I used to be a SAHM. When my kids first arrived I couldn’t imagine doing anything different. I didn’t have to rush back to work. I loved becoming a mum, for me it represented a milestone that thrust me into the adult world. And I wanted to be the best mum I could be.
I wanted to be loving
I wanted to be fun
I wanted to be devoted
I wanted to educate my kids
I wanted to provide healthy food
I wanted to teach my children (manners, life, kindness)
I wanted to provide a myriad of experiences
I wanted to make my children happy
I wanted my children to listen
I wanted them to act obediently and appropriately
I wanted them to appreciate what I did – be grateful
I wanted them to learn quickly and then act accordingly (be sensible, logical, kind)
Meanwhile, I also wanted to
Keep the house immaculate
AND have the external world perceive me as having it ALL together.
The list could go on and on. I didn’t sit down and write this list when I was a mum, it was my default thinking that created this gargantuan list of my own expectations of myself as a mum. This unattainable list that set me up for… disappointment, shame and believing I was not enough.
As a stay at home mum, I felt like I was “just a mum” and I wasn’t even doing that properly. I was spending all my time and energy reading books on parenting, teaching my son to poop on cue from 2 months (no seriously I did this it’s called “elimination communication), I was using cloth nappies, organic food from the farmers markets, I was sleeping next to my kids, breastfeeding on demand and generally trying to become a good enough mum who by trying to do more and more. It didn’t work. I was spent. I didn’t have my family around to regularly take the kids and tell me to take some time for me. I was a mum taking my job seriously! My kids were attached to me in the carrier all day every day. I’m not saying that cloth nappies, breastfeeding on demand and organic food are bad things. I still think they are wonderful. But I was using them to validate me as a mum. Notice that we think that life will be better once we achieve those external things, but strangely, when we arrive there, we still don’t feel enough – chances are, you never will!
There is an alternative!
If you think that you are searching endlessly for that external validation (like I was), it’s possible to change. The first step is to notice. So congrats you’ve already started. When we become conscious of our thoughts and beliefs, they are already changing! Then if we want to change our beliefs, we simply creating new ones. Start with a neutral thought that resonates. Here are some thoughts for you to try out. If you believe them, write them on a sticky note and practice them every day!
I am human
I am enough no matter what
I am the perfect mum for my child no matter what
YOU ARE ENOUGH! We are all fallible humans doing our best. You are strong. You are loving. Let yourself know that you are more than just a mum once in a while!
If there is one person out there who hears this story and it resonates with them, and they believe today that they are enough, then I have done my job today!
If you want more help, sign up for my freebie to help you let go of the overwhelm and guilt and feel more confident as a mum. https://nickyhammond.lpages.co/how-to-let-go-of-guilt-freebies/
Image by Guillaume De Germaine