The pressure to do things “just right” is something we as moms burden ourselves with. Most of the time, it’s not other people judging us, but that little voice inside our head that’s doing the judging. Why are we moms so hard on ourselves? Why do we forget that we’re simply human and it’s natural to wear down, to get stressed, and to sometimes call it in?
I think as a life coach for moms, one thing that’s added a lot of pressure to mothers is what social media has become in our lives. Moms see the best of people’s lives, because they highlight the moments they want to share. Not many people jump onto Facebook or Instagram to share that something fell flat, or to admit they’re frazzled, or that they hated something they were “supposed” to love. Chaperoning on field trips? Some moms simply adore that kind of stuff, while others dread it and secretly hope somebody else will volunteer. And that’s okay.
It’s okay if your laundry is sitting in the dryer, three days after you washed it, and is now wrinkled. There are bigger fish to fry, and more important things in life. And yet, we beat ourselves up, thinking that we’re less than other moms who have it together.
Was your child potty trained later than others? Did life fall apart and end? No. It’s just when your little one was ready. Did your child learn the alphabet early? Congratulations, but that doesn’t mean that Sara’s little one learning it a few months later will make or break anything.
And still here we are, comparing every tiny thing and judging ourselves as parents. Why?
It’s time to allow yourself grace.
Breathe. Then Find Self-Acceptance.
Life is hectic. It’s stressful. There’s a lot going on at any one time. With the pandemic, it’s complicated things even more.
If you’ve slowed down on achieving goals, if you’ve grown weary of wanting more, and if you’re worried your child is having too much screen time, there are worse things that could happen. Put it in perspective. We’re not doing heart surgery, here. This is motherhood. Nobody said it would be easy all the time, so why expect it to be.
Yes, it can be hard. And it’s okay to resent moments when you’re overly tired because the dog had you up too early, or because you were up late sick, but still had to drag yourself awake in the morning.
Feelings are part of us. We’re going to experience a wild tangent of emotions, and none of them is right or wrong. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and remember it will pass. There are just as many good moments as there are bad. In fact, it’s because of those rough moments that we truly appreciate the wonderful ones. We recognize the good, embrace it, relish it, and understand they are special.
Rather than push and demand that you conform to a preconceived notion in your head of what a perfect mom is, understand that simply showing up and being there, and doing the best you can is being a perfect mom.
Find Forgiveness—For Yourself.
Why are we good to others, kind and warm, caring and helpful, then don’t allow ourselves that same grace? It’s time to be kind to yourself, and that includes accepting things you consider flaws. Give yourself room to grow, room to breathe, room to feel. Then find forgiveness in your heart, and please stop berating yourself or comparing yourself to others. It gets you nowhere.
Focus on positive aspects of your life, and let the other bits fall away. Simply be the best you that you can be each day. That may fluctuate based on circumstances, and that’s okay.
Stop the mental gymnastics in finding new ways to deflate yourself.
Here are a couple of ways you can lift yourself up:
Practice positive self-talk
Allow yourself space to feel your emotions
Take care of your body with healthy treats
Find other supportive mothers who can relate to daily stressors
Accept help, and don’t feel like you have to do everything alone
Accept some things may be more challenging than others, and know it’s not a failing on your part
Feeling overwhelmed? Set up some me time
You’re Tired. Motherhood Can be Exhausting.
We’re not supposed to admit that we’re completely and utterly exhausted. To the bone. To our core. Our bodies, minds, and souls, and all we want is to climb into bed at any given moment and nap. And not be woken up until we’re ready. Sure, it might not happen that way, but you can dream. Motherhood can be exhausting.
If your child is tired and cranky, you’d put them down for a nap, but you don’t always get that same opportunity. It would be great if you did. Instead, you need to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, doing another load of laundry or whatever else needs to be done like your side-job that you’re trying to fit in between chores.
Stop. Breathe. Now, give yourself grace.
You might have been cranky, snapped a bit faster than usual, or dug out leftovers for lunch instead of prepping something fresh. No big deal. Seriously. Why are you even wasting time thinking about it? Who are you afraid is judging you? Most the time, we’re judging ourselves. Yes, I repeated that, because it’s such a massive truth in life. We are the enemy, that little voice inside our heads that constantly tells us, “I should…” but you know what? You need to tell her to go take a nap. She’s a cranky toddler who is tired.
Nobody is perfect. Most of us wing it as we go, hoping we don’t make too many mistakes along the way. But look at a child learning to walk. When they fall down, they don’t beat themselves up…instead, they simply get on with it. They either try again, or go, eh, I’ll try again later.
Finding a support system can be a great way to lift you through those rough moments. Whether it’s other moms, a long-time friend, a parent, a therapist, or a coach, the point is that having an outlet is important in sorting out the pieces. Sometimes, those moments when we’re certain we’ve done something horrendous, when somebody else hears about it, they laugh and go, oh, I’ve done that. And you realize, maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
It’s time to allow yourself room to breathe. Room to make mistakes. Room to love yourself.
And giving yourself grace as you grow into motherhood is one of the greatest gifts you can offer. Open your heart and soul to accepting you’re a warm, caring soul, and you’re giving it your best shot. And that’s okay. Nobody is perfect. Nobody expects you to be either. And that little face looking up at you, all they want is your unconditional love and quality time. If you’ve got that to offer, you’re ahead of the game.
About the Author
Kelly Hater has over 15 years of coaching experience along with a B.S. in Health Promotion specialized in Exercise Science.
She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout, providing a clear, decisive plan that leads her clients on a path of success. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming struggles herself. Get the accountability needed to take action. As a mom of two she gets it! BOOK A FREE CALL