They say that you can’t possibly know exhaustion until you become a parent. And they’re right.
No one can really understand just how endless the demands of raising children are on parents until they’ve had a tiny human of their own in their exclusive care.
It’s no wonder that, as mothers, we begin to believe that our job is to provide for our children’s endless needs with infinite self sacrifice. Because if we don’t do it, who will!
But meeting the demands of motherhood often means leaving our own individual needs, wishes and desires lost in the background, often to a distance of non-recognition.
Do you ever wonder why you feel so drained and resentful and why it’s so hard to kick those feelings?
We can all rationally acknowledge that if we do not recognize our own needs and take an active role in caring for ourselves, then we are left drained and ill equipped to provide for the practical and emotional needs of those in our care. So why do we do it?
Why do we continue to overlook our own experiences, missing our internal cues signalling our emotional and physical depletion? And what’s keeping us from changing this pattern and moving toward a place of balance and contentment?
Well, for one, women enter motherhood with a persistent sense of selflessness on account of the behavior modelling they experienced by well intended, nurturing parents who themselves demanded very little. In addition, for some, our early childhood experiences have contributed to our belief that we are inadequate and/or unworthy of self-care and nurturance, adding an extra element to the challenge of self-recognition and fulfilment as we pursue the journey of motherhood.
Not to mention that from a sociological perspective, women are socialized from a young age to be givers and never takers. Women are socially praised for what they can give and ridiculed for voicing any needs or demands. It is simply unbecoming of a lady. Enter motherhood and these expectations of women form the unrealistic and unattainable image of the ‘perfect mother’.
Don’t get me wrong; there is no amount of self-development that will make the role of a mother any less demanding, and at times utterly draining. And there is certainly nothing intrinsically wrong with providing for your children’s physical and emotional needs. But, in order to truly and adequately recognize and provide for your children’s array of needs, you must initially touch base with and provide for your own needs.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, sometimes your needs have to wait in light of your child’s needs; that is precisely the extent of self-sacrifice that is part and parcel of being a mom. But that does not imply that your need for space, quiet, meaning, or what have you, isn’t important and a necessary part of your relationship with your self and your children.
A mother’s value for her individual needs and her willingness to provide for them forms the rock bed of all good mother-child relationships thereby setting the stage for healthy and secure child development.
If you’d like to reconnect with yourself, so that you can enjoy life and raise happy kids who thrive, feel free to schedule a call with me and hear more about how I can help you.