Unmasking Ourselves as Parents: The Moments When We Allow Ourselves To Be Just As We AreApr 04, 2022
This morning I woke after a very wakeful night. I was tired, agitated, cross and grumpy. This is a familiar pattern for me after such nights, and a heavy reminder of the years spent in this state when my children were younger (my children followed their own sleeping pattern which did not align with what I was used to or what appears to be culturally accepted – but that’s another Blog’s work 😊). It felt like the exact same state of being had returned: a dull depression I so often felt after countless sleep-deprived nights.
If felt the same, but it wasn’t quite the same. I noticed the way I was being towards the children: snippy, bossy, resentful, givey-outty, intolerant. In the noticing a voice from The Committee in My Head came in: The Judgemental Voice. ‘You shouldn’t be like this’, ‘You are supposed to be a good mother, what are you doing?’, ‘See, this is the real you and you’re damaging your kids’ – was the general vibe. The difference this morning was that I noticed the Judgemental Voice, and to be fair, I did believe it for a time. But then I just let it go. I noticed it, and acknowledged it (‘Hello, Judgemental Voice’), and then chose not to believe it. And in so doing, more space was created for me to be more accepting of myself – just the way I was at that time – and therefore more accepting of everything and everyone.
In short, I forgave myself through allowing myself. And in that moment I unmasked any image I was perhaps unconsciously (or consciously) holding up of being a Certain Type of Mother, or a Certain Type of Person. For that time, I let go of the burden of having to be an image of myself – and I let myself just be whatever I was being.
Absolutely nothing earth-shattering or glamourous about this, but it is in these quiet and almost imperceptible moments that the opportunity opens up to free ourselves from the weight of our own inner critic and connect more easily with the flow of life – however it shows up. Whether it’s wiping a dirty nose, defrosting the dinner, settling a sibling skirmish, or trying to find your shoes for work, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that chances are, you may find that you can connect more easily in that moment with yourself, your children and whatever the moment asks of you.
Julie Meehan © 2018
Image Credit: ClipArt Library, Superhero Clipart
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