Episode 177: Mothering The Mothers, Parenting Yourself
Mothering the Mothers Series
Welcome back to Live Free Creative Podcast. This is episode 177. Mothering the Mothers, Parenting Yourself. This is another long-awaited episode in a series that I did in the first season of the podcast called Mothering the Mothers. The series idea came out of episode 19, which was a show called Wholeness in Motherhood.
It has been one of my highest-listened-to shows. One of the most referred, especially for young moms, new moms, moms trained to figure it out and feeling overwhelmed and kind of swallowed up in motherhood. Episode 19 Wholeness in Motherhood is sort of my answer to that. Because of the resonance of that episode, I decided to go on and make a three-part series, episode 38 is Mothering your Physical Health, episode 39 is Mothering your Mental Health, and episode 40 is Mothering your Spiritual Health.
Then, you know, there’s been other shows that I’ve done that involve motherhood because I’m a mom, motherhood comes into so many of the things that I talk about generally.
This episode today, episode 177: Parenting Yourself. This is something that came up or feels really present right now in my life.
I mentioned last week on the show that we’re going through some transition opportunities in our parenting and some of my favorite principles of parenting that feels so empowering and so helpful and so useful have come into play. As I’ve tried to mother myself through this process. Learn new ways of parenting.
That’s what this show is going to be about. How to mother yourself, parent yourself in the process of parenting your children.
The other show that I’ll just call out at the beginning here is episode 68. That was from season two of the show. I did a great interview with Ralphie Jacobs from Simply on Purpose. That show is all about Parenting on Purpose. And some of the information that I learned in that episode has gone on to form my understanding of how to better parent myself or manage and mother myself through my parenting process.
I will link all of those at the beginning of the show notes. If you had to live free creative.co/podcast, look for episode 177, I’ll have links to 19 38 39, 40 and 68 available for you.
And we can just tack this one on as another important look at how to mother yourself. Before I dive into the meat of the show, I want to share a segment that I love called pause for a poem.
This poem is from a new poet that I discovered through social media, who is just now querying agents for her first book of poetry.
I feel so deeply all of the poems that she writes in there a little bit less conventional than some that I’ve shared on the show. And I’m really excited to share one that has struck me in today’s episode. So lean in and enjoy.
Segment: Pause for a Poem
As a missionary kid, I was raised in a house that believed in the end of times. At age three, I was convinced Jesus would return before my fourth birthday. And I wouldn’t get my golden-haired Barbie and the chocolate cake with tufts of buttercream. I bargained with God. I will be good. I will not free the corn parrot from her cage. I will not wake in my mother during siesta. Delay your coming, Lord, just until after the party. Heaven can’t be as sweet as buttercream.
So I grew up and the rapture never came. I shed God, or at least tried, but I still found myself bargaining. Let me just have my first kiss. Get into grad school. Meet the love of my life. See the ocean again. These days, I don’t fear God’s return in a cloud of smoke and fire. I don’t pray. But when the love for this world gets too big and achy inside me, I still catch myself begging– give us our kisses, her fingers in the dirt, our sweat and our sweetness. Give us time, please. Just a little longer in these bones.
Ooh. I don’t know about you, but that one hits me deep. That yearning for just a little more time, a little more time to feel deeply to live in this world. The gratitude that comes up for the very basic raw ness of being alive in this experience with its ups and downs and ins and outs and tragedies and triumphs feels poignant.
I am so happy that I stumbled upon joy Sullivan poet. I will link her Instagram in the show notes so that you can follow along with her incredible work as well.
Today’s show has come, like I mentioned, from this new transition in parenthood where I find myself needing to regulate my own emotional state when in relationship with my children and their actions and their choices. Every single day.
I remember hearing when I was a young mom, my kids were younger, you know, still toddling around, still in diapers. I remember more experienced mothers. Those early years are physically demanding. You lose a lot of sleep. You’re putting on clothes and changing diapers and lifting and pushing strollers.
And there’s so much physical work that goes into those years and all of that changes over time. Those physical demands of parenting lessen, and what they’re replaced by are these incredible emotional demands of parenting.
