Being a “Good” Mom Doesn’t Prevent PainFeb 16, 2023
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One of the reasons that being a mom is so hard is because of the pressure we put on ourselves to do everything right. We believe that if we can just be a “good” mom, we’ll prevent pain for our kids and ourselves.
There's a belief that if we do everything right and we plan it all out, we can prevent our kids from having hard things happen to them. This is everywhere in our society. We’ve all bought into this idea that if a kid is struggling, it must be the parent’s fault.
In this episode, you’ll learn why you can’t prevent pain for your kids (and you shouldn’t anyway) and what you can do instead to support them through hard times.
Perfectionism in parenting
We have this belief that there is a right way to parent and that we should do it that right way: naptime schedules, feeding habits, routines, school environments, activities, friend groups…the list goes on and on.
There is so much pressure to have it all figured out and to do it all correctly.
The thought underneath it all is that if we do everything “right”, then our children will not experience pain or discomfort.
But a lot of life is outside our control, and bad things sometimes happen to all of us.
When we’re in this trap of trying to do it “right” and bad things happen, we feel GUILTY. We judge ourselves. We think that when hard things happen to our kids it must be our fault. We think that if our kid is struggling, that means we haven't done something right.
That’s just not true.
All the social engineering, micro-managing, hyper-planning, and bulldozing a smooth path for your kids, means you’re working super hard to prevent something you can’t stop. It’s exhausting and will lead to burnout.
We can’t prevent pain
As parents, we naturally want to protect our kids and make sure they’re okay, but we can’t control every aspect of their lives.
Preventing shitty circumstances from happening to our kids is not possible, because life is full of hard things despite our best efforts.
Our kids are human beings, and they are going to experience all the emotions of being human. They’re going to have conflicts, failures and mistakes.
None of us has a pain-free life.
The good news here is that we shouldn’t even try to prevent it. Through these challenges, our kids will learn how to go through pain and hardship.
And as a connected parent, your relationship with your child will even be strengthened by these hard things.
When we blame ourselves for our kids’ pain and decide that we must be doing something wrong, panic and mom guilt set in and make it really hard to show up for your kids in the way that you want to.
You feel even MORE pressure to work harder, work more, be a better mom.
That pressure is suffocating and can be brutal on your identity as a mom and as a woman.
Berating yourself (even a little) doesn't actually help your kids. Because then you are making the hard thing about YOU and not helping THEM with the hard thing. You’re stuck in how this thing impacts you and your identity as a mom, more than how this hard thing is impacting your kid.
Getting comfortable with discomfort
Often, when we find ourselves micromanaging, worrying and feeling anxious about our kids’ circumstances or choices, it is because we are uncomfortable with their discomfort.
It’s hard to watch your child struggle or suffer, so we try to prevent their pain to avoid our own discomfort.
Instead, you can learn to be a compassionate witness to their pain. Rather than trying to prevent and solve all the emotional problems, you can acknowledge that the pain is there and help them through it.
You can narrate what is happening and offer strategies to help them get their big feelings out and cope with the emotion.
This way, you make it about your child and what they are going through.
What I want you to take away from this episode is this: No matter what is going on with your kid, you might not have done anything wrong.
My hope is that when you understand that the hard things in life are often outside your control, you feel a little bit more free to be in the present moment, rather than looking back at what you did or didn’t do. You can relax a little. You can back off a bit.
Hard things happen. No matter what you do or don’t do as a parent. Trust that you and your kids can do hard things. It’ll be okay.
- Why we shouldn’t even try to prevent pain for our kids
- How to use curiosity as a tool if you are concerned about a behavior
- Examples of common painful situations and ways to address them
Connect With Darlynn:
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Inside the Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids parenting class, I teach you the tools to coach your kids through their big feelings cycles and come out on the other side with more awareness, skills and ability to self regulate.
Being comfortable with our children's discomfort is what I call CALM. CONNECT is all about helping our children navigate their emotional discomfort and pain.
Our next three-month session begins March 15th. We meet weekly as a small group, where I walk you through how to calm yourself and regulate your own emotions, how to help your kids move through their big feelings cycles and manage their feelings, how to set limits and how to follow through on consequences without using pain or punishment.
Join the waitlist now to get first access when registration opens on March 3rd.
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