I don’t know where it came from, this image in my head of what a mom was supposed to look like, the way she was supposed to mother. But there she was, perfectly poised with everything together. Of course, someone couldn’t be a mother unless she knew what she was doing. There was no time for break downs, for mistakes, for not knowing how to do it all, for questions, she just knew everything she was supposed to do and she did it.
It sounds kind of ridiculous doesn’t it? Even I would have said it did. But yet, those were the expectations I was placing on myself, in many ways, without even realizing it.
I didn’t believe I could mother if I didn’t have it all together. There was this immense pressure on my shoulders to do and be everything I could be, everything everyone needed me to be. The pressure to have a spotless house, to school my children, to play with my children, to get everything I needed done for work, to be the best housewife I could be, and then some. I felt so overwhelmed to the point of breaking because the weight that was on my shoulders was just too much. I was trying to carry it and I felt my knees buckling beneath me.
I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t be everything to everyone and nothing to myself.
Then I realized, the weight on my shoulders, the pressure that was wearing me down, was coming from no one but myself. I was placing myself under the shadow of so much pressure.
I needed to find freedom in motherhood. I needed to give myself the permission to just be who I was as a mother at what ever given moment that was taking place.
What does that mean?
It means allowing myself to have hard days.
It means allowing myself to have good days.
It means allowing myself days for rest.
It means allowing myself days for productivity.
It means allowing myself to feel what I am feeling freely.
It means allowing myself breaks when I need them.
It means allowing myself to laugh and play with my children.
It means allowing myself to leave dishes in the sink when I go to bed.
It means allowing myself to not fold the basket of laundry in my room.
It means allowing myself to snuggle my husband a little bit longer.
It means giving myself freedom and releasing myself from the pressure that I was never supposed to be carrying anyways.
And for you, finding freedom means doing the same thing.