We all have very different opinions when it comes to the meaning of being a “good” Mom. There are many articles that say we must dismiss ourselves as the person we used to be (before kids) in order to embrace motherhood. I think this mindset is wrong and sets women up for failure on so many levels.
I recently became certified in the Raja Yoga practice and learnt there are 8 limbs to Raja Yoga. I think it is helpful to view Motherhood as another limb to our life as women. We are constantly evolving as women. We grow up and no longer view life through our childlike eyes, nor our teen self. I think the same happens when we become mothers. We gain a wider perspective but it isn’t our whole identity to attach to, anymore than it is if we marry and become a wife. I think the mindset of dying to our “old selves” and becoming reborn as mothers is why we have a lot of the dysfunctional issues, like being hover-parents, over-scheduling our kids, and becoming the lunatic mother on Toddler and Tiaras.
When mothers forget about their own growth and focus all their energy on their children, they do such a disservice to themselves and their kids. Kids learn by watching how we behave and how can we teach our children if we stop evolving? What message are we sending our daughters when we stop pursuing our interests? The moment I got pregnant at 21, I was depressed thinking my life was now over. How was I to happily embrace this new chapter thinking I was now denied having my dreams encouraged and I am now expected to devote my entire being to my child…how depressing!
I come across many parents who only talk about their kids and have nothing more to add to the conversation outside what their child is doing. WTF! If I wanted the complete breakdown of how Jimmy’s life is going, I would be friends with Jimmy…but I’m not! I want to know how Jimmy’s Mother, the individual, is doing. I want to know the person behind the mom role…what are your passions? The reason parents smother their children and over-schedule them is because they use their child as a show-pony. Their kid becomes a pawn to represent them, make the parents look good. That’s why so many parents brag about how many activities their kid is in, they think it’s a reflection of them. Have you ever seen the parents who put their kid in those pageants? They look like they gave up on themselves and in most cases they have.
To be a healthy and “good” mom you need to allow your child the freedom to express their unique self, not impose your own agenda on them in order for you to look good. You must allow yourself to grow and continue to discover your passions outside the mother limb. Make yourself look good based on what you are personally doing. Get a life Mothers! (I mean that in the most loving and supportive way)
”Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”
Daring Greatly is such a fantastic read and I hope more people break open these pages to truly break open their heart. I couldn’t have discovered this book at a more fitting time in my life. Currently, I am working towards my Yoga Therapy certification in hopes of helping many others who have endured some of the challenges I have and supporting them towards finding the joy and beauty life still has to offer. Brené Brown is the kind of “spiritual” teacher I have been looking to connect with and she has offered so much wisdom in Daring greatly.
As I work through one of my required modules for my certification (Manifest Your Destiny), I am asked to show up in my own life a lot more vulnerable than I have been these last 5 years. I am really great at being the strong/ supportive friend, sister, mother, and partner but the real challenge for me is to be open and rely on others to see my true self. I don’t know the exact moment I walled myself off to my close circle of loved ones but I know I put people at arm’s length when it comes to truly knowing me, my feelings, sadness, and pain. Being vulnerable is really scary for me.
After traveling back to my home town to celebrate my 30th birthday, I received valuable feedback from those I consider my reference point. These are the friends who have known me through all my greatest challenges and love me because of my “flaws.” These friends I refer to as the “keepers.” I believe we all need those people who know us at our core because they keep us in-check and help us find our way back to ourselves when we are “lost.” I know I’ve been “lost” for too long now and I am ready and willing to do the work to uncover my true self again.
Daring Greatly, along with really great friends and family, has inspired me to face my greatest fears and work towards being the person, mother, and friend I really desire to be.
Why do I reveal so much of my personal secrets in a blog? I want to lead by example by being open and honest so I become more relatable and REAL. I believe blogging is a positive and very cathartic experience for me, allowing me to write my truth for anyone interested in living inside my head for a brief moment. Another important reason for me writing my thoughts and experiences is for the simple fact that people are going to talk and I want them to at least get the facts right.
Since starting my blog 4 years ago, I feel so much more at ease to share my personal struggles and traumatic experiences with not only my close friends, but people I haven’t known longer than a week. Once I write about my thoughts and hit publish, I feel such a release of toxic energy that no longer serves me. I also find it much easier to share my feelings with total strangers because I have no expectation of getting anything back, I don’t have the expectation of needing someone to hold the space for me to share.
