Letting go of Judgement: The "Bad Mom" Myth
All too often we, as in mother’s like I am, allow ourselves to be guilty for trivial things. We get down ourselves for not doing enough, or doing too much. We see the “perfect lives” of other moms and families on social media and wonder how we compare. The truth is we don’t compare, and we shouldn’t. First off social media is rigged, as we all know. We aren’t posting the pictures of our toddler’s meltdowns, or the black circles under our eyes. We aren’t posting the pictures of the fast food we bought for dinner because between working full time, then going to gymnastics (or dance, or karate, or fill in the blank) we won’t have enough time to cook a healthy meal that day AND get our kids to bed at a reasonable time. We aren’t posting the sick days or the mundane mediocre days with our kids. All we see is the smile, sparkle and shine on social media. If you think this is what parenting is supposed to be I have a wake up call for your sweetie, it isn’t. And guess what? That mundane, mediocre, average life you have with your kid makes you the best mom ever. Those snuggles before bed, the repetitive songs during bath time and the way you make pancakes so perfect are the memories your kid will remember forever. So I am now giving you permission to let go of the judgement. Let go of the judgement for yourself. Let go of the judgement for all the other moms you see out there. Let go of the judgement for any parent in general.
In teaching my postnatal yoga classes and toddler yoga classes I often hear moms stating they are a “bad mom” because of X, Y and Z. Then I ask them these three simple questions: 1) Is your child safe? 2) Is your child loved? 3) Are you doing your best that you can today? The answers I get 100% of the time is yes my child is safe and out of harm’s way, yes I love my child so much and yes I am doing my best. If you can answer yes to those three questions then you are NOT a bad mom. Let’s say it louder for the people in the back… YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM. Your child chose you for the contrary, you are the absolute best mother that child could have. So lift your chin up, connect with your inner Beyonce and secretly eat that jar of frosting behind your kids back with no shame. Then after you do that here are some tips to get you through some of the most stressful days.
1.) Breathe. Simply breathe. This was the best advice I ever received when I had my daughter and I still use it to this day. Anytime I feel overwhelmed or stressed I close my eyes and just focus on 5-10 breaths. This calms me down and helps provide clarity.
2.) Affirmations. There really is something pure and good about giving yourself positive messages. Don’t tell yourself something you wouldn’t say to somebody else. Here are some great messages you can repeat to yourself:
I am a great mother.
My child chose me because I’m the perfect mother for him/her.
I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in my life.
I trust my instincts to know what I need.
My body is indeed beautifully and wonderfully made
I am a strong and capable woman
I accept myself completely here and now
I now feel inner peace and serenity
3.) Self Care. This is in my opinion the most important thing when raising children. Often as mothers we put our needs to the side but it is crucial to make sure we take time for ourselves. Create a tribe to help each other, say no to something you don’t want to do, take a bubble bath, whatever it means for you to take care of yourself do it. I don’t care if you have to schedule it on the calendar do it. You won’t regret it and it will make you a better mother.