Great video to stress the importance of opening your true self up, flaws and all.
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?”
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.