Karen Casey Coaching

I am not the mom I wanted to be

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. A Hallmark-created holiday and one that has become a tradition to celebrate in as many different ways as there are families. It is a day that can set us up (like most holidays) for disappointment and a nagging feeling that we just aren’t the mom we always wanted to be. 

The bad news first. You are not the mom you always wanted to be. 

The good news? You are not the mom you always wanted to be! 

We tend to create mental images of what our families “should” be. Our mental images are often created long before we are in the thick of real, everyday life. The pressure we might feel comes from many places – our families, faith communities, or even the movies. My son works in the film industry. He will talk about the process to create one scene to perfection. It takes more than one take to film a scene and there are always changes to be made to improve it. In our parenting, we don’t get a script, a set dresser, or a do-over. We get triggered and say things we regret. Sometimes we even surprise ourselves and pull off a calm response to our hormonal tween/teen. 

It is really ok to give yourself permission to be…human. I wish I had learned much earlier in my parenting that the reality of life is that I will do things that help my kids and sometimes may do something, or say something that doesn’t help.  I am not always going to get it right and neither will you. If you think wrapping your brain around this means you will blow off your parenting goals or will justify doing whatever you want, you are wrong. It can mean you can learn to show grace to your kids and yourself.  Imagine spending less time feeling shame and more time learning effective ways of navigating life with your tween/teen. In coaching parents, I see over and over that a healthier, more reasonable belief about oneself as a mom actually improves the relationship with our child. None of us are always the mom we want to be 100% of the day. No one gets to claim that. The power to grow as a parent happens when we stay curious, and practice talking with ourselves and our children with openness, humility, and the willingness to be…. human. 

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