When we think about all the expectations of a Mother and what that role might entail, it’s enough to blow anybody sideways and that is why as women, we must learn to truly understand who we are, be discerning about what others tell us we are (or shame us because we are not what they think we should be), so we can decide what type of mother we want to be.
Yes! You get to decide what type of Mother you are!
Do you ever think about what it means to be a Mother?
I watched an excellent interview with Amy Schumer and Oprah (Amy turned up fresh faced in her onesie after having IVF and feeling pretty rubbish). It got me thinking about what a truthful, wise and empowered mother looks like.
Now if Amy Schumer makes you cringe, then maybe you don’t want to be that kind of fearless, vulnerable Mama. That’s okay. You you can find your own Mum role model , or more importantly, uncover your own inner Mum.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
So they’d (who is they – the media/social norms/history?) have us believe that a mother is …..
- a Keeper of the Family
- a Giver of Life
- a Friend who is always there for you no matter what
- an inspirational women who nurtures a child into an individual & teaches the world about unconditional love
- a strong wise woman who intuitively knows how to guide her child through life
It’s really hard to find a definitive definition
Nobody tells you how to be a Mum. I think the cultural ‘norms’ for a Mum are outdated and skewed. In the age of the independent women (thanks Beyonce), I know a lot of Mums feel a certain pressure to have and be it all.
No one-size-fits-all Mother
In my online courses ‘How to Trust Yourself to Be A Confident Mum‘ and ‘Be the Mum You Want to Be’, I help Mums have more faith in themselves so they can access their intuition, be brave, turn down the volume on their fear and feel more confident about who they are as a Mother.
You will have your own unique relationship with your child (or children if you have more than one).
When you know who you really are and what matters to you, then you can confidently fill your mothering shoes. You can stand strong in your truth and NOBODY will throw you off balance. You won’t be blown about by every breeze with your Mum roots planted firmly in the earth, you will have found your heart centre.
What makes your role as a Mum harder?
I’ve already talked about how if you didn’t have a positive role model or a strong relationship with your own mother, or you lost your mother early on in life, you will be in pain and struggle to mother yourself, let alone your children.
You didn’t internalise a ‘good enough’ mother template
How you treat yourself, how you talk to yourself and how you take care of yourself determines your mothering style. I can’t tell you how many parents who cannot identify their parenting style when they complete a pre-coaching questionnaire.
Now listen, I’m not blaming anybody here, but as parents we have authority and therefore must own that responsibility to step into our power. Not be afraid of it. We may be afraid of it if growing up, we were often made to feel small, invisible or like we didn’t matter.
A woman who doesn’t know who she is, will raise a child who feels afraid, anxious, angry and maybe even depressed. It’s very likely it’s not this woman’s fault, but it is her job to know herself, be herself and show up for herself, so she can show up and be that guiding light for her children.
No parenting style. No identity. No Power.
Notice I didn’t say control. There is a difference between the two.
A Powerful Mum is confident about who she is, she makes her own rules, and inspires and empowers her children to be that too (she is brave and scared at the same time – cos let’s be real, mothering can be the most terrifying and yet important job you will ever do). There are lots of unknowns, lots of transitions and lots of balancing.
A Controlling Mum, however, is full of fear and she expends all her energy managing her external environment to keep herself and her children safe. What she doesn’t realise is that her point of power is within. She is not in control of her external environment, and certainly not her children. She is miserable, resentful and frustrated because she is relying on everybody else to maintain her balance.
Are you trying to be a perfect Mum – all things to all people?
Also, if you’re trying to be the perfect Mum, you’re not being your true self. You’re masking up bits of you that you don’t think are acceptable or you’re ashamed of. Perfectionism isn’t just exhausting and hurting you – it’s hurting your child. You’re concerned with how things look to the outside world and when you’re focused on that, your attention and love isn’t on your child.
Where Mums Lose their Power
If you don’t know yourself and feel proud of who you are, you will bring a diluted, fuzzy energy to your relationship with your child. That in turn shapes your child’s self-esteem, their identity or as we call it in psychology – their sense of self.
Daughters of Narcissistic Parents have a very blurry sense of self because their role was reversed – they had to mirror back to their Mum who she was. Their Mum needed their child to make them look good and to bolster their fragile sense of self. Hopefully there were other people along the way, who shone a light on this child’s innate goodness.
If you have no light inside of you, you cannot light the way for your children
Do you know …
- who you are as a Mother, a daughter, a woman and who you were as a child (that little girl is still inside of you and needs you to pay attention to her)
- who you really are (not what other people have told you you are – their opinions and judgements DON’T count)
- your values
- your priorities (they are determined by your values)
- your strengths and weaknesses
- your beliefs, your unconscious thoughts
- what you want out of life – your hopes, your dreams and desires
When did you shove YOU in the bottom of a drawer never to be seen again?
Was it when you had kids or were you conditioned to do that as a ‘good little girl‘? To forsake your needs, wants and desires and put others first. To keep everybody happy, to not rock the boat and to smile regardless.
When women have kids, they have immense guilt for doing anything other than what they see all the other Mums doing, what their children need and ask for and what they think they ‘should‘ be doing.
Please STOP ‘should-ing‘ all over yourself and work out what you want! You don’t need to add guilt to the ever swirling pool of emotions that mothering asks you to swim in.
You will drown if you don’t help yourself first!
If you aren’t willing to let other people influence or help support you in your mothering role and you aren’t open to self-reflection or healing from your own traumas, you are making it even harder on yourself.
You’re sabotaging yourself and you’re sabotaging your child’s chances of a happy life. I’m on your team, but you gotta help yourself first. More importantly, if you don’t understand the importance of putting yourself before your kids at times (you’re going to ruin them and yourself if you keep doing that!).
Only you know who you really are – Stand in your truth!
If I told you since you were born that you were naughty, stupid, wrong, bad, silly, embarrassing (or any other horrible shaming words), you would believe that was your truth. Now imagine how you would feel if I did the complete opposite?
Whatever words follow ‘I am…’ form a statement of truth.
Whatever anybody else says or thinks about you is their perception of you. Only you know who you really are. If you’re struggling to find the words which follow ‘I am…’ and struggling to stay in your power, there are many ways I can help you.
By the way, did you realise that 13 of the 40 Smiley Thought Cards in a box start with the words ‘I am….’?
You can read here about how the children who are growing in confidence are listening to me read those powerful words to them in one of the ‘Smiley Sweet Dreams Pack‘ every night before they go to sleep.
Yep. It’s that simple. I am. The two most powerful words!
Empower yourself + your child to live your happiest lives
If you want to get your roots firmly planted in the soil, click here to book an Emergency Coaching Call with me. You will also receive a free copy of my ‘Be The Mum You Want to Be‘ (worth £45) because I want you to be who you are and enjoy motherhood. Your kids are happy when you’re happy and when you take responsibility for your happiness.
It also teaches them that it’s not their job and they can find their own happiness too. It starts with you! Stop making it about them because that’s unfair. Put yourself first today!