You know, as you’re two or three- or four-year-old is headed off to preschool, you’re not often super worried about their group of friends or their choices of media or whether or not they’re going to focus and do their work well enough to be able to qualify for better opportunities or to open up their choices in the future. And as they grow that scale between physical and emotional labor as a parent starts to adjust and it flexes and changes.
Dave and I have been laughing about how squarely in the emotional we find ourselves right now. Our kids don’t take up a lot of physical energy at all. They can wake up, you know, we help them get up in the morning, but they know how to dress themselves. They’re working on learning to do their own laundry.
They’re contributing to some of the physical work around our house and the management of our family these days, and the emotional toll of getting to know them as individuals. Becoming very clearly aware of the separation between parent and child and the autonomy that they have, the autonomy that we want them to have.
And with that, all the release that is necessary to raise successful, fulfilled, independent human people, adults raising adults. Rather than what may feel more natural or more comfortable, which would be to super engaged in raising children in the way that we want them to turn out. If that makes sense.
Acceptance and Allowance of Independence
We’re wrestling with, and really in this phase of acceptance and allowance of independence in some situations, That we don’t necessarily agree with or embrace. And that is where a lot of that emotional work takes place. I feel like I just jumped into the deep end. So let me just back up and ask a couple of questions.
Questions for Reflection:
I’m curious if you have ever found yourself as a mom, yelling at your kids to stop yelling?
Have you ever found yourself saying something unkind of disrespectful or mean to your child because they were saying something disrespectful or mean to someone else?
Have you ever found yourself threatening or feeling aggressive toward a child because of the choices that they made to be aggressive or threatening to one of their siblings?
Have you ever felt yourself, throw up your hands and temporarily give up, give up parenting because one of your children seems to be giving up on doing things that are expected of them?
When we can back up and observe ourselves as parents, sometimes we find that we end up mirroring the same behaviors that we expect our children to not have. We are angry or aggressive or frustrated or overwhelmed. And we express those things with the intention of driving those same behaviors or emotions out of our children.
I mentioned episode 68 with Ralphie Jacob’s Parenting on Purpose. One of the things that she talked about that I had understood kind of in a fuzzy way, but it really started to solidify with clarity when I talked to her in that episode was how important it is for parents to parent themselves.
Parenthood isn’t about controlling or making choices for, or navigating your children like pieces on a game board. It is very much about managing your emotions, creating systems for success for your family and allowing your children, the autonomy that they inherently have and will exercise whether you like it or not.
A book that I have also read that I love, and I intended to do a whole podcast episode on this book as kind of like a CliffsNotes for those of you who won’t read it or, you know, aren’t interested. The book is called The Self-driven Child and I will make sure it’s linked in the show notes.
It is an evidence-based book about how to help your children become successful, self-motivated people, adults. It’s a good reminder that our intention is to raise wholly functioning humans. And that means allowing them to handle their own emotions, to make their own decisions. And especially as they grow older.
My kids are in that transition phase of where they’re now old enough developmentally to sit with the natural consequences of their choices. That doesn’t always look like discipline and punishment for disobedience. It very much means understanding that if they don’t turn in their homework on time, that they may end up with a bad grade, if they don’t want to wear a coat to go to school in the winter, that they will probably get cold.
Nature, society, community is set up in a way to handle the natural consequences of decisions that are not in one’s best interest and the responsibility for those decisions as a child grows must necessarily lie in their own hands in order for them to understand what the consequences are. Very often as parents, we want what’s best for our children. And what that looks like is trying to navigate things on their behalf, whereas we do that, we weaken their ability to navigate things on their own.
This idea of mothering the mothers. Managing yourself begins with self-regulation. It begins with recognizing your separate and independent role from your child, your children, that you have an incredible relationship with them. And that it’s in the child’s best interest for the responsibility, for their decisions to rest on their shoulders for them to be able to handle their own emotions.
Self Management comes from Self-Care
I have to mention right up front that self-regulation this idea that you manage your own emotions, regardless of what is happening emotionally with the child, with your teen or tween or, or budding independent child, whatever age they may be… that self-regulation is always going to be easy if you have your basic needs met.
