There is so much BAD information floating around about working motherhood. Seriously, I hear cringe-worthy phrases and complete bullshit lies being said on repeat. You are hearing them at work, from your parents, from social media and even from your dearest working mom friends. These lies about being a working mom run deep, they spread wide and they are believed by so many close to you.
Today we are unpacking these bullshit lies. I’m sharing the truth of the matter and giving you the permission you didn’t know that you needed to stop propagating these lies and live your life according to your truth!
Ok – here we go 10 lies about working motherhood and what we both know to be true instead.
1- You’ll be exhausted until they are in college.
Yes, of course, parenting takes energy. Truly it is one of the most energy consuming tasks that I’ve ever taken on. How about you?
Are you feeling exhausted? Tired? Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?
The truth: You get to do things that make you less tired.
Guess what? You can go to bed sooner. You can add energy giving activities into your day. You can hand off the task of middle of the night comfort to your spouse and get some rest.
You can infuse into your day pockets of energizing time and you can advocate for yourself to get the rest that you need, the exercise that you crave and the
2 – It gets better.
It actually doesn’t get better. There are seasons that suck and stages that are more challengings. The truth is that there are challenges at every age and every stage.
The truth and the really great news? Even though is doesn’t get easier… You. Get. Better.
As you go through life as a mom you develop coping skills, strategies and mechanisms for dealing with the hard stuff. It’s the reason that you pressed play on this show. It’s the reason that you are reaching for a life where you feel fulfilled.
You are actively reaching out into the world and seeking information, tools and skills that are going to help you show up better as a human being and take care of yourself. That makes you a better mom.
If you are grasping for more. If you’ve been reading all the books and pressing plan on all the episodes just like this one and you are ready to stop DIYing your way to a better life – I have a 1-on-1 coaching slot with your name on it. If you are ready to really create change in your life instead of thinking about it, send me a DM on instagram letting me know that you are ready to change your life! Not on instagram? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your coaching slot this month!
3 – It goes by in the blink of an eye.
I almost didn’t include this one on the list. Because it does, some days, feel like your kids are growing up so fast… maybe too fast even.
By saying “it goes by in the blink of an eye” you are living in fear of missing time, of these moments slipping away.
The truth: You get to savor the moments and you are in control of what you make of this precious time with your little ones.
Yes, time will pass anyway and yes, having kids makes it seem like time is passing faster than ever, but use this as motivation to be present in the moment, not to live in fear that you are missing anything. You are exactly where you need to be, momma!
Put down your phone. Be where your feet are planted. Take the photo. Heck, get IN the photo! When you DO blink your eyes, be sure to do it as you are basking in the moment, not wishing them away, and enjoying yourself.
4 – You shouldn’t have to ask for help.
What bullshit! You don’t have a problem asking for help at work. You needed training and orientation at your job. There’s no orientation for motherhood so why the heck wouldn’t you need to ask for help.
The truth: Asking for help makes working motherhood easier.
“I need help”, in my opinion are three of the most powerful words in the world. It’s hard, too. It’s hard to admit that you need assistance from others. It can be difficult to ask for help because you need to rest, you need a nap or even when you just need to walk away for a moment.
Build that muscle of asking for help. Be specific and direct in your requests. Your well-intentioned partner wants to help you but they might not know how. If you say “Becky’s husband is watching the kids today so she can go to the spa, it must be nice.” you aren’t directly asking for what you want.
It’s so much clearer if you say “I need some time away. I’d love to take a day and go to the new spa downtown. I’m thinking about going next Saturday. Does that work for you?” You are clear and asking for exactly what you want.
5 – Your kids will love you more if you are a martyr.
Where the heck did this lie come from? Why on Earth would the best thing for our kids to see modeled is us killing ourselves, bending over backwards so that they can have everything they’ve never wanted and more than they’ve ever needed at the cost of our own health and wellness?
The truth: You are worthy of being healthy, sane, and having time for your needs, wants, and passions.
Period. Create time to pursue those things. Show your kids that you aren’t a martyr. You are a woman who exists outside her role as mother. Model for them that when they are grown, if they choose to have humans, they don’t stop being a human being themselves because they step into that role as mom or dad.
6 – There is only one right way to do this thing.
Stray off that path and your kids are destined for juvenile detention at worst or at best living in your basement until the end of time.
If you are following anyone who says there is ONE and only one way to do anything – RUN.
The truth: there are a gazillion ways to do this parenting thing. In fact, each kid requires a different approach. Each kid requires a different approach at each different stage of life. The combination of possibilities is truly endless.
Parenting is a movie – it’s not a snapshot – things are in motion, situations and maturity levels are changing. What worked yesterday might not work today.
The one constant in life and in parenting is that things are always changing. Be ready to pivot. Be ready to be wrong. Be ready to adapt to the changing landscape and the evolving needs of your family. Be prepared to learn how to do better this time, and if you mess up this time, there’s always next time.
7 – It’s NO fun.
Society tells us that working motherhood, especially when our kids are young, is something to endure. We just have to get through this phase when they are young and have so many needs. Then, we can start having fun and being ourselves and making time for us.
The truth: You get to control the JOY. You get to bring the JOY. Create the JOY. Model the JOY.
You can infuse fun into any situation when you work to control your mindset.
8 – There’s NO way you can be a good mom and work.
This one really grinds my gears. Is that a phrase for when something really pisses you off? I’m honestly not sure at this point but it’s something that makes me SO mad.
There’s NO way that you can do both: be a good mom, even a great mom and work.
The truth: You can be an incredible mom AND rock at work.
You can do both.
You aren’t limited to staying in one lane.
You can embrace both.
Yes, working mom life presents unique and specific challenges that are different than those faced by moms who stay home with their littles and No, that absolutely does NOT mean that you can’t create a life full of habits, routines and ways to show up well at work, have healthy boundaries and be the best mom of all time – the mom that your kids need.
9 – If your kids are in childcare of some sort, they are being raised by someone else.
What a phrase that invokes all the guilt in the heart of working moms everywhere.
Let’s get something straight here – no matter what you do for work – whether you work days, nights, from home, travel the world – you are the one raising your kids. You are the single most important influence in their life as a parent.
The daycare teachers, your in laws, the nanny or the au pair are vital members of the team that is helping you to care for your kiddo, but you are raising them. They aren’t going to be harmed by you not being there 24/7 to take care of them. The variety that comes from different adults caring for them holds value and it in no way dilutes the impact that you have on your childrens lives.
Last but certainly not least
No. 10 – Parent is a verb.
This is one that’s been grating on me in recent months.
As modern parents we have stepped into this role and society is telling us that parent is a verb. When my parents became parents “back in the day” before cell phones and internet, before SO many resources were at your fingertips each and every moment of every day… parent was a noun.
My parents were a woman and a man one day, then my sister was born and they were a mom and a dad. Parent was who they were, not what they did.
Parenting was not this all-consuming verb that required nonstop action.
Here is your loving reminder that being a mom is a part of who you are as a person and it’s not something that you have to be worrying about and taking action on every second of your day. Live your life, my friend!