The Messiness of Motherhood
Motherhood is multifaceted journey, often enveloped in idealistic thoughts of joy, wonderment, and excitement. In truth, mothers experience all of those feelings and more. Sometimes resulting in a roller coaster of emotions. This journey that our minds and bodies go through present constant struggles to balance [and rebalance] as we adjust to the ever changing demands of developing children and changes in our family dynamics. These changes often lead us nearer (and sometimes over) the brink of depression.
As women continue their motherhood journey, one of the most commonly discussed feelings among mothers is mom guilt. This is not a new thing. For centuries, mothers have questioned whether they are being selfless enough, doing enough for their families and most importantly —doing it right! Struggles with wanting your own time, losing your temper or not being understanding enough can haunt a mom for weeks. This constant battle to meet levels of perfection can lead to more conflicts with partners or family members and decreased positive feelings about yourself. It can even sometimes lead to bouts of deep sadness or depression.
Being aware of your limits is very important for all parents. If you need more you time, then take it! It isn’t just for you, it can improve your relationship and feelings of well-being with your children as well. Taking a time-out allows you to gather internal resources to help your children navigate life and feel more supported at home. Again, whatever your situation: whether you have a partner or you are a single parent; if you have young kids or older teens, asking for help is key. Finding any amount of time to regroup, including taking an hour to see a therapist doesn’t take away from your children, it gives them a better you!
Being a parent is a wonderful experience, most of the time. It is truly one of the hardest tasks anyone can undertake, and it is also one of the most rewarding. Knowing how and when to access resources and being aware of what is going on inside of you is what makes confident and successful parents. We all need help from time to time. The best parents are the ones who model making time for themselves and their needs.
Tracy Lehman is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, wife, and mom of two gorgeous girls!