Being able to manage your emotions as the adult that you are. That means all of those behaviors that we expect from our kids of being calm, being caring, being clear, not yelling, not being overly aggressive or emotional. Those are the behaviors that we must learn to manage and moderate in ourselves first. That is not easy.
And it only gets easier with the amount of care that we give to ourselves. And this goes back to some of those initial episodes that I did. Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you making time to take care of your mental health so that you’re not always at that, that point where you’re just a second away from snapping in anger or frustration?
Do you give yourself enough space in the rhythms of your daily life to feel some relaxation? Is your stress level always at an eight, nine, or can you build in some practices like meditation, like regular exercise or body movement, like a connection, personal connection with a friend or family member that helps bring you down to a base level of wellbeing where you’re, you’re operating at a three or four stress level so that when something gets hard with a child or with children, That even as your stress level elevates, it doesn’t snap.
You don’t go over the edge. This is what it looks like to be emotionally mature and to emotionally moderate your own behaviors and actions. These are the skills that we’re trying to instill in our children. And it must begin with us.
It must begin with mothering yourself. With moderating your own emotional state with paying attention. As soon as you start to feel yourself, fly off the handle, paying attention to your emotional state and the way that you’re reacting and what you need in order to calm down.
And here’s a little thing that’s a hard pill for me to swallow: Oftentimes what I think I need when I’m feeling frustrated as a mom, with my growing kids is for them to do something different.
If you ask me in the heat of a moment, what do I need to feel better or to feel more calm or more collected? My auto response might be: I need them to just do what I said, or I need them to calm down, or I need them to be kind to each other. I need them to not talk to me like that. That is never going to be the answer for moderating your own emotions.
Mothering yourself means you taking responsibility for your emotional state. You taking responsibility for caring for yourself in such a way that you can be the mother that you want to be, regardless of what’s happening with your child, regardless of their choices. Good, bad, other. Up, down, sideways. We have a responsibility and a privilege of mothering ourselves in order to both show up as the moms we want to be for our kids and also to model for them, what that looks like.
What emotional maturity and self-regulation looks like in an adult, these behaviors and expectations that we have for our little people must start with us as the example.
The other night, after a particularly challenging parenting evening, Dave and I were sitting in bed and we were, we were almost so like emotionally exhausted that we couldn’t talk.
Preserve Your Energy
So, we were just kind of staring at each other. And then we started to laugh because we were so exhausted, and we started to talk about the idea of preserving our energy as parents. The bubble of energy that we can create around ourselves. And we were imagining it sort of like, have you seen those grownup hamster wheels or like those puffy bounce balls that you like can actually stick yourself inside a blow-up ball and then like roll around or bounce around on a field.
Sometimes they have these at like state fairs. This literal shield, like puffy shield, where you could bump into a wall inside this thing, and you’d just bounce right off.
I love the visual of creating this bubble of space and energy around us as parents, around myself as a mom where I can, I am in control of managing and regulating those emotions, so that space can be filled with good energy with optimism. It creates a boundary. There can be clarity. This is, you know, a literal holding space of protecting this emotional state and allowing the things that are happening outside of it: tantrums, breakdowns, assertiveness or aggressiveness, talking back, being disobedient, or breaking family rules or going against family culture.
Those things can exist outside of that. And regardless of what’s happening out there, I can choose to maintain this emotional regulation and to approach the decisions that I make from that space, with this clarity.
I’ve come up with three words that I think may be helpful as you’re thinking about this. And I know this may be a big idea. Maybe it’s a new idea for some of you. Maybe you’re like, oh yeah, I’m already practicing that. This idea though, of when you think, what needs to change is your child. To take a second look and recognize that what you have control over is yourself and moderating how you show up and the thoughts and beliefs and ideas that you bring to the relationship.
Calm, Clarity, Caring
The three C’s that I’ve come up with for mothering yourself are to maintain calm, clarity, and caring. Within my bubble, I want to remain calm.
I want to have a clear sense of not only who I am, but who my child is underneath, whatever their reactions or emotions or behaviors are the incredible innate divinity and enoughness and wholeness of my child. That all of the other things going on are temporary manifestations of temporary feelings or ideas, and that underneath all of that, there is a being who I have unconditional love for unconditional love and respect for.
