The song tells us that "Love Hurts." Well so does parenting!
As moms, we are called upon to provide a safe, positive, comforting home for our children. But at what price? Are we also expected to give up the careers that we love, the relationship with our partners that made us want to have children in the first place, the nice and sometimes breakable possessions that fill our houses, AND our sanity?! In other words, are we expected to give up all pleasure now that we are moms?
NO! HELL NO!
I don't know about you, but sometimes the weight upon my mothering shoulders feels like too much. My back literally hurts with all the responsibilities that I am carrying around with me. So, rather than walk around like a crazy person who keeps adding more and more and MORE to her load, I'm deciding to take off some of the weight. This might mean that my kids eat mac n cheese out of a box tonight- something I would never had allowed to happen had I maintained my "perfect parent" facade. And my 1 year old might have to deal with a poopy diaper for more than 5 minutes so I can finish a phone call with my sister. A little diaper rash won't kill him, but being isolated from my loved ones just might kill me.
And really, who my children become, the innate talents and challenges and other details of their lives aren't really mine to choose nor are they helped by me trying to control every aspect of their lives. I can't save them from experiencing pain no matter how hard I try. This truth sucks. But that doesn't make it any less true.
Am I the only one whose back needs a break?
I think not!
So today, I want to give you permission to put down your load. (If not all of it at least some of it.)
What can you let go of today? Right now?!
Yes, we have work to do as mothers. Yes, we need to make sure our kids are clothed and fed and get enough sleep and outside time. Yes, we need to comfort them when they fall and encourage them when they are trying something new. But while we are doing that we can also TRUST that the rest will happen in accordance with out child's destiny.
So if trust is the balm that can ease some of your mothering pains where do you start?
You can begin at the beginning- your child's birth. From all the work I have done around my own birth stories as well as the birth stories of my clients, I can honestly tell you that we are actually not in charge of what happens. Most of us had a birth plan and most of our babies did not come out according to the plan. Thus begins a life long dance with flexibility and trust.
Not only is parenting painful, it is also exhausting! Physically, emotionally, and spiritually- we are tired! AND... there is a balm for this one too (and it has nothing to do with coffee!)
MANAGE YOUR THOUGHTS
Maintaining a positive attitude about your child's life and possibilities, especially during times of challenge or hardship, is one of the best ways I know of to avoid total exhaustion and fatigue.
TRUTH BOMB: Thoughts impact the nature our our reality.
However, the only way we learn the nature of our thoughts is by honestly looking at what had happened in our lives.
While it's sometimes true that "parenting hurts," "positive parenting" doesn't have to. Choosing to think in a positive way creates a mood of joy in the home and everything is just easier when joy is present.
I can hear you asking "So how do I parent in a positive way when it's already so painful?"
Here are my tips for moving from pain to pleasure:
- Consider and choose with intention what qualities you appreciate (if any) in a power greater than yourself. For our children, the adults in the home are the image of a higher power, so it's important to emulate the qualities that you deem worthy.
- Know, for yourself and your child, that the world is good. Remember that your thoughts and emotions which embody this picture serve your children's development (and your own.)
- Do your best. Be prepared with songs to ease you through transitions and meal plans to make shopping and cooking more simple and a regular schedule so that your child knows what is going to happen next. And when this all goes awry, which it will, know that you have done your best and give yourself grace. Also, remind your child to do her best and forget the rest.
- When you begin to worry do one of two things: 1) let it go or 2) DO something. Worry and regret only create more of what we fear. As mothers, there are many things we have control over and there are many others that are outside of our control. Our efforts can only take us so far, the rest is worked out the way it is meant to.
- And when things work out the way you had hoped, say to the Universe "Thank you, more please!"
In what ways are you morphing parenting pains into parenting pleasures?
To explore your pain points more please check out this free worksheet.