So many of us have learned how to parent from outside sources. Whether it be a parent, a grand parent, a teacher, the media, or a book – we are taught to look externally for the way to get parenting right.
How did you learn how to be a mom?
There's no rule book that you're given at your children's birth. They come out, and you figure it out as you go. So, “being you” is almost a foreign concept for most of us. And most of us, when we become moms, we actually go to the point of reference for how we were mothered to learn how to be a mom. This is ingrained in us, as the cultural and familial traits and trends of parenting. My mom always wanted us to sit together as a family for dinner, to eat while listening to classical music and not to have any distractions while we shared about our day with each other. For her, that was the right way to eat dinner. Now when she comes to visit and my 4-year-olds are eating their food whenever they want, while watching their iPad, I can feel her blood boiling! To her, I am doing mealtime all wrong.
The other thing that we do with parenting is we go to the opposite extreme. So, all the things that we believe that our moms did wrong we never want to do, we swear to never become them. So, we go to the other end of the spectrum. For example, if you were yelled at as a kid by your mom, sometimes when you become a mom, you yell at your kids, because that's what you learned. But sometimes you have made this vow to yourself, you swore to never, ever be like your mom. So, you can never, ever yell at your kids, which is the other extreme. Neither one of those is actually based on having a choice in the situation. And neither of them is coming from a space that is you, where you have the choice to do or not do, based on what will create greater. This example can be extrapolated into all of parenting.
It’s who you be with your kids that matters. They came to you because of who you are. Not because they wanted you to parent like anyone else, or like your mom parented you, or like your dad parented you. If you are being you, you might function from asking questions. It might not be a defined space. You might do things one way and then wake up tomorrow and do them differently. What if “being you” was a curiosity? A space of wonderment, a question of, what does my kid require today? Who do I need to be today to provide my kid with that which he or she really requires?
And what if you being you was the greatest inspiration you could be for your child? Something that will assist them more than anything else is the freedom for them to be who they are and not have to be anyone else. The only way you can give that to them is by choosing to be you. Not by pretending you're someone else or by buying someone else's points of view as if they are real and true for you when they're not.
When you, as a mom, are being you, whatever that looks like in any given moment, your kids get it. They respond differently, they have a certain radar for these things. I believe in sharing myself with my kids, to the degree that they are able to hear and understand based on their age. It creates a level of intimacy and vulnerability that will allow your children to open up to you when they need to as well.
To have access to more of you as a mom, I recommend you start asking yourself the following questions:
1. If I were truly being me here, what would I do? What would I say or how would I act?
2. Is this really my point of view or did I buy it from someone else?
And start taking 30 minutes a day just for you. You might have to wake up early or stay up late or take time away from doing some household chore, but trust me, it’s going to be worth it. Spend those 30 minutes doing whatever you want! The point is that it is time spent the way you want, on that day in those minutes, and it’s a way to start honoring yourself.
I know when I was growing up that I just wanted my parents to be happy. I think most of us have tried to heal our parents, to fix their problems, to try to make them happy … when it isn’t our jobs as children to do any of that. When you are being you, you are naturally joyful! What a gift to give your child!
For more tips and examples of how to be yourself in all areas of life, check out the book, The Greatest Adventure…is You Truly Being You, a compilation of empowering stories from Being You facilitators including Lauren Marie. You can purchase your copy on Amazon.
Lauren Marie was recently featured in the new book The Very Greatest Adventure. As an Access Consciousness facilitator, life coach, acupuncturist, entrepreneur and mother of young twins, Lauren Marie travels worldwide with her babies, facilitating workshops and classes and changing her clients’ point of view about life, health and business. Born on the outskirts of Washington D.C., Lauren relocated to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast after falling pregnant with twins in a foreign country in a brand-new relationship and with an irregular ‘job.’ She holds a master’s degree and is National Board Certified in Acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Psychology. Lauren founded The Element Center for Integrative Health, a multi-disciplinary wellness center in Denver in June 2007 after building a successful acupuncture practice in Denver. A passionate creator and conscious rule-breaker, Lauren seeks to inspire other mothers to see the possibilities others overlook and to embrace every challenge and choice that parenthood brings. Follow Lauren Marie on Instagram.