Happy Sunday everyone! I am relaxing outback on this beautiful day still drinking coffee at 10:15 in the morning! The kids are all at dads, and though I miss them like CRAZY, quiet and long mornings with my coffee are welcomed every once in a while 🙂 I’m realizing more everyday how much my own mood determines how my day goes, but also how much it projects onto my kids. I know we have all heard the term “if mama ain’t happy, aint nobody happy” right? Well this is said to make you chuckle, but stop and really think about that. Say it outloud, and think about moments that your mood or attitude towards a day may have rubbed off on your children. We always try to keep a smile on our faces, and stay as calm as possible on the outside. But as women, we have this ability to take everyone else’s problems, needs, and wants onto ourselves. And in that process, our own problems, needs, and wants get pushed to the very last on the list of priorities. So we hold onto all these worries, and try to accomplish the work load of 10 people, while we slowly build up stress until we mentally can’t fit anymore in ourselves. At this point we are overwhelmed with the loss of control in our lives, and must realize that our lives have become unmanageable. OK, right here is a crucial point, and yes there are many ways of handling this moment. Some things you might do is walk away, remove yourself from the situation by going to the restroom, walking outside, calmly say “excuse me for a moment please” Stop, breath and think. Call a friend. That’s all great advice, but what I have learned to do is STOP this explosion before it gets this far. So that is what my first few blogs will focus on. Working on rewiring our brain to notice red flags that we are getting overwhelmed. My first example of something we may need to work on is our own “perfectionism”. Why do we expect ourselves to be perfect, and who decided what is “perfect?”
This mistake we often make as moms is what I like to call the “I am Supermom” Syndrome. Oh boy, a lot of us have this one! I can remember one year I had 3 kids in 3 different schools and 4 different sports, and of course I had to volunteer to be involved in all of them. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I think about it to this day, but all
these years ago, I “lost my control” one night. I see it as if it were yesterday. It had been a long day, and my son had a friend over. It was late and they had woken me up laughing. I knew my husband had to be at work early, and he would be upset. And I for sure didn’t want my little ones woken up! So I said things and reacted in a way I never would have expected from myself, and it was all out of anger caused from the rest of my day, and other factors. Losing my cool towards my son was unacceptable to me. I wish I knew then what i know now. I could have stopped those feelings from boiling over the top. All these “I have to be perfect” feelings had taken control. I had to be supermom! I had to handle it all and do all the things a supermom “should” do! Oh boy was I wrong!
The first step in stopping these “loss of control” moments is admitting that you are overwhelmed, over stressed, overworked, and over it! First of all, who decides what is “perfection?” yep, that’s right…. YOU! You are putting these mountains of perfection expectations on yourself. For example: one mom goes home at night thrilled that she was able to accomplish working, getting her kids to sports practices, put food in their stomachs, and cleaned up and in bed just a little late. When another mom did all the same things, but is beating herself up because she was not able to do it all AND wash the dishes, take out the trash, put away clean clothes, AND feed the kids broccoli and kale instead of mac n’ cheese and chicken. To the first mom, her day was perfect. But it was nowhere near enough for the second mom. These are our own personal thoughts that set our limitations. Because to “everyone else”, both women accomplished the same things. But one mom will lay in bed at night mad at herself for not accomplishing more. You are enough! You did enough! Your kids are safe, happy, and not at all laying in bed at night thinking “my mom is terrible, I can’t believe she didn’t feed us kale for dinner!!!” And who in the world is this “everyone else” anyway??? This “everyone else” is very famous, but nobody seems to know who it is!
There are also side effects to our journey towards perfection that we might not realize. You see, what happens is when we ask ourselves for too much perfection, it can often lead to damaging thoughts.
I think the most damaging side effect is negative “self talk”. Self talk is our own mind telling us what we see as the truth. But it’s not always the truth, sometimes it’s all wrong in fact.
● This “self talk” can make us depressed and miserable, or happy and content, depends on US! The constant thoughts of “your not good enough”, “your a bad mom because of XYZ”, “you really screwed that up mom” or “you could have done more or better” will lead to one of two destinations. You could eventually lose your cool and have that emotional “explosion”, which leads to more guilt, self doubt, and shame. Or just throw your hands in the air and “give up”. Neither is an option.
We may begin to resent or lose respect for others. And a lot of times we place these expectations on our children.
When we work so hard to reach our level of Supermom, we think others should do the same. And they may be doing their best, and reaching their own level of perfection, but you look down on them for not doing as much as you. Let everyone choose their own reachable perfection, you worry about finding your own limits. Trying to choose others work ethics or morals can lead to destroying some relationships.
We may sacrifice important moments that really matter so we can achieve perfection in an unimportant area.
● Forexample,yourchildmightbegoingthroughsomethingatschool, and needs to talk to you but don’t know how to ask. You are so focused on getting the cupcakes for a class party tomorrow perfect, that you don’t notice they need you. The attempt to be supermom by making the class happy, and the teacher like you, made you miss something important.
So you see, just trying to be supermom can cause negative thoughts toward ourselves, undeserved resentment towards others,
and sacrificing parts of our life that are really important to us. What we want to do is work on our thinking process and learn to direct our “self talk” into a more positive and loving direction. Set limits and expectations on ourselves that are reachable in a way that still leaves YOU with self respect and acceptance of what was accomplished by you. Stop comparing yourself with “everyone else”. And for goodness sake, you will come to realize if you are a mom, you are a superhero PERIOD!
Once I got my own expectations in order, and stopped comparing myself to others, I found a happiness I had never known. A few benifits are, I have learned to enjoy my own company, and spend a little time with other women, and talk to my own counselor on a regular basis. These things alone have changed my life. Love yourself always… and a great bit of advice is to find a group of women to talk to, or even just an old friend to have lunch with sometimes. Also, remember to take time for yourself. Yep, I have dishes that need to be done, and laundry, and I need to go to the grocery store and sweep the floors. But I know that all that will be just fine if it waits a little while. But I need to take this moment to care for my own thoughts and needs, because I might not be fine if not! I spend this time to pray, to call friends I haven’t talked to in a while, or just sit and feel the sun shine on my face and remember the things I’m thankful for.
I do offer counseling sessions in person or online through Zoom conferences. And I am in the works of a closed womans group to start in the next few weeks. Sometimes talking things out with someone, or in a group setting, can help you in many ways. It’s good to be reminded that you are not alone in all these feelings and situations. And to hear others experiences and advice can get you out of the box you may be living in. Have a happy Sunday!