This is hard for me to admit…. I love my son so much, but for a while, I wasn’t sure if I loved being a Mom. I would listen to other women talk about their experience of being a Mom and they just seemed to be experiencing something I wasn’t. I didn’t feel like a bad Mom, I just wasn’t really enjoying myself, ever.
It felt like a ton of work, on top of the work I was already doing.
For a while I kept it in, completely embarrassed that I felt this way. And when the feeling of disconnection wasn’t going away I knew I needed to do something.
So I started to talk to people, ask questions, and connect. I started to develop deeper relationships with the few women currently in my life. I started to talk to my therapist. I shared with my sister.
The thing that was most helpful was realizing that I didn’t really know what kind of Mom I wanted to be. I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of mom I should be, what kind of mom I thought Theo needed or what kind of mom my mom is (which are some seriously big shoes to fill). But, as long as I was trying to do things the way I thought I should, there wasn’t any space for me to become myself and the mom I was meant to be.
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, this pattern can happen in any area of our lives – our career goals, our relationships, our friendships, our eating habits…
So I sat down and I asked myself, what kind of Mom do I want to be? What kind of mother do I want to be regardless of who my children are, who I’m in a romantic relationship with or who raised me.
My goal was to create a mission statement that aligned with my being and my core desires.
Here is what I came up with:
I am here to be a steady source of love and comfort.
I am not here to be Theo's constant playmate, he has his own friends!
I am a Mom who is calm and stress free when possible.
I give Theo lots of hugs and kisses, even when he wiggles away.
I will be a witness to his adventurous soul, allow him to fall down, get really dirty and challenge himself, even when it makes me nervous.
I will bring in lots of amazing adults into his life, so he can learn from many different people, and so I can have someone to connect with.
I will be a great role model for him, tending to my own dreams and desires so he can do the same.
Now, this isn’t about being deliberately different, rebellious, consciously the same or unique. It’s just about listening inside and seeing what comes naturally.
Since I did this a couple weeks ago, things at home have completely shifted. Since I am clear on my role, I “pass” or nearly pass my own test everyday. Since I feel like I’m succeeding and am in integrity with myself, I am more relaxed and have a better time. Because of that, I can see Theo better, connect with him more easily, and he seems to be picking up on my energy and throwing less tantrums. It no longer feels like work, and I can easily say that I enjoy being a Mom. A HUGE personal win for me.
So now I want to ask you: what area in your life do you feel like you could be enjoying more or be more aligned with? Is it with work? Friends? Your relationship with your body or with food? Your spiritual practice?
Take some time today to erase all the shoulds or should nots based on the people around you. This isn’t about being more like her or less like him. It may help to write all these shoulds down. Then get quiet and go in. Imagine your soul writing you a letter. You can journal, be quiet or go for a walk, whichever is best for you. Then write out a mission statement for yourself. I would love for you to post it below if you feel comfortable so we can witness you.
I hope doing this will bring you so much ease, certainty and joy.
Lots of love.