Nikki from Earthway Parenting is chatting with us about guilt, always judging yourself and the fact that we all find ourselves being ‘too busy’. I’m pretty sure we can ALL relate to these feelings. Over to Nikki…
Some mamas say they never live a day without it. We worry. Did we give enough of our time today? Did I feed him well enough? She hardly slept today and yesterday, is she cutting her day sleeps or was it because I met my girlfriend for a coffee?
We feel overstretched by the demands of a busy household, the juggle of work and our kids. Spending time with friends and your partner. There are days where we might think to ourselves ‘is this it? Is this part of some divine plan to have me feeling like a nervous wreck!?’
Motherhood introduces us to so many varied mind states, such extreme of emotions that can feel so unfamiliar and at times disturbing.
We will swing from one to the other. Revisiting old wounds, and hurts.
We also try to hide all of these feelings due to undulating pressure on ourselves and from our friends and family, society as a whole. Because we are supposed to feel ‘good’ about being in this place called mamahood.
Judgment, anxiety, loneliness.
We are so quick to judge each other too for feeling all of this and some. Then those mama guilt feelings come up again because we shouldn’t be feeling this way.
Most harshly though, we will judge ourselves.
Anxiety can creep in ever so slowly, along with feelings of despair and loneliness, boredom and restlessness. All of this along with feelings of more guilt for feeling this way and feeling anything but ‘blessed.’
I should do this, I should do that…
As a parent there are so many ‘should do’s,’ ‘I should be more patient’ I should be more organised.’ Often this word tends to activate the disobey button in us & we do exactly what we ‘should not!’ For example, drinking a glass of wine on a Monday night when we have said to ourselves ‘Ah I really shouldn’t!’
When we are tired from all of the ‘should do’s’ that we ‘should’ be doing we tend to take it out on our little ones, and we will snap.
Instead of thinking to yourself, ‘I really ‘should’ have more patience’ perhaps it would be a better alternative to look at the ‘why’ for your reaction. What’s coming up for you to allow your never ending to do list to create stress and disharmony, therefore taking it out on your child because you lack in energy?? Is this an opportunity for you to take that 10 minutes out for yourself and STOP the mama guilt and the ‘I should be doing this list?’
Because in the end, who is that really benefitting? Yes, your laundry’s done, your dishes are clean, your house is tidy, dinners cooked, and the cars been washed, but could at least one of those ‘should do’s’ be completed later or even tomorrow? Could you have taken that opportunity for YOU and then felt better for doing that therefore more able to connect with your little people rather than get short with them?
“Parents aren’t perfect people. They’re people being perfected.” LR Knost.
We need to start dropping our expectations on ourselves and open ourselves up as non- judgementally as possible to whatever is happening for us at the time.
Because it is in the moments of sacrifice, always putting our children’s needs before our own. It is in the sleeplessness and the ‘trying to keep calm’ throughout a long tumultuous tantrum. It is in the housework piling up, the never-ending list of ‘Should do’s.’
It is in the words we consciously use and the reactions from ourselves that we make.
It is these essential foundations that we are creating NOW. These foundations become the relationships that we build upon now and into the future.
In the words of Dr Daniel J Siegal “When we embrace our own humanity with humour and patience we can then relate to our children with openness and kindness. When we continually chastise ourselves for our ‘errors’ as parents, then we stay in our own emotional issues and that of our relationship with our children.”
Losing your sense of self
As a mum, no matter where you are on your parenting journey the new reality with our precious child/children can make us feel like we are ‘losing’ ourselves. In fact, it is the complete opposite, being a parent gives us the opportunity to find more of ourselves. It gives us a chance to seek out the depth of who we are or who we were, so we can then reach that aspect of ourselves and become MORE of who we are, more of what we want to become.
‘This is the understanding that your child has come to teach you and allow you to grow as a human being. Parenting will bring you to the core of your ego, always. Our children trigger us because they are ours. “I will be the best parent,” ” I will be the best mother,” every time we fall short of these expectations our children then trigger us- but what our children are really doing is showing us a mirror to our underdeveloped self.” Dr Shefali Tsbary.
Always trying to get stuff done
As a slave to time, we live with an obsession of ‘getting stuff done,’ we are always building something, learning something, achieving something. When we slip into this notion of thinking it is too easy for us to pull our children into our own arrangements, our own ‘stuff’ and becoming more and more insensitive to their unique needs.
We don’t enjoy being parents because our minds our elsewhere.
When we do focus on present parenting our minds and our hearts will shift dramatically, straight into the core of that moment.