And then caring. One of my hopes as a mother is to be a caring presence that my children know without a doubt that they are loved; within their disobedience within their contradiction, within their independence, that no matter what they do or say, or how they behave, that my care for them will be unbroken.
And that within that, sometimes that care, because I care for them, that might mean creating boundaries, creating some clear guidelines with result or clear consequences within our family. And I will do my best to make sure that they’re aware of those things so that there’s no confusion to review mothering yourself means to be calm, clear, and caring.
And on the flip side of that, The flip side of that, of not mothering yourself, of being dysregulated as the leader figure, as the mother figure is to create confusion or indulge, confusion, conflict, and competition.
Have you ever felt one of those things with your children, confusion, conflict or competence?
In my experience. And as I’ve been, you know, trying to do some reading and educate myself and just become aware of my own emotions, going into these different parenting scenarios, confusion, and conflict and competition never result in the outcome that I hoped for. As soon as I see myself on the other team from my child, the result is never going to be what I hope for.
I have to get in that space of parenting myself, finding that calm, clear, caring space from where from within my bubble, I can make decisions as the mom that I want to be. I can control and manage and regulate myself rather than expecting my child to always behave in a way that makes it easy for me to just be thrilled.
So here’s a few things, a few specific examples that may be helpful as you’re thinking about this idea.
Expect Kids to Be Kids and Teens to be Teens
Number one is to expect kids to be kids, expect teenagers to be teenagers. Mothering yourself means greatly raise your tolerance of developmentally appropriate behaviors.
I mentioned in a podcast. I don’t know, probably two years ago that I had been listening to a different show where the psychologist was interviewing some parents of an 11-year-old. And they were really, really worried about her because she was lying, and they thought our child is a liar. There’s something wrong with her.What are we going to do? She’s going to end up in prison. She’s not going to have a future.
The psychologist commonly told them all 11-year-olds are liars. That is part of their phase of independence and differentiation from their parents. And it was like this huge weight rolled off my shoulders as I listened to this show, oh, my 11-year-old is right on track.
My 11-year-old lying about somethings being mischievous about some things that is part of the process of development. And it’s something that I can just say, oh yeah. Of course, that’s what’s happening. It’s okay. I, I can see that with clarity from my bubble. So many of the things that we’re managing right now in this transition from childhood into teenager years are very expected.
Dave and I will look at each other and say, it’s just, it’s just a teenage thing. Some of the moodiness, some of the decision making some of the stretch for independence and pushing boundaries. Those things are what it looks like to become a teenager. There is reaserch, you know, evidence-based scientific based reasons in the psychological development and physical development and hormonal development process that point to all these things being totally normal.
So rather than feeling frustrated every time that there’s a teenage behavior. It’s so wonderful to have raised our expectation of those things. Tolerance level, that we expect our teenagers to behave like teenagers. We expect our growing kids to behave like kids.
That means they’re messy. That means they’re loud. That means they don’t put things away. That means you ask them to do things. And sometimes they don’t do them. That means that you tell them not to do things. And sometimes they do them. Those things are all so normal when. Allow ourselves to understand and accept the normalcy of kids being kids can bring down that stress level, that bubble is so much easier to maintain this calm, clear, caring presence.
Mothering yourself starts with having realistic expectations. I also love Ralphie talks so often about paying attention to the good that has all of these weeds are popping up, to make sure that we’re watering the flowers. It becomes so easy to start harping on the things that our kids are doing wrong over and over and over again, or what we perceive as doing wrong. That’s actually just a normal kid behavior. When we can start to ignore that or let those things roll off as oh yeah, of course. Of course that’s happening. Of course that’s okay. And starting to really zone in on what are the things that they are doing well?
When are they following the rule? When are they getting ready on time? When are they using a kind voice really zoning in on those and paying attention to those that helps our bubble stay calm and clear and caring.
Recognize The Good
We can hold that emotional space and be that presence by recognizing the good and in a lot of cases, ignoring the bad or simply what we perceive as bad having this is where some of that clarity comes in having clear boundaries set up and allowing the kids to regulate their own emotions when it comes to their result.
