Exhausted to Empowered
I know exactly how easy it is to lose sight of who you are and what you really want when you become a Mom, and the shocking part is that this loss of identity is 100% endorsed by our culture. It’s actually portrayed as the “right” way to do Motherhood! It’s a belief system that promotes martyrdom and self-sacrifice, both of which are recipes for burn-out and depression. It’s the reason we slowly start to feel like shells of the women we once were, and it’s exactly the messaging I bought into!
When I had my son, I jumped right into my role as “Liam’s Mom” and didn’t look back.
It became my primary identity. It gave me the certainty I was pressured to have about my future. I was going to “mom it” for the next several years, and the outside world approved of my path, finally! It felt like a no-brainer. I’d just pour myself into being a top notch Momma, and that’d be enough…
It was supposed to be enough.
And I’m not gonna bullshit you, obtaining society’s ideal of happiness and total fulfillment was enough to beguile me for a while…
Until it wasn’t.
After the high of achieving the stay-at-home-mom dream plateaued, the whole illusion of fulfillment wore off rather quickly, which was a very scary thing at the time! I thought, “If this isn’t enough for me, something is wayyy wrong with me, right? Motherhood is supposed to be the end all be all, WTF?!”
It was that visceral fear, the fear of being defective, that drove me to try EVEN harder at being a “happy” stay at home mom. Naturally, I doubled down on parenting & partnering “perfectly,” thinking that was the key to happiness.
Butttttt white knuckling my way to happiness only took me so far. (Shocking right?)
Soon enough I was Google’ing different versions of “Why is Motherhood so hard?” almost every day.
Not finding what I was looking for, my searches eventually turned into, “What to do when you hate being a mom,” and “I think I hate my son,” all in the course of a year.
Obviously I didn’t realllly hate my son.
However, I’ve since learned that when you are depleted and take no responsibility for filling up your own cup, you start building resentments shockingly fast, and resentment does not discriminate. Not even when it comes to the tiny, adorable humans we grew inside of us.
My pent up resentment at the Motherhood gig rapidly started spilling over into all aspects of my life, especially when it came to my intimate relationship… Imagine that! I wasn’t just driving myself crazy trying to be the “perfect” mom and partner, but I was driving my partner, Kyle, absolutely nuts too. I burnt myself out by constantly giving giving giving, positively certain that receiving wasn’t part of the equation.
But over-giving, which is exactly what we do when we don’t allow ourselves to receive or when we give from an empty cup, morphed me into this controlling, resentful, and self righteous version of myself.
Kyle wondered where the curious, passionate, and inspired parts of me went, and frankly, so did I!
After our intimate relationship went through hell, I took the opportunity to reflect. Big time.
How had I turned into this unrecognizably resentful and entitled person?
The answer to that can of worms helped me see that it was time to recommit to myself. It was time to put the focus back on me and my mental + emotional well-being, so I could show up for myself as a whole person again.
I started learning to master my mind and increase my emotional intelligence, two skills I have come to know as absolutely essential to everything else I want to accomplish in my life! It’s how I began transforming myself from exhausted and victimized to jazzed and empowered.
Yes, putting my emotional and mental well being first totally saved my relationship, which is a major bonus. More importantly though, it saved me from a life of constant, low-grade suffering, and it can do the same for you!
It’s time to stop settling for a life that doesn’t bring you genuine fulfillment.
No more beating yourself up for not being happy, and no more blaming “motherhood,” your kids, or anything/one else in your life for the lack of fulfillment you’re experiencing.
Start taking real responsibility for your well-being right now. Do something today!
It doesn’t have to be working with me, but for realz Momma, it’s time to take massive action by truly making your mental and emotional health your top priority. : )
You’ve got this Momma!