Do you have a feeling that you’re behind on everything, that you can’t handle your household, and that you’re overall a bad mother? You’re not alone, there are many moms who feel this way. Maybe you’re just a prisoner of your own emotions. Allow us to help you understand how these emotions work so you can get rid of your anxieties and improve your relationship with yourself and the people around you.
Take a moment to think. How many times have you tried to please everyone? How often did you think it’s important what others think about you and so you tried to be the perfect mother, perfect wife, perfect colleague, perfect friend, perfect host… Then you discovered that you just can’t keep up with being all of these things and ended up feeling like you’re worthless?
“I think that no mother is a bad mother. It’s just a feeling we have sometimes. The first step towards changing this is to substitute ‘I’m worthless!’ with ‘Today, I’m feeling worthless.’ This word game can mean a lot for your subconscious. The inner feeling of self-blame will slowly become smaller and smaller. All this if we just allow ourselves to know that there are, indeed, days when we’re not worthless,” says Lívia Pastoreková, an emotion coach.
The search for happiness
Lívia was a hyperactive mom of two sons, who discovered her talent to motivate other people. Her own path was full of ups and downs. “There were many times when I needed to pick myself up and move on. It all lead to anxiety. At the time, I thought it’s a bad thing but now I see anxiety as my friend. I realized that a big part of my life was spent as if I were on autopilot. Maybe you know what I mean – things just happen and you move on along with them. You finish university, get a job that you don’t even like, a husband and some kids. At that moment time stops and you realize that you’ve reached a point of conflict. A conflict between who you really are and the path you’re walking. In this moment I realized what my talent and my calling truly are. Helping people. Today I help people find happiness in their life,” Lívia describes the path that led her towards emotion coaching according to the Emotion Equations of Aleš Kalina.
Our childhoods program us all
Emotion Equations are programs, rooted deep inside of us, which affect how we function. As children, we took in information from our surroundings, ’embedded’ into us by our parents, teachers, and everyone who was a part of our lives. Our emotional environment, which we were a part of as children, has programmed us into the adults we are today. “Many of us have a deeply-rooted idea of a ‘super mother‘ – a mother that does everything right and is always available to her children and partner. She doesn’t have time for anyone else – her friends, colleagues, acquaintances,” Lívia describes the ‘good mother’ stereotype.
According to Lívia, emotion laws are fascinating and ruthless at the same time. Emotion equations can be applied in the mother-child relationship, too. We, the parents, have a huge impact on shaping our children. “We try to raise them into good people and give them the ‘right’ opinions and thoughts,” Lívia ponders,”How do we know that our own opinions are the right ones, though?”
We’re all unique and we all have our own view of the world. If we want to raise an independent and self-confident child, we need to:
- become the person we want our children to be – we need to raise our children to our image,
- support our children and their talents, don’t force them to believe the same ‘truths’ as we do,
- support our children in the things they’re good at, accept them,
- not force our own unfulfilled dreams upon our children,
- not have ridiculous expectations.
Meeting other people’s expectations
According to Lívia, many children are raised to meet the expectations of their parents. They do things to please their parents, to be praised and accepted. The role of someone who works to please others often follows into adulthood. Such a person may then feel torn between their individual talents and the life they’re living. This is why we should allow our children to develop without us trying to force our own ideals upon them. Support your child as much as you can.
A realization that hurts
During her practice, Lívia has met many women who had put everyone else above themselves until they suffered a burnout. The same applies to the empty nest syndrome that happens when mothers fixate on their children for years and can’t handle it when their children become adults and leave the home. The third large group is women who gave their children everything, expecting to get it back one day. That day never came, however. Such a realization hurts a lot. That’s why she often tells women: “The worst possible thing you can give your child is to give them everything!”
What to do when you’re feeling down?
- Put yourself first. Now, we’re not saying that you should be selfish. Quite the opposite, actually! If you can put yourself first for a while, you’ll feel a lot better which will then benefit everyone around you, including your children and partner.
- Don’t blame yourself. It’s completely normal to have a bad day. We all have good and bad days. It’s normal to be fed up with your household, too. Don’t blame yourself for that.
- Make yourself happy. Sometimes a small thing is enough. Anything that will pull you out of our everyday stereotype.
- Get to know yourself. With your ‘autopilot’ on, you often forget who you are. Get to know yourself again. What do you enjoy doing? When do you feel really happy? Try to find those answers again.
- Stop making the excuse that you don’t have enough time. Do you really not have time for 5 minutes to relax and drink coffee? Can you really not find the time to read a few pages of your favorite book? You have to realize that this isn’t about time but about the priority you put on your activities. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first.