I’m going to give you an idea. Recently last week we were getting ready for family dinner. We sit down and have dinner together as a family every night, just that’s part of our rhythm. And one of our kids said not interested in having family dinner. I don’t want to come to the table and we don’t have like a family rule around dinner.
That’s not something that we’ve ever established. In fact, this has been an interest thing to navigate as parents because Dave and I don’t have a whole lot of family rules, generally. Like we’re fairly flexible as parents and kind of take things on a case-by-case basis. Leaning into that clarity, however, that idea of my kids need to know what’s expected and what the outcomes will be in order to make a decision.
Like you don’t want to jump straight to, oh, you did something wrong or because you did this thing, here’s now what happens? They need to understand what the options are and what the results will be like if you’re going to impose them as an adult.
Set Clear Boundaries and Expectations
And I just simply said everyone who sits down at family dinner and stays at family dinner with us tonight will be able to play our family game after. And if you’re not able to sit down or not interested in sitting down for family dinner, then you won’t be able to participate in the family game. We play a lot of card games and stuff after dinner, and it’s fun and our kids all love it.
And so there was just a really clear. Here’s what’s happening. And when the child decided to not have family dinner and then was disappointed about not being able to play the family game, that disappointment was all theirs. We didn’t have to take that on. We didn’t have to argue again about it. We didn’t have to say, oh, well, if you would’ve done this, you know. Then you can feel that compassionate and understand it’s hard to have those emotions and to make those decisions. And then to be disappointed by the outcome, even though you chose the outcome, you start to be able to feel compassion.
Your children, rather than feeling like an enforcer of regulation, you feel this compassion and love and, and hope for, you know, now that you know how that feels. It’ll be interesting to see what you decide next time. To be okay with them, making decisions that aren’t the decision that you would hope for. I mean, that’s a silly example and maybe some of you would say, oh, that’s rude to not let your child play the game or whatever. You know, it’s fine.
We’re all just kind of figuring this out as we go. Another thing that we’ve started to do, that’s so interesting is rather than harping on our kids to be ready to go to school. And being mad if they’re not, I simply have started saying the walking bus is leaving in five minutes. You know, our kids all know what time we leave our house at 7:30am. The walking bus is leaving in five minutes, I’ll give them warnings.
We wake them up on time. We have breakfast available. And if you want to walk to school with me, that’s when I’m leaving. I walk out the door at 7:30am and if a child is still behind gathering their backpack or putting on shoes or something, they might be a block or two behind a need to race to catch up for one of our children who doesn’t walk to school right now, we drive him to school.
The buses leaving, you know, carpool to school is leaving in 10 minutes and we leave at that time. And if he’s not in the car, he must figure out how to get himself to school. These are examples of clarity, clear expectations and just really clear, like here’s what’s happening and it’s on you to make that decision exercising some independence and allowing them.
And then we’re not mad. I’m not mad. If one of my kids isn’t ready for school on time or doesn’t make it into the bus. I can, at this point, because of the clarity of that maintain not all the time, but maintain this calm, caring, clear presence. Allowing them to handle their own emotions and to help them learn how to moderate those emotions, but see how interesting it is to try to help our kids moderate their emotional state.
When we’re the ones who are unable to moderate ours. If we are yelling and angry and frustrated and overwhelmed and belittling and aggressive or domineering, that that is not a regulation of emotional state. And trying to parent from that place is nearly impossible. How we have to mother ourselves. We must parent ourselves first.
And so many of the emotional maturity, steppingstones that our kids need. They will see modeled and be able to start to understand what that looks like. Okay. The next example that I have is to allow your kids to state their opinions. And you don’t have to argue with it, even if you don’t agree.
Allow Kids to Express Opinions
Something that we’ve started in our family in the last few weeks is implementing the use of the word. Instead of arguing back what you think about what they said, allowing kids to state their emotion or state their belief, or state their understanding about something, even if it’s not aligned with what you agree with, what you believe, or even if you know that it’s not fact rather than creating the conflict or the competition of, I must correct this.
