In addition to all of these, there are many other things that make motherhood harder, but there are also ways to balance those out. In this post, I will share with you my own journey of how I found peace with my motherhood struggles and the tips and strategies for you to find peace with your motherhood struggles too. So that you can start enjoying this transformative journey and have fun along the way.
You will lose your sense of self as you try to find your ground as a mum and, sometimes you will take on this whole new persona and responsibility of motherhood that you forget who you are and what you love. Your life is no longer about yourself but is about your child. Often times, you don’t realise the shift and, when it happens, all you know is that you feel bored, sometimes resenting your decision and motherhood. It’s bloody hard.
Your child has a personality and they will push your buttons, causing you to lose it at times but, the pressure you put on yourself to be the “perfect” mother, pushes your buttons even more. Accepting that you are human and that you will have good and bad days is a part of life. Not defining yourself as a “good mummy” or a “bad mummy”, or your kids as “good” or “bad” is so very important for the healthy formation of accepting all parts that are valuable to us. We are all capable of very good and very bad things. Like a child, we go through emotions and get angry, sad, overwhelmed, happy, calm, frustrated, etc. Those are very natural emotions and are very important for a well-balanced sense of self. If you suppress being angry, it will come out in the worst ways. Allow yourself to be angry without judging yourself. Allow your child to be angry without calling them “bad,” as they are only human and so are you.
What you can do…
Teach your children that it is ok to feel those emotions and teach them how to calm themselves down. Perhaps they need to breathe deeply or maybe they need a hug or to be left alone. Remember they are human, after all. If you are overwhelmed yourself, move away from the situation and don’t force yourself to deal with it if you are not in the right state of mind. Take time off, breathe deeply and don’t feel like you have to deal with every single situation right away. Sometimes, putting attention on a problem only makes it grow. Give yourself a rest and take care of yourself first.
Sure enough, your child needs boundaries as they need to learn to respect others and have compassion. However, they will not learn by constant confrontation. They will learn by you showing them that you respect their own needs and boundaries. They will learn once you respect them and once you show them that you understand and respect their emotions.
Parenting is a very big and difficult job and, unfortunately, we are not given a manual (I always say I wish the umbilical cord was their little instruction manual, shame it is not!).
But, most importantly, follow your heart, do what feels right and don’t let society pressure you into how you should parent your child. They are not you. They don’t know you or your children and, they haven’t lived your life, so they don’t know better, you do!
If you struggle with your own emotions or feel out of touch, it may just be that you need to connect with yourself and your own inner child, because that will most definitely help you connect with your children. You might need to tend to some issues and give yourself some attention so that you can then give your children what they need.
It is very hard to be a mum when you are stuck on your own traumas and issues. We all want to be the best we can for our children but, despite most efforts, sometimes we can’t control what is going on inside. Because of this, you won’t be able to give your children the loving care that they need because you yourself aren’t getting what you need, or your own childhood needs were never met. It is not to blame your parents as they, too, were trying to do the best job they could with what they knew and had. But, if you are aware that the reason for your own difficulties as parents are much deeper than just the normal parenting challenges, it may be time to give yourself some attention and heal some wounds so that you can have your mind and heart in the right place to parent with more peace and ease. I will never say that it will be easy but, it was certainly feel more natural and less stressful.
Parenthood can be enjoyed (not all of the time), but it can be enjoyed much more often when you are in touch with yourself, when you are caring for your soul and when you can truly be present and connected to your own children (or when you can pass them on for a day or two).
Start by checking in with what is going on when you struggle.
Is it that you are tired?
Do you need a break?
Is there something going on in your life that is causing you to feel overwhelmed?
Or, is it deeper?
Take the steps towards giving yourself what you need so that you can give your best self to your family, not the “perfect” self but the best you can with what you have. And remember, it’s a learning process, for you, for your child and for your family.
Take it easy !