Call me crazy (and you’d be right) but I thought having a baby would be my happy ever after.
First, I thought getting married would be my happy ever after (and it was for a while), but then I moved on to the smart idea that having a baby was going to solve all my problems and I was going to have it made. This ridiculous notion started when I was 14 and I told my mom after a bad day as a freshman in high school that I wished I was 40 with kids and the romantic ideas were solidified when I started watching shows like “A Wedding Story” and “A Baby Story” on TLC in college (yes I was cool). I imagined that I would become a mom and then I wouldn’t have to worry about having career if I didn’t want to, and I wouldn’t have to figure out my life anymore.
I would be set. I would be a mom.
Fast forward 20 years and what I discovered was that having a baby only amplified the fact that I didn’t know what I wanted in life, that I wasn’t as self aware and enlightened as I thought and I really didn’t have anything figured out. What I discovered was that dealing with my kids brought up all my issues. In fact, just their tiny little existence shined a light on my weaknesses that I was trying to cover up and ignore.
As they got older my kids just kept pumping out challenge after challenge, causing me to question my belief systems, my identity, my upbringing, my SANITY.
I thought I was mature, smart, and emotionally stable, and that I could handle anything, but having kids made me question those thoughts. And worst of all with all the smarts that I thought I had, and all the parenting books I read, I had so much trouble trying to figure out how to be the best me as a mom. Here I was, with the requisite 2.5 kids, a spouse, a job outside the home, living the so called American dream, but those dang kids just kept bringing up all my doubts and fears, and I didn’t feel like I had the tools or the energy to deal with it all or with them.
I found myself yelling, shouting commands, trying to control them, and feeling awful and guilty while doing it.
I knew there had to be a better way to be present with them, to teach them the ways of the world while being calm and kind.
What I discovered after some time, lots of hard work and soul searching was that sometimes the things that challenge us the most (read: kids) often eventually help us find ourselves. I began to see the “problems” my kids created as personal growth opportunities that could help me become a better version of myself. But there was one major change I had to make before I could see things that way.
First, I had to change how I thought about these challengesand how I parented. Once I started to think thoughts like “I can choose whether or not I was successful today” or “I am good enough and how my kids behave is not a reflection on me”, I was then freed up to just love and enjoy my kids more.
I can’t control their actions, I can only control my thoughts. And that’s a good thing.
It’s hard, but it means we get to decide how we feel: our kids or our spouse or any circumstance no longer has that power.
So the next time your kid throws a tantrum or yells at you or rolls their eyes, or disobeys you, you can say,
“Thank you. Thank you for helping me be a better version of myself.”
And then they can think you’re crazy, because you are and that’s what parenting is – a ride to crazy town and back. The good news is I can be your driver and tour guide for this crazy world we call parenting. Even though I took the long hard route to get to where I am today, I can help you learn how to enjoy your life as a parent much more easily, since I have been there too, and I have come out the other side more sane and happier.
And bonus: my kids are happier too!
If you are ready to take control of your life and feel happier and more successful as a parent, join me on a 6-week life coaching program where we will not only learn how to use your thoughts to live a better life, but also gain real life tools on how to raise independent, mature, children.
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