Posted in Blog, Featured, Mother, Rebecca, Woman

Reconciling self

Before you became a Mom, did you have certain things you said you would NEVER do? I know I did.

– I’m not gonna let my kid watch any tv what-so-ever until they are 5.
– Not gonna give my kid sugar until they are like 5.
– I’ll never let my kids eat in the car!!!

For some reason, it seemed like I thought I wouldn’t let my kid do ANYTHING until they were at least 5. And then I guess they magically would handle all of those things fine. Ok, so not really.

I did have certain things that were very important to me. Breastfeeding was a big one. I would stay commited to breastfeeding at least until my baby was 1, and hopefully until he was 2. This one seemed pretty easy to do. Other things though….not so easy as I thought.

So I’ve found myself asking this question. How do I reconcile what I wanted to do with what I’ve ACTUALLY done?

My son watched some football with us by the time he was 9 months old. I let him eat in the car as soon as he could hold a teething biscuit. And OMG, he’s had a few cookies and he’s only 2.5.

It sort of sounds ridiculous now that I think about all of it. I’m trying to be sarcastic about it too I guess because then it hurts a little less. But seriously, some of these things I have felt some major guilt over. Oh yeah, and add the whole post-partum weight goals to it all and I want to go drown my guilt out with a bottle of wine. (and I don’t even drink) Ok, maybe 5 lbs of dark chocolate would take the pain away.

We all know that Motherhood is nothing like what we thought it would be. Even if we had a clear picture, it’s still proved to give us the shock of a lifetime. You can’t really know what the trench is like until you’re in it.

There’s this guilt and self-talk of, “well Rebecca, so much for having values and principles. You’re a failure of epic proportions.”

Well yeah, so what? Maybe I didn’t execute my “perfect plan” that I designed when I got pregnant. I didn’t have the perfect birth either. And I don’t have the perfect kid. That doesn’t exist.

Here’s my reconciliation. Yes, I had a plan. I made expectations. I set goals.

Then I changed from Woman into Mother. 

As soon as I became a Mother, life just took over for a while. The weeks dragged on and turned into months. I don’t even remember most of those days. I never stopped to reevaluate my plans, expectations and goals. I just kept going. I kept going the only way I knew how and the only way I could to survive.

One. Day. At. A. Time.

That’s all I could do for a long time. Before I knew it, I was making different choices than I had planned. Oh well. What’s important is that I eventually STOPPED. Looked around me. Had the awareness that things I was doing was not what I actually wanted. And then made some changes.

Instead of looking at your choices through the perspective of Good, Bad, Right, or Wrong, we can look at them as What’s Working, What’s NOT Working, and What’s Next?

When you switch your mindset, it’s really easy to let go of the guilt you place on yourself. Or anger. Or frustration. We get stuck in SHOULD, or WOULD HAVE, or COULD HAVE. All of those thoughts produce feelings of judgement, guilt. anger, resentment, bitterness.

At some point, (I couldn’t tell you when because sometimes it’s all so foggy) I stopped judging myself so harshly. It’s really not that big of a deal. So I gave my kid some sugar. I can change that immediately. So I let him watch tv. I can change that too. He still eats in the car and I’m ok with that.

It might be beneficial for you to do some journaling to reconcile your own expectations. Take some quiet time. Sit down with a pad and paper. Start with self.

Before you had a baby, what expectations did you place on yourself? What kind of a mother did you want to be?

What promises did you make that you would never do? Or would do?

And then journal for a bit on where you are at now. No judgement. Just taking an honest look at what you are doing.

Are there discrepancies? Tell yourself it’s OK if there are. It’s just what is. It’s not good, bad, right or wrong, remember?

Now take a few minutes and reconcile those things. If you are happy where you are at, then great!! If you are not where you want to be, what do you need or want to change?

Write a few goals for yourself to work on. Make them easy and small to start with. Just little adjustments can make a big difference.

GOOD FOR YOU!! That’s it. You did it. And you can sit down, write some thoughts out, and make the changes you want ANYTIME you feel you need an adjustment!! That is what’s so great. You are in control of your life, not anyone else.

It takes courage to be vulnerable even if it’s just to face yourself. But the benefits are always better than the price you pay for being uncomfortable.

 

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