I began talking yesterday about the fundamentals of parenting from love and told you about the first 3 principles. Go here if you have not yet read this first post.
To really understand what drives our behavior as mothers, lets look at the dominant values in society and how it ultimately effects us a moms.
Most women I speak to or coach too seem to feel a fundamental imbalance in their roles – an indefinable, ungraspable struggle, dissatisfaction, disappointment in the dynamics of their lives.
I believe this discontent has its roots in Western society’s inherent exclusionary belief system towards feminine values in preference for more masculine or patriarchal values. I am not speaking here about men vs. women, I am speaking about our cultural values and how we are essentially unconsciously influenced by them. The dominant values in any patriarchal society center around advancement and success and the importance of the rational and the intellectual over the emotional or intuitive.
We are taught early on by both our families and society that accomplishment is deeply aligned with our value as individuals. We judge, gage, measure, compare and evaluate our children from birth. As young children, we involved them in so many activities, they don’t know what it is like to NOT strive towards excellence or focus on performance. Pressures to get into the best schools, excel in these institutions and move on to universities for the best degrees. By the time our children are done with higher education, they have officially been indoctrinated into the belief system I AM WHAT I DO.
So fast-forward some years and these young kids become parents. What do they believe? I AM WHAT I DO. So for a new mother, the beauty and conscious focus on the sacred, on the miracle lingers for a while but it does not take long before us moms are in full swing trying to get this thing called motherhood RIGHT from the outside. Because where has society taught us we will find our sense of self? Outside of ourselves! On some level we believe that “getting it right” is going to make us feel whole or complete. You can see how real this tendency is by recognizing how many of us moms suffer when we get it wrong. This takes us to our 4th principle:
4. LEARNING > As moms, we are so hard on ourselves for even small mistakes. We fail to recognize the beauty of these mistakes! That mistakes or doing something wrong only serves to shine the light on the “right” answer or way of doing things. Mistakes are meant to be welcomed as a way to figure out this journey called motherhood, to consistently improve and grow as a person. But no, we take these mistakes personally, internalizing them and allowing them to chip away at our sense of self and our belief in our value and ability as mothers. Why? Because we still believe the very fabric of our identity rests in what we do.
In this tendency of “over intellectualizing” life and especially our role as mother, we have not only cut ourselves off from our own internal guidance system, but officially separated ourselves from our truest power as mothers…LOVE. You can’t be worried and feel love. You can’t be scared and feel love. You can’t over think and feel love. We can’t be irritated and feel love. We can’t beat ourselves up and feel love. When we do all these things, where is the love for ourselves? Where is the love for our children? Love cannot exist when our minds are full of negative thoughts and beliefs. As we stop interacting with life from our mind, from this self- focused perspective, we step into SEEING our children, understanding them, feeling love and compassion for them.
5. PRESENCE > “I just can’t seem to sit down and play with my children for longer than 5 minutes. I get so distracted and antsy and feel the urge to get up and do something productive.” This is a real quote for a mom and I know she is not the only one that feels this way. I have felt this way before too! But this is the thing; our KIDS need us to be tapped in, zoomed in, focused on them! It is more important than anything else, in my opinion. It is easy!! Notice what you are focusing on? Yourself? Ok, good. Now put that same focus on your child. Notice his movements, what he is feeling, doing. Get curious about what he is curious about. Look into his eyes. STOP what you are doing and get on the floor and play what HE wants to play. Don’t think about time. You see this is a gift of LOVE that we give to our children. Just 10 minutes minimum a day will fill your child up to the point that they are more likely to listen and comply with your guidance!
6. SELF > When our focus as a mother is on the DOINGS of our life, that it is in this realm that we are searching for success as a mom, we often put ourselves last. Why would we put ourselves first really? I mean, our only value in an ego-driven context is what we can do and we push ourselves to near exhaustion (if not full blown exhaustion) almost everyday. A mother that is committed to parenting from the heart KNOWS that if she does not care for herself in ways that she KNOWS fills up her energy reserves, she KNOWS she will not be able to show up as the best version of herself for her family and for herself. In moments of stress ask yourself if you have neglected your needs? If the answer is yes, pin-point the need that is not getting met and decide in that moment when you are going to meet it. Comitt to caring for yourself. It is impossible to consistently parent from LOVE if you do not care for yourself first.
I hope you enjoyed my 6 Principles of Parenting from LOVE! These are not new concepts to you, but many moms experience difficulty in implementing them! it is my mission to help women consistently cultivate HABITS that support a Parenting for the HEART approach, that challenge established ways of defining and experiencing success as a mother. Motherhood can consistently be a JOYFUL journey!!!
For your support, many of these topics are covered in detail in my signature online home study coaching program called the Mommy Meltdown Cure (NOW at the permanently low price of $59! You can even pay in two installments of $29) as well as in my upcoming book (to be published next year)! As always, keep following TJM on Facebook ~ LOVE all your comments and support for these ideas!!