The role of a mother has been idealized in our culture for generations and placed on a pedestal.
We are simply being set up to fail and it impacts our mental health. This ideal we are taught to seek out doesn’t match up with the reality, leading us to feel we are at fault or doing something wrong while living out this role.
What the cultural ideal neglects to mention is that Motherhood is really hard, it often feels exhausting, frustrating and frankly soul sucking at times. It can be lonely, and we can feel insecure in ourselves and our ability to raise healthy, kind and happy humans.
I have asked myself these questions in the past:
Why am I so unhappy at home with my kids?
Why do I feel shame for struggling with this?
Why don’t I enjoy spending time with my kids when I miss them so much when I am not with them?
If I know better, why can't I do better?
The Instagram happy family vs. reality
I have what some would call “the American dream”...3 beautiful children, unique and special in so many ways, yet a lot of the time I seem to struggle when I am caring for them. I try to make myself feel better by telling myself I wished for this. Many people wish for this, I "should" be more grateful. I am no longer sure this is the best approach....
Instead of beating ourselves up, let's tell ourselves that all feelings are valid. There are going to be highs and lows, moments of pride and joy, and moments of rage and fear and exhaustion and a feeling of losing ourselves. It's all normal and it's all a season.
My conclusions are this; the best way to survive and feel some sense of fulfillment is to adjust your expectations of what motherhood is and how you will show up, taking into consideration the demands of the modern world.
It's our expectation and version of motherhood that needs to change, not us.
I realized I want to be able to enjoy the not-so-fun moments and be ok with that. Knowing that it's all a normal part of life. It wouldn't be so hard if we knew more about the tough times and weren’t taught to feel bad about it or personalize it to something we are doing wrong.
Motherhood is the hardest job I have ever had and there is by far the most at stake, but it would be easier if we could stop justifying the struggle, live for the good moments and hold on through the bad, trusting ourselves through this journey.
Here's a book I recommend if you are venturing into motherhood or are already there! Molly Millwood's To have and to hold.
We love working with moms and parents - reach out if you need support. We're here if you want to talk :)
Take the first step and call us for an appointment ...(506) 651-1239