When soon-to-be parents ask me, a mother of two (3 & 5) for parental advice, I only have one to give, especially to the mothers, and it goes…
“Forget everything you know about what it means to be a mother and do your own thing”.
I didn’t get this advice when I became a mother. I grew up in Sweden – “the world’s most equal country”! I’d been a life-long activist, a feminist belonging to a minority. Sharing 50/50 and “doing my thing” would not be a problem. But with all the “should, could, and woulds”, judgments, hormones, and pressure that came with my firstborn.
I found it hard to stay connected WITH myself.
Besides being confused I had a constant feeling of not being enough. Mostly for being confused and not a “natural” mom, because we are all supposed to just “intuitively know” how everything works. Right! And on top of it all, I judged myself for still wanting all those things I had wanted before.
Even though I kept going on the path of self-discovery, that I’d started before motherhood, I felt very lost. My inner world was in conflict with my outer world.
Every time a child is born is an opportunity to reinvent and break free from this unbelievablY, toxic role.
Many of us spent our entire 20 ‘til 30s chopping ourselves out of the suffocating, self-hating mold school/society put us in from early childhood, and then, a few years of freedom and BAAM! The next mold is ready for our arrival into parenting.
The mother role is created on values that go back to when Jesus and his squad roamed this planet and have created beliefs that are downright illusory. No one can live up to this image because it has nothing to do with reality. It’s a collective cognitive distortion that sets us all up for failure.
So, the next time that old familiar “I’m not enough” or “am I doing it right” feeling comes knocking, not only in the role of being a mom, it can be anything, this is what you do;
QUESTION IT! WHERE IS IT COMING FROM? IS THIS REALLY YOU? CONFRONT THAT VOICE!
What am I telling myself that makes me feel like this?
If it’s really being fair?
If what it’s saying is true?
If, the answer is “yes”, can I really be sure it’s true?
If it’s helpful?
And, is this something I, on an individual level, can do anything about, or is it out of my control?
Then take the time to really look into the shadows.
Remember: We are not here to judge; we are here to understand.
It can help to talk to yourself like you would talk to a really good friend.
Accept and support.
Be the best friend you want in your life – to yourself!
The better we get at questioning our triggers and catching thoughts and emotions, the more proactive we can get and take necessary action towards changes that can support us in real life, here and now. And only then we can start living our own truth.
We also become more accepting because we understand the depths of unfairness, we are constantly being submissive to, and we can call it out..
This is where mindfulness is so amazing because, when we take that time to be present and meditate, either in silence, by scanning our body, eating or drinking; whatever…the closer we get to ourselves. Understanding and hearing our inner, authentic voice, our guidance. The more resilient we become when it comes from the judgments from outside.
In the end, mindfulness is nothing more than taking the time we need with the most important relationship in our life – the one we have with ourselves.
The few questions above are more empowering than you can imagine. Mastering them means freedom.
Photo “Mother in boat”: Pixabay/Stockshare
Photo “Toddler playing guitar”: Pixabay/Urirenataadrienn
Photo “Best friends”: Pixabay/BhaktiCreative
LET US HELP YOU GET STARTED
If you find it hard to get into a mindfulness practice, I can really recommend the Hey Me Compassion Circle.
Together we do dyads – a meditation method you practice together with another person. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about yourself and practice being present at the same time.
CREATE YOUR OWN MOTHER-ROLE!
Also, especially for mothers or soon-to-be mothers, there’s a great workshop with Isa available.
Create your own mother-role, so you get into it more prepared than I did. You can book your spot here.