that feeling, and it’s time we address those. I’m glad you’re taking the time to read this, even if you’ve chosen to do so while your kids are napping and your husband is out, so no one would see. I’m glad you’re here.
And you’re certainly in the right place if any of this sounds familiar…
• You feel guilty any time you’re not serving your family.
• You’re exhausted. Not tired, exhausted.
• Desperation often has you thinking, “I regret having children.”
• You don’t think anyone understands or recognizes how many directions you’re being pulled.
• You “forget” to do the simplest things because you’re spinning out of control.
• You don’t like the person you’re impersonating. (You want to be you).
• You constantly feel “out of balance,” which is a cute way of saying you backed out of the garage without opening the garage door… and then you did it again!
That Fuel Unhealthy Practices of Motherhood
Our Culture has cultivated a lot of assumptions about how we should feel, act and exist as mothers. Let’s address the most threatening myths today.
Stay-at-home moms lack personal motivation and overall intelligence, compared to working mothers.
This myth is a mentality leftover from the ice-box and “honey, I’m home!” days. In my early career I was a successful architect running my own firm for eight years before deciding to stay home with my children. Motherhood was never meant to limit your personal growth, in fact it is quite the opposite. Your choice is yours, and those who think staying home is your fall back plan are judging from the eyes of a dated outlook.
Work-from-home moms have less attachment to their kids and less desire to be a part of their lives in general.
Working to support your family does not signify a lack of interest or affection for your children. Instead of warring against mothers who choose to take a role outside of the home, we should be focusing on empowering women with supportive initiatives like longer maternity leave, a better established paternity leave program, and flexible schedules.
There is one right way to parent.
The media likes to make us think this, but you are your own person, your children are coming into their own individuality, and the relationship you have with them in large part determines the methods you need to parent.
Be perfect, and your kids will turn out perfect.
Striving for growth and striving for perfection are two very different things. It is essential for your kids to see you try, fail and get back up and try again. If your kids only see success or the appearance of perfection, the importance of effort and failing are lost.
The key to happiness is perfect balance.
While working towards a better professional, social and personal life is certainly beneficial to your overall wellbeing (and in turn your children’s wellbeing), my program is designed to move with the changing winds of your life. Part of seeking balance is accepting it will never be perfect, and if it feels that way, it’s only the calm before the storm.
Self-care takes away from my child’s care.
Somewhere along the way we decided grinding our giving bones and depleting ourselves was the only way to ensure our kids’ happiness and safety. The truth is you can only give what you have, so if you don’t take the time to refocus and rejuvenate, there will be nothing left, and you WILL burnout.
We must provide our kids with as many resources as possible.
In a perfect world, we would be there for every bruise, every tear, and every failure to make it all better — and they would be better off for it. But while we are there to soften the blow of life as they grow (and help them see the beauty in it too!), there are some lessons that must be felt to the fullest. Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to stand by and watch your child learn life’s hard lessons. Allow them to discover their strengths and gather their own resources from time to time.
Guilt comes with unconditional, unwavering love.
We will never stop worrying about our kids, because we want the very best for them. But that doesn’t mean we need to feel guilty when we leave them for a date night or to go to work. You are your own person, you were you before motherhood, and you can maintain a sense of individuality as a mother, too.