“Women are seen as CARERS. The ones who can COPE.
Whatever life throws at them.
They will always cope.
On call… 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whether their children are sick, there husband’s are out of work, or their parents are old and frail and need attention…
They will cope.
They will cook and clean, go out to work, attend to the needs of those around them.
AND THEY WILL COPE.
They may be suffering themselves with depression, violence in the home or struggling in a days of exhaustion to make ends meet.
BUT they will cope.
Strangely it is women themselves who believe this to be true.
So DEEP SEEDED is this belief THAT it can take enormous courage for women to admit
that they need help.
Frequently they will attempt to survive it alone
Falling helplessly into a deeper and darker depression.
Falling more and more trapped by the life they are leading.
Their suffering goes unseen by others
This has left a legacy of millions of women locked in a terrible torment left with little hope to escape.”
Even thought these poetic words were spoken over 20 years ago, I believe real moms still struggle with this. We fall short of our own standard of excellence, and then we feel insecure about not being the perfect wife with the perfect kids, perfect husband, perfect home, perfect friends, perfect marriage, and perfect body.
Here are 4 tips for those of you real moms out there who want to break this madness, escape the torment, and BE FREE.
#1.) Real Moms Speak Up & Seek Help
One of the first things I tell the women that I work with is educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about what to expect physically and psychologically during pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood.
This may help you develop realistic expectations for yourself and your baby. Take a parenting class. Join a support group for parents. Talking to other pregnant women and mothers about real life experiences.
Here’s the tricky part….YOU NEED TO BE REAL.
I see too many women come into my office that are discouraged because every girlfriend (or non-girlfriend) they have presents a Pinterest perfect life. No stress. No mess. Nothing raw or real. We have to throw out the perfect Pinterest descriptions ladies! We have to be real moms. Not supermoms.
Real moms know how to let the real you hang out! Take off the mask of perfection. Show your mess. Talk about the hard stuff. You never know who is listening.
#2.) Real Moms Say “NO”
You are not supermom! So stop striving. Stop acting like you have to be perfect.
I’m giving you permission to be human and to set healthy boundaries. You can say no. And you can do so without feeling guilty.
You must realize that your first job is to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.
If you know what boundaries are and you are having difficulties setting them it’s important to ask yourself what is keeping you from setting boundaries and address those reasons.
- Is it fear of rejection?
- Is it perfectionism?
- Do I have unrealistic expectations for myself or others?
- Do I take responsibility for more than I need to?
#3.) Real Moms Find Helpful Ways to Manage Stress
Get a good amount of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene. Create a place of rest and relaxation.
Taking breaks throughout the day is important. Try breathing techniques, prayer, or journaling. Go for a walk or read a good book. Try to find hobbies that you love and then do them. Try yoga, progressive muscle relaxation or mindfulness.
Exercise can help to elevate anxiety and depression by raising serotonin levels in your brain.
Eat well! Nutritious meals are less about dieting to lose weight and more about feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood and keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
#4.) Real Moms Stop Pretending
Stop pretending things are perfect. Make your relationships more authentic and transparent. You can’t wear a mask and beat this thing called life. You have to take your mask off and BE REAL with yourself and with others!
As a mom, we can be so hard on others! We can be hard on ourselves. Stop judging and comparing SO WE CAN STOP PRETENDING!
Let’s let go of the notion of supermoms and let’s embrace Grace.
I’d love to hear more about how you care for yourself as a mom. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Photo credit: Casey Allen via unsplash.com