I must tell you why you’re wrong to simply say. And that doesn’t affirm or condone the thing that they’re talking about it simply allows it and prevents so much conflict. We’ve implemented this with our kids will kind of remind our kids. If one of our kids says you’re not supposed to do that. The other one can say, okay, instead of, yes, I am mom told me I could, if one of my kids tells me something I don’t necessarily agree with, or even like a fact like states a fact.
Like, there are forty different kinds of animals living in our backyard right now. I can say, okay. And if it’s a younger child, I can, oh, tell me more about that. You know, kind of engage the conversation, but so often I’ve noticed that we want to correct them.
We want to say, no, they’re not, this is not, you know, I mean, that’s a silly example, but we wanting to correct and impose and teach. In a, in a conflicted way, you know, there’s so many opportunities for engaging teaching moments, but do you sometimes find yourself clapping back on your kids? Because the thing that they said, isn’t something that you agree with or that, you know, that it’s simply not right, but you are approaching it from a conflict or for, from a confrontational space of, of like, I need to tell you the way that this goes, rather than just simply allowing them to state their opinion even if you don’t agree with them and saying, okay.
Or even, you know, if you’re feeling up to it, that’s interesting. Where did you learn that? Or why do you think that? Or I’d love to know more about that with openness and curiosity from your bubble of calm, clear, and caring.
Validate How They Feel
Another suggestion is to validate how they are feeling with observation. Say something like, I can see that you’re upset. Or it looks like you’re having a hard time with this. Or it looks like you don’t like this rule. Do you want to talk more about it?
Validating where they’re coming from or what it looks like they’re experiencing emotionally from your place of mothering yourself, allows you to step into that caring role of guidance, counselor of advocate, rather than to be in that confused conflicted co competing state.
And that the next one, the final one right here is to affirm unconditional love. This is something that’s come up repeatedly in the last few months for us, I mean, couple years, really with navigating the transition from small child need parent for physical help and support to independent growing tweens and teens who have very clear ideas about the way that they want things to be.
We often say no matter what you say or do, even if we don’t agree with it, we love you. There is nothing that you could say or do that would change the way we feel about you. We love you. We want you to be part of our family. We love to engage with you. We think you’re so awesome. And sometimes you make decisions we don’t agree with and that’s okay.
That’s part of growing up. That’s part of being a teenager. That affirmation of unconditional love is ultimately the most important thing.
I’ll wrap up with something from the Self-driven Child that I think is so interesting. That is the invitation to enjoy your children, that enjoying your children and having enjoyable experiences with them is one of the most powerful confidence-building experiences that there is.
Enjoy Your Kids!
And in my experience, it is a much easier for me to enjoy my children when I am mothering myself. When I’ve created this bubble of caring and clarity and calm, where I can see them clearly, I don’t feel. Overwhelmed or frustrated or, or angry at the things that they’re choosing, because I see that they are independent beings navigating their own pathway.
And my role is to be this non-anxious presence. For support and to help advocate for them and to help love them in and through the decisions that they make and to offer advice and to offer support and to also be okay when they make choices that I don’t necessarily agree with to be okay with them, deciding things that I wouldn’t necessarily do.
And of course, we get to, as parents choose the rules and consequences in our house, we get to choose the culture that we create. We get to choose the process through which these things are carried out. And I think that clarity and calm is so important. If we have a very clear rule that our kids understand and have learned, and they understand the consequence.
It doesn’t need to be so upsetting to us when they choose the consequence instead of the rule, that’s something that, from that calm place we can say, oh, this is what happens. And if they get angry about it, if they push back, if they’re frustrated, if they’re yelling, if they’re tantruming. We can hold that space, our calm, clear caring presence.
We mother ourselves, rather than trying to mother them and parent them into submission. We make sure that we start with our bubble and that we parent ourselves into the submission of being a calm, clear, and caring presence. And helping them through the turbulence of the emotions that they’re feeling from a calm place.
