Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. Right? I get so tired of my thoughts sometimes. I also forget all the time that I am not my thoughts and neither are you of course! Good news, right?? Thoughts have this super sneaky way of wreaking havoc in our lives and keeping us caught in places that honestly we just want to get out of. It is really interesting when you think about it, huh? Well, when we become moms, it's like the thought switch never turns off and doesn't even get dimmed either. Am I right? I am in pursuit of the dimmer switch right now as a Mom of two absolutely amazing young boys. There are days when I am in a funk and my brain goes to the thoughts, "I am never going to stop thinking about my kids" or "I am never going to stop feeling responsible for my kids." The permanency of it all. It creates overwhelm and yet it also reminds me of this massive love. It is at times hard to sort through our thoughts, let alone identify who we are as a woman outside of being a mom and wife.
Here are a few of those thoughts that are holding you back.
1. "I have to be happy around my kids all the time."
This right here is just nonsense. It is an expectation that we will never meet as a mom or a human being EVER! It is not normal to be happy all the time. We are taught that we should feel happy all the time and when we don't then we feel bad about ourselves. Do we want to keep teaching our kids this nonsense?? This shame?? No thank you! It is up to us to model for our kids how to be a HUMAN- a whole hearted human! I am challenging this thought when it shows up for me and replacing it with "I want to be me around my kids all the time." Try it for yourself.
2. "If I don't play with my kids, then I am a bad mom."
Ok, I don't know about you, but I cannot play with my boys all the time. I have other things that need my attention like the upkeep of the house on a daily basis and of course time for myself and time with my husband. I like things to be in order for the most part. I also love to have down time. I have some areas that collect clutter, I mean who doesn't, but seriously. I have been in the depths of guilt about this, but there are only so many times that you can play hide and seek or only so many bubbles that you can blow, right? It's ok to tell your kids that you don't want to do that right now. You are actually teaching your kids that they don't have to do everything that everyone else wants to do all the time either. Win win! I also want to teach my boys how to play on their own and with each other through sharing and listening and taking care of their things. I mean don't get me wrong, I play with them, just not every single time that they ask. I stay at home with them and so we are around each other a lot with lots of opportunities to enjoy each other's company and also opportunities to create boundaries as well. Try on some boundaries for yourself. If you need time to sit and read or just be still, do this around your kids and tell them what you are doing. Model for them that you are relaxing and having quiet time. We all need it!
3. "If I don't wake up before my kids, then I am a bad mom."
This right here is a biggie for me. My Mom was awake every single morning growing up and still does it to this day. Wow! I can honestly look at this with udder amazement. I was beating myself up about this every morning until just recently. Then I just surrendered. I love that my firstborn son comes into our room and snuggles with me. It's the best way to wake up EVER! I want to enjoy those moments for as long as I can! I am sure that I will end up waking up before everyone eventually, but honestly I'm okay even if I don't. I am not a morning person and it would require me to basically tiptoe on only two toes to get by without the boys hearing me. And let's be honest, if they are sleeping, so are we. Sleep if you can or just because you want to and enjoy it!
4. "If I'm not thinking about my kids and doing things for them and with them in my free time, then then I am a bad mom."
And this one right here puts the mom guilt on steroids! Right? This one robs us of the present moment when we are not around our precious barnacles (yes I call mine that affectionately). Oh I have lost so much time with this thought right here and it makes me mad right now just writing about it. All of the guilt I put myself through. We think that we should feel guilty when we are not around our kids! This absolutely needs to go!! We all need time away from our kids and they need time away from us. We cannot be around each other and expect to have fun and be happy all the time. It is just not possible or normal. Create some space and opportunities for you to give yourself free time so that you can fill your tank and come back to your barnacles with a fresh perspective. If you are not sure what you even want to do in your free time, that is okay. Just start your journey so that you can find out.
5. "If I am not enjoying every second when I am with my kids, then I will regret it when they are grown."
And then there is this other present moment robber right here. I really don't like this expression that we hear from others. I know that it is absolutely coming from a place of love when someone says it to us, but I think it's time to get curious about it and its impact on moms. It's almost like there is something that we should be scared of as they get older, right? Like hold on to these times because they are the best that you will ever have. And yes they are wonderful but I also look forward to all of the time that I have to share with them as they grow up. My brain likes to throw in this thought after I have disciplined my boys' behavior or when what they are doing something that is triggering my stuff within me. It's like I am punishing myself for teaching them things and feeling triggered. It is so silly, right? Let me just kick you while you are down, Angela. Here think this! That will make you feel better! That will teach you! You are going to miss the times when they are little and you shouldn't be annoyed at them right now and should enjoy every single second around these little angels. See how that can hold you back? Now as I catch myself thinking this thought, I simply say to myself, "being a Mom is hard sometimes and you are doing your very best right now. You are making an effort to engage with your children and to teach them about loving themselves and learning how to cope in times of stress. You are not perfect and you don't need to be. Just be you and love them and enjoy them at each and every stage of their development." Try that one on for yourself, my friend. It's a game changer!!
Do any of these thoughts hold you back and rob you of the present moment? Please comment below and we can start a supportive discussion. Remember, you are not your thoughts my friend! You are way way way more than that and I can help you to discover it!
Move Forth with Love,