The role of a mother is a truly beautiful and life-changing experience for any women. It is the opportunity to shape and have a profound impact on another human beings journey. This role appears in many diverse forms for different women, dependent on beliefs, religion, culture and country of birth. At times, this can also result in external pressures to follow certain customs or behavioral patterns in order to feel socially accepted and considered the ‘ideal mother figure’.
The list of expectations required to fit the ideal mother mold is often unrealistic and a setup for failure. The expectation to lead the family’s role of the cook, cleaner, psychologist, friend, doctor, teacher, nurse and more, is guaranteed to cause physiological and psychological stress within the family dynamics when the mother falls short to this stereotype. No human being has enough hours in a day, or the vitality to lead the copious role expectations at their top potential. Wearing too many hats simply sacrifices quality for quantity. To produce a new generation of highly empowered mothers, it would be wise to make key changes to the old motherhood stereotype. Put simply, It’s time to drop the super mum gig!
When we put the needs of others in the family continually before our own, we exaggerate our altruistic persona and decrease our self-worth. Such exchanges store built up resentment and tension unconsciously over time. This resentment later explodes once our values are later challenged. As a consequence, mothers may experience deep resentment towards children or partners for assisting them to acquire their valued goals in life and in return feeling they have lost time or sacrificed on achieving their own.
Alternatively, If we continually put our values above others within the family dynamics, we can experience shame or guilt for perceiving we have been too narcissistic and inconsiderate. This also minimizes our self-worth as we later feel the need to sacrifice and over compensate to restore an equilibrated balance.
You may be wondering what is required to create a fair exchange? The answer is balance! A balanced exchange between ourselves and others creates an increase in self-worth for everyone involved. The key is making sure as a mother that you have an equilibrated exchange of self-time to other time. Doing so may mean some adjustments in your schedule, but it’s well worth it. Start off by identifying the value in spending time with and away from your family. Learn to understand how achieving your goals can serve your family and inspire them to follow in your footsteps.
Take the time to set clear boundaries for yourself and your family. Spend at least 30 minutes to an hour daily, achieving inspiring goals for you. Set personal objectives for the next day, week, month and year, ensuring that you achieve at least one personal goal weekly. Set highly valuable goals in all seven areas of life (Physical, financial, mental, spiritual, social, vocational, family). The time allocated to your goals and being authentically you will increase your fulfillment levels, vitality, self-worth, decrease stress levels and resentments. You’re already an amazing mother. Give yourself permission to shine as much as you give others permission to and you will restore balance in the family dynamics.
Article also available via Family Magazine