The people in this photo are probably really kind people. They are probably wonderful neighbors and friends, but what do you feel when you see that picture? Come on, be honest. Do you feel the slightest twinge of "Why can't my hair be that perfect?" or 'Why don't my kids look like that?" or "She probably has a clean house." or "If only I wore a size 4, I could look that cute." Or maybe you just think "What a happy family, she must be a great mom."
I want to talk today about families and mothers. I happen to believe that families are the most important institution in the universe. They are the place where we learn everything about life, love, work, play, and more. In modern psychology, it seems like the family you were raised in is either the key to your success or responsible for all of your failures.
In Western Society, the traditional family is under attack...From both sides.
"Both sides?", you may ask.
On the one hand, we have those individuals who believe that the traditional family unit is a relic of the 1950's. They see the gender roles as biased and constrictive. They believe that stay at home mothers are leeches who don't contribute to the economic health of our society and who really just need to get a job. From my perspective, this is such a ludicrous belief that it doesn't even register on my radar.
There is also a less visible and in my opinion equally damaging belief which states that mothers are the most powerful figures in society and that it is of utmost importance that they be well educated, fit and healthy, beautiful, organized, faithful, and basically perfect in every way. And if mother is perfect in every way, then it naturally follows that her children will be too. If she just teaches them correctly and manages her home well, they will be happy, successful, hard working, beautiful, and well behaved. And what if a child is less than perfect? The mother must find some way to fix them. A new discipline system, a better chore chart, a new hobby, a tutor, more homework "support", a restricted diet. Another book, another blog, another specialist, another drug. And somewhere behind closed doors, mother is crumbling. She is so busy fixing everyone else that she has lost herself. She has become a casualty of the exalted calling of motherhood.
I have been caught in this trap. Two years ago, I found myself completely disillusioned and wondering where I had gone wrong. Let me clarify, that my husband, my children, my home...They were all perfectly normal. Not perfect, but normal. From the outside everything looked fine...
but on the inside, I was crumbling. I have had some amazing guides on the path to wholeness. As part of my personal journey, I have had the opportunity to learn much and to work with other women who are experiencing the same feelings of confusion, overwhelm, and frustration. I have found some powerful tools and hope that they can be of use to you as I share them here. "Heal Mom First" is the outgrowth of my quest to find and reclaim myself; one moment, one day, one week at a time. I am passionate about healing families, but I now understand that the only way we will heal the family is if we Heal Mom First.