I want to break the perception people may have for me without even knowing who I really am. I know being in certain social circles can build a reputation that is completely unfounded, I want people to know me at my core…because I am far from a spoiled princess
Here’s to revealing our secrets so they can no longer have a hold on us. Share your story because no one else has it.
I have officially decided to leave San Francisco and return home to Vancouver, British Columbia this summer I have definitely grown from the 2 years I have lived in this city and have come to realize, I much prefer living in Vancouver, Canada while raising children.
People always ask me with such enthusiasm how I love living in San Francisco…I always seem to burst their bubble with my response. I make sure to emphasize, my experience living in San Francisco would be much different, more positive, if I didn’t have 2 young daughters. I would embrace the debauchery and naked people if I wasn’t responsible for 2 very impressionable children. My reality is, I do have 2 young daughters who would benefit more from living in a modest city…without naked people, public displays of raunchy behavior and all the other confusing sights you typically see in San Francisco. I don’t think a 7-year-old and 2-year-old need to be confronted with men in thongs biking by, nor should they have to walk through thick pot smoke on the way to the kids park (hello, Dolores Park). Furthermore, I don’t want to deal with my daughters’ issues in the future for exposing them to such things at such a young age.
I have had really good experiences living in San Fran, like the emphasis on building a clean city. I have learned a lot about composting…being forced to compost, or pay a fine is a great motivator I love the healthy food options here, the US has more products than Canada. I love going to farmer’s markets in the local neighborhoods. I really enjoy all the different venues and restaurants that are sure to leave a lasting impression. My favorite part about living in San Francisco are the people, people are so friendly here. There are no weirdos in San Francisco, people from all walks of life fit in.
My biggest life-changing experience from living in San Francisco will be my decision to go into Yoga Therapy as my next career move. By the time I move back to Vancouver, I will be nearly finished my Advanced Yoga Instructor and Yoga Therapist certification. My goal is to help people find true happiness and overcome the issues that are holding them back from finding fulfillment in life.
Thank you San Francisco for all the great experiences I have had and for helping me realize there really is no place like home…in Vancouver, Canada
Wow, I made it to 30! I tell my friends, it feels like I skidded into home-plate all covered in mud, soaking and exhausted. Life has been a hell of a game so far. I do know the meaning of “when life throws you a curve ball, you have to knock it out of the park…” I’ve had my share of curve balls alright.
My 20′s have been rough with some joy sprinkled in here and there. I started out my 20′s by getting pregnant and married by 21, getting through the loss of my older brother to suicide by 23, getting over my 2nd loss of my younger brother to suicide by 24, dealing with the breakdown of relationships with my older sisters and having my 2nd daughter by 27! It feels like I have already lived a lifetime. It’s not like I’ve had the easiest journey growing up in a family of 6 kids to a single mother who ended up sending me to foster care 2 weeks after my 13th birthday, but that’s a whole other chapter to be shared at a later date. So what have I learned so far?
From all the pain and heartache, the first lesson I’ve learned is you must, must, must hold onto your friendships. It is because of my amazing friends that I have even made it this far…with my sanity somewhat intact Seriously, friends are the ones who are there before the husband and kids, and they will remain there until the end. I consider my friends to be the family I’ve always craved and the relationships I’ve chosen to nurture. I only desire healthy, respectful, and genuine relationships now that I have acquired much wisdom. The second important, life-changing lesson I have learned is, it’s not about what has happened to you but more importantly, how you choose to respond to life’s hardships. It would’ve been all to easy for me to crawl into bed and not want to get up ever but I decided I was worth more than that. Despite all the bullshit, I believe I am destined for a greater purpose. If I can help 1 person get through even 1 of the things I have experienced, I will feel like I have made a difference. I desire to turn my shitty ass life experiences into something of value.
So here’s to being 30 and making this decade all about my own happiness and finding my passion for life again!
* My great girlfriends are pictured above, but I have other important people to thank too for my strength and support.
The reason I love writing and reading blogs. Facebook is a make-believe world of people trying to project a perfect life.