Being a mother is often fraught with insecurities and guilt. My mother used to say that women are born feeling guilty and once they have children the guilt becomes a full blown case of “not good enough” and that adds to our imposter syndrome. There is so much pressure to be all things to all the people in our lives and it creates a level of stress that I’m seeing more often through my work as a Transformational Life Coach.
I wish someone had told me that being a mother is less about getting it right and more about giving what’s needed, as it’s needed. When I’m with my grandchildren I know not to strain to try get it right. I find myself having fun with them and letting go of the pressure to do the right thing and in that soft and gentle space, the bond between us strengthens. Somehow they make good decisions and find their own inner wisdom so I don’t have to do too much guiding or disciplining. If only I had known this as a young mother.
Knowing how to guide our children mostly comes from observing our own parents or caregivers. Over time, we innocently repeat the same things, good or not so good, until we wake up to the fact that things need to change. When we lighten up and stop straining to do the right thing, our children pick up a subtle message. They sense they’re not being judged or criticized and that allows them to find the right answer for themselves. I’ve seen that all children, even very young ones, have wisdom too and because they don’t have all the hang-ups that adults do, they don’t need to sift through the barrage of thinking about not being good enough.
I’ve noticed when I ask children what feels right and what’s the best thing to do they often come up with some remarkable responses. I know I wouldn’t have thought about the solutions they expressed if I had tried to impose my ideas on them. This robs them of tapping into their own internal wisdom. If the idea is outrageous we talk about it together and find an alternate solution.
When I was a young mother I got the impression that I was smarter than my children and I should tell them what to do and how to do it. Today I see things differently. Watching my grandchildren navigate their lives from their own inner guidance makes me happy and rather than have regrets and more guilt about not raising my children in this way, I’ve let go and simply enjoy the freedom of knowing that I did the best I could and I’m grateful that today, I know better.
Children must be taught how to think, not what to think ~ Margaret Mead
All my love