How a simple “I should” thought is going to change your confidence and self-acceptance
- I should make myself more available to (insert – kids, partner, friend, family, work)
- I should be happy more often because my life is great
- I should find juggling kids, work, house and life easy
- I should have it all together all the time
- I should be able to balance everything in my
- life with so much more ease
- I should not be overwhelmed or burnt out
This big picture “I should” list filters into the daily;
- I should be more present when I’m with the kids
- I should have left work early to get to the school function
- I should keep the house cleaner
- I should have dinner on the table earlier
- I should have made sure the washing was out
- I should have got to work earlier
- I should have stayed for the meeting
When we spend our energy and thoughts building an internal “I should” list, those thoughts can quickly freefall into “I’m not doing enough”, “I’m not good enough” & “I am not enough”.
The challenge to keep up to what you think you should be doing as a mum begins to feel a lot like trying to conquer Mount Everest.
Small things become big things, overwhelm sets in, we become snappy to the people around us, judge ourselves harshly, there is a physical toll – often broken sleep and motivation wavers.
When confidence, motivation and self-belief evaporate, the feelings of burnout and overwhelm can easily become your safe haven (think – safety in the familiarity of struggle) leaving you on a never ending hamster wheel of feeling more than a little stuck with how to make a change.
In my time as a coach of women and since becoming a mum of 3 myself, I find two common factors lead into the “I should” spiral that manifests itself into self-doubt and overwhelm;
1. An idea of what motherhood should look like.
Each and every one of us has a profile for what a mum ‘should’ be in our mind. This profile is based around our personal experiences and exposure to mother figures growing up. Our own mum, our grandmother, our best friend’s mother, the mum on our favourite TV show, society.
When we feel like we don’t “fit” the mum profile we have created in our mind, thoughts of “not enough” creep in and get loud, they drown our ability to do even the simple daily routine.
I challenge you to create a new profile.
A mum profile that fits your lifestyle, family dynamic, partnership and most importantly what you want in this life. Forget about expectations you or others place on yourself or beliefs you have brought with you from childhood, instead get really clear on the woman and mother you want to be, then BE HER.
2. Comparing our experiences to other women.
Our good old friend comparisonitis. There is a perception in motherhood that other women have it all sorted. Other women have everything dialled in and life works in perfect order like a well-oiled machine. Other women somehow manage to create balance in their life, relationships, time and energy – all with a dash of ease.
They. Have. Got. It. Together.
Inner voice: You’re the only one that doesn’t.
I’m going to remind you here that the blessing of motherhood is a shared experience.
We as a community of women that raise small or big humans move through the peaks and drops of the motherhood experience in the way that’s best for us as individuals and as a family unit.
We all have moments of doubt, struggle, hustle and challenge, it is intertwined in the beauty of raising another human and no one person is immune, though it does show up differently for everyone and we manage differently.
For you it might be burnout
For another it might be negative thoughts
For someone else it could be a lack of motivation
For the woman next to you it could be feeling lost or stuck resulting in self-doubt for the simple tasks
When you feel like your “I should” list is growing rapidly and draining energy and space for you, remind yourself of the shared motherhood experience. Celebrate that woman you see, for how she is showing up and reframe any I SHOULD thoughts into I AM.
I am doing what my time and energy allows me to do
I am doing what my family and I need at this moment
I am exactly where I need to be
I am enough
Finally before I sign off;
When you take the time for you, when you commit to growth from the inside out for you, when you build self-awareness for you and create practices that are supportive of you, your entire approach to life changes.
Motherhood is going to shift and evolve with each season and experience you find yourself in. There is always a new layer or learning and being able to choose how you respond and feel in those moments creates long lasting confidence.
I would love to hear what kind of “I should” runs through your mind, send me an email with your top 3. In the meantime mumma;
You are seen, you are heard and you are held in this space.
You are a powerhouse.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.