The launch of our new Mindful Parenting Affirmation Deck has me really thinking about how I show up when it comes to my children. I have three daughters, I run Renegade Mama and I waitress at night. I have always been one of those mothers who is hardest on myself. I try to make enough time for myself and my business but definitely lack a ton of presence with my girls. My family programming is NOT child centered. In my family growing up there was always a focus on adults and children are just there to entertain themselves. Which, by the way, is not always a bad thing as I feel that this nurtured my creative spirit, imagination, and my ability to dream big. I don't typically conform to societal limitations as I set my own as a free child.
Now on the other hand, I see friends who have a focus on their children, they always come first, even before themselves. I get jealous thinking that I should be more like them. Then programs of guilt and shame start to create stories in my mind about everything I am doing wrong. I always thought I would be this amazing mother who put her life on hold to raise babies. I thought I would home school, live on a farm, still be a vegetarian, be madly in love with my partner and we would have plenty of money, and we would live happily ever after. LOL (insert evil laughter here). All of is untrue for me except for the fact that I live on 2.5 acres and I'm working to get the farm going. (Seriously I'm still laughing).
These thoughts or expectations are so damaging to our mental state. They eat away at us and the guilt and shame makes us try harder to be someone we are not. At one point about four years ago, I tried SO hard to be that woman. I took care of my husband's every need, all the rooms in my home were cleaned daily, dishes were washed, laundry folded, hung up and put away, groceries were always stocked, all meals were 100% homemade organic, even dessert (yes I know, that is crazy). Needless to say I died inside. I felt empty. I missed me. Quickly after that my marriage was hanging on by threads, I started waitressing at night just so I could get out and communicate with adults and make my own money. I made everyone do their own damn laundry. The point is that we can only show up as who we truly are. We do our children a serious injustice by pretending to someone that we are not or by hiding our real struggles and emotions. So there, I will admit it, I'm not all about my kids but that does not mean that I love them any less than the next mother who dedicates her life to her children. This is just the parent that I am. My children picked me, they picked this journey before I could even have a say about it.
Our Mindful Parenting Decks focus on just this! There is no shaming, they do not ask you to change who you are. They are loving supportive reminders that we all rock as parents because we have enough pressure coming down on us in every other way!