You’re there and you’re free from all of the worry, all of the ‘should do’s.’
Always being busy
We do live within an age where busyness is becoming a virtue- and because of this it can create the very same expectations in our children.
We are giving our children the message that hyperdrive is a normal state of mind. If we’re not doing all of the ‘should do’s’ then we are feeling guilty about it.
This will eventually create a disconnect because we do not possess the capacity to slow down.
We then run the risk of creating this for our own children. Our children who turn blossom into teenagers and then young adults who do not understand the meaning of balance and slowing down.
There is no doubt that with multiple children, work and a home to run that we all can sit in overwhelm and cannot possibly avoid ‘busyness.’
But we can still be present within those busy times.
A general awareness when doing the dishes, the movement of your hands, the feel of the warm water and soap, then rinsing it and putting it away- that’s it. No other thought.
When we are doing homework with our children, just do that. Put your phone away, sit in a quiet space and be all there.
When you eat, sit down as a family. Eat mindfully and chew your food consciously. All technology away and be all there. Talk, laugh, eat!
Being mindful of the stresses around you and in your life can bring about a sense of self awareness. Do stop. Do take notice. What are the thoughts running through your mind? What is the effect that stress is having in your body? How does it feel?
Use that newfound awareness to benefit you all by creating ‘mindful bites’ such as the examples above, these are the moments that need not be stressful anymore.
When we are being mindful as parents, as humans. When we are choosing to be in that present moment with ourselves. This is when we are being our authentic self. This is when we are not comparing ourselves to others, we are not distracted, we are all there. In that particular moment.
If we can practice this more often, practice it only once daily.
We will judge ourselves less (I really shouldn’t be reading this magazine I need to put washing on, shit I’m such a terrible housewife…) We will live more authentically (Because we are being ourselves rather than comparing ourselves to others aka social media!) And we are living right here in the present, there’s no future, and no past, just there in that moment.
Be gentle with yourself. Because we are ALL learning and you are doing the work when you create the understanding that you want to ‘break the cycle’ that you’re in, so be kind to you too, because you are doing the best that you can, in the end we all are.
Love and light
Earthway Parenting provides a safe place for parents to share and honour each others journey’s. It is a space to come together and embrace the winds of change, to nourish each other’s soul with education as well as impart wisdom. It is about discovering and enabling conscious and intuitive parenting.
Nikki writes for us every month so be sure to keep your eye out for future posts. Previous articles include:
- Tantrums – an attempt to communicate – view here.
- Parenting Consciously – view here
- Gratitude Lists for a happier you – view here
- How to set positive boundaries for your children – view here
- Gentle approach to sleep and settling your baby – view here
- Infant care and connecting with your little one – view here
- They’re only young once – parenting with connection – view here
- Expectations of you and your baby with the cry it out technique – view here
- A letter to a new mum – view here
- 6 ways to gentle discipline & reconnection with your toddler – view here
- Tantrum – how to better handle them with emotional intelligence – view here
eBooks & workshops
Nikki has 3 eBooks available. You can download them below
- Conscious Parenting eBook here (FREE).
- Or her Infant Connection eBook – here ($19.95)
- Three ways to parent to a more peaceful world – here ($14.95)
- Tuning into your toddler here ($19.95)
BRAND NEW – postpartum Care workshop – sign up here
Nikki Smith is a Registered Nurse and a Qualified Child and Family Nurse, she facilitates Post Partum Care Workshops on the Central Coast NSW, starting in March 2018. Nikki’s Workshops focus on the vulnerable yet profound Post Partum Period. These unique workshops are also offered ONLINE, so join Nikki in your PJs in the comfort of your own home, and at your own pace!
Are you pregnant or a family with a 0-12wk old infant?
*This workshop is for you if you are a family wanting to learn more about co-sleeping. And why it’s more than ok to do it.
*This workshop is for you if you are parents that want to set up long-term, successful breastfeeding habits.
*This workshop is for you if you want to learn about babywearing, wrapping your baby safely, & Gentle sleep routines. Nikki offers her Support with videos, audio & demonstrations. Let Nikki help you to gain confidence in this new journey as well as provide the education and information surrounding it.
*This workshop is for you if you value your OWN self-care and your relationship with each other.
Nikki writes for us here at the Baby Berry Collective and is a passionate mama of three strongly advocating the education surrounding intuitive and conscious parenting.
Together, let’s lead from an open heart space and create a magical journey into parenthood.
Location Online + on the Central Coast, NSW
50+ Exclusive Offers
Access 50+ Exclusive Offers (aka discount codes) to use at various stores around Australia and New Zealand.