By MamaCon Co-Founders, Amy Lang & Kim Estes
Does this sound familiar?
- Your children always come first because they are your whole world.
- You consistently put yourself last on the list.
- You think your spouse is not as capable as you and can’t do it right anyway.
- You feel compelled to step up and take over. Every. Time.
- You believe nothing can happen in your family life without you.
- You allow “mommy guilt” to set in if you miss any meal, bedtime, school or sporting event.
- You are terrified to let someone down.
- You ignore your intuition about what’s best for you and your children and succumb to mommy peer pressure.
- You think this is the only way to be because everybody else appears to be doing the same thing.
- If you ask for outside help it’s the same as admitting you are not a good parent.
- If you take a break to take care of yourself, you are selfish.
Is this your life? Are you sick of doing everything for everyone all the time?
Guess what? You created this crazy emotional roller coaster. There’s a name for it - over-functioning and it’s epidemic among mamas.
We get it, you want to be a good parent – so do we! In fact, one of us here at MamaCon has a tattoo that says “over-functioner” (not really, but she probably should).
Admitting you are an “expert” at doing it all is the first step to letting someone else take over. It probably took a few years for this dynamic to become your experience so it will take a while to undo some of what you created.
Here are a few things you can do to change your mama-life and start to recover from your overfunctioning ways:
1) Think about the example you are setting for your kids about what it means to be a parent. Do you really want your daughter sacrificing EVERYTHING she once was when she becomes a mom? Do you really want your son to think he’s useless as a father and partner?
2) Let them fail and trust they will survive – this goes for kids and spouses. Allow yourself to feel the pain of uncertainty so you can experience pride (and liberation!) when they are successful.
3a) Start saying “maybe” instead of “yes” to every volunteer opportunity. This prepares people to hear “no” and it will be less of surprise when you don’t help.
3b) And when you do say “no” do not allow yourself to feel guilty. Congratulate yourself instead and remember you are setting a great example of self care for your kids.
4) Say “no” the next time your kids want something that goes against your values and intuition. Disappointment builds character – allow them to flex this muscle.
5) Step back from your kids’ world, and give them the chance to develop a life independent from you. If you never let them go, they will be one of those kids who freaks out freshman year of college and has to come home.
6) They will not remember (and your kids will not be screwed up) if you miss a game, dinner or bedtime once in awhile. In fact, they will probably appreciate you more if you aren’t around all the time.
7) Carve out specific time for yourself as often as possible. This means doing something you love, spending time with girlfriends, getting parenting help and taking a physical break away from “them.”
Being a mom has become so hard because we take on so much that really doesn’t benefit anyone. Most of us have bought into this way of thinking and it’s time to turn the tide.
Don’t your kids deserve to have a happy mom? Take time to find some happy – no one will die and everyone will be better for it!
To get some instant happy, join us at MamaCon on May 17 in Bellevue WA!
Your guilt-free girlfriend getaway, MamaCon includes mini spa services, mini workshops on parenting (this is the guilt-free part!) and life improvement, shopping, lunch, keynote, comedy, relaxation, rejuvenation, and a big old heap of fun and laughter!
The day is designed so you will see all of the speakers, have time for spa and shopping and totally escape your family.
In love and solidarity,
Amy & Kim
PS Use code MACMama14 and get 15% off your ticket price!