Our Strengths Are Different
As I wrap up, I want to mention that. I think that just as we’re naturally just so different in our strengths and our weaknesses and our characters, this ability to manage your own emotions and find that emotional maturity and regulation. We’ll come easier to some than others. Some people are naturally at a stress level lower or at an energy level lower or have a calm presence naturally.
I mean, it’s hilarious how different in this respect, Dave and I are before we ever had kids. I mean, he’s Dave. I don’t know if he’s ever raised his voice ever, like in any circumstance, except for maybe cheering for a sports team. And I am allowed person, anyway, give me something to be either really excited or really mad about I will be even louder.
The idea that we’re all going to handle ourselves, or what ourselves, as, as a managed emotional person will look like is all the same is also incorrect. It’s going to be different. The way that we navigate this as individuals will be different. The strategies that you need to use in order to get to a place where you’re mothering yourself and your parenting yourself first may be different.
For me, it’s been a helpful to acknowledge the expectations that my tolerance level has been high. I remind myself; this is normal. This is okay. This is not out of the blue. It is totally. Expected for kids to choose things that their parents don’t want them to choose. It’s totally expected for them to break the rule.
It’s totally expected for kids to be slow or to resist things that are new. All the things that we’re like, oh, but they should do it this way. We’re probably wrong.
Don’t Should On Your Kids
I talked to a few weeks ago about, should. How often, you know, w I think so many of us recognize that we should on ourselves, but do we should on our kids too, you should be doing it this way.
You should be doing it that way. The way you’ve chosen is wrong. Reign that in the same way that that’s a red flag for you to say, I should do this. I should be different. It’s also a red flag for you to impose that should on your kids. Mother Yourself, recognize those red flags raise that tolerance level.
And allow yourself to love before and under and above and through all else, I will say I’m not a parenting expert by any stretch of the imagination. And I am also not perfect at this. And yet the perspective shift of my role is to parent my kids– swapping that to my role is to parent myself so that I can support my kids through the things that they’re experiencing has been really phenomenal for me.
Being able to like visualize this bubble of calm, clear, caring presence around me and maintaining that emotional state. And having this conversation with Dave that we are on the same page for this. So, we can see when one of the bubbles is starting to burst. You know, we can give each other those eyes that are like, Hey, remember, our job is to be the parents here, and the parents are the ones that stay calm that are emotionally regulated.
Model what it looks like to take responsibility for your own emotions and to allow your kids to experience their own emotions that we don’t have to merge those things. And co-mingle the emotions that we don’t have to take on the frustration or anger that our kids are experiencing. We can support them through the anger that they’re experiencing, support them through the frustration that they’re experiencing or the disappointment or whatever it may be.
I know this may be kind of a lot for, for some people. This may be, you know, second nature for some of you. I want to just go back and reiterate one more time, something I mentioned kind of in passing at the beginning.
Take Care Of Yourself
Mothering yourself, parenting yourself as a person will be so much easier, so much more accessible when you are taking care of yourself. When you have enough sleep when you’re eating well, when you’re moving your body, when you’re decompressing through connection and relationships or through physical activity or through meditation, relaxation. When those things are rhythmic part of your life, so that your emotional state and your ability to regulate those things is more accessible.
I think we have to start there. I know self-care is such a buzz word, buzz topic right now. There’s a reason for that though. Taking care of yourself is step one in enabling you to be a caring presence for others. All those episodes about mothering the mothers, the whole series will be linked in the show notes.
I hope that this episode has given you a few new ideas or affirmations of how you can better maintain your calm, caring, clear presence for your kids, so that parenting can be fun. So you can enjoy your kids and support them through even hard times, even difficult situations where they’re growing and stretching and changing in ways that you maybe didn’t expect or couldn’t have imagined.
Parenting yourself through that process allows you to then show up as the kind of parent that you want to be love in the way that you want to love and support in the way that you want to.
I want to thank you for tuning in for listening to the show, check out the other shows, leave a review or rating on iTunes. That always is so helpful. Feel free to take a screenshot while you’re listening and share what you’re listening to on social media, with your friends and family, or text it to your sister or someone else who you can have like an accountability partner in this process of getting better at parenting yourself.
And I can’t wait to chat with you again. Next time. Place next week, have a good one. Bye-bye.