Now that I have your attention... Isn’t it interesting how one letter makes a difference? Just like one life can make a difference. If you under-estimate your value as a mom and who you really are, you may be suffering from what I will call Faux Mom Syndrome. A common side effect to Faux Mom Syndrome is a mom denying who she really is, her “authenticity”.
I live in Woodstock and am a mom of three beautiful children. And through the 13+ years I have been a mom, I have found may times in my mothering life, it is has been hard for me to defeat Faux Mom Syndrome. I have had to take some "mommy time outs" to refocus and realize how important it is to be real and not hide behind unrealistic stereotypes.
I don’t have to be "happy mom". It is okay if I have bad days. My children will not be permanently scarred if I am not all smiles all the time. We will have those times where we get down, sad or burnt out. It is okay, it is normal.
I can say "NO" too. I know that sounds weird, but I don’t have to volunteer for every preschool sign-up sheet, school project or committee that comes my way. Trying to be a people pleas-er without healthy boundaries can mean you end up NOT pleasing others more than you realize. A true people pleas-er can say NO! Moms, especially ones with small children, "need a break" and that is okay.
My goal in life is not to be SuperMom, sometimes I really need help. When my son, Justin (now 13), was younger, he helped by cleaning baseboards, letting the dogs out and keeping his space neat. When Skylar (now 10) was a little three year old, she kept her dolls neat and her face clean. My now two year old, Lindyn, helps Skylar today by placing spoons and napkins at the table. Its not perfect, but she is so proud to 'help you mommy'. Help can also be calling a friend, grandparent or other moms who may be willing to swap for childcare. Joining a local mom's support and networking group may help if you are isolated from family or new to an area.
Another lie I have to tackle in 'mommy time out' is, if I am not "perfect", my children probably aren’t either. I need to be realistic - I will never be perfect and my children will NEVER be perfect. Also, I need to be real about issues they may have as well. Young ones may not be able to verbalize why they may act or feel a certain way. Take a breath and a moment and ask a few questions: Are they hungry? Tired? Ill? Are they in a new space? Are they over-stimulated or need a stimulation (like a toy)? Could hormones be an issue? What are some other questions you can ask about your child?
Last, I need to replace my unrealistic ideas with the good ‘ole truth. Honesty with ourselves liberates us to be real. Truth can be freeing and doesn't bind us to unhealthy beliefs or negative habits. It holds deep value. Why do we want to be like others? Are the voices in our head really what our heart needs to hear? What is the truth about being real?
Being real (authentic) is...discovering who you are and being who you are, knowing what matters most in mothering, determining what is most important and right, not just what feels the best at the moment, and recognizing the difference between appropriate shoulds and shoulds not. We may have to dig a bit deeper and examine ourselves. I have found when I do this, I grow and overcome negative habits, unhealthy beliefs and can break cycles that may lead to dysfunction later on. Let's be real...do we want our children to experience "Faux Kid Syndrome" or do we want them to be genuine as well.
Guess what...when I plunge into these truths, I can recover from Faux Mom Syndrome and my children benefit too. They see a happy, healthy minded and whole mommy that can love them with authenticity, a love their life depends on!
“Being real is not...giving up on growing and changing as a person, being selfish and self-centered, thinking your way is the right and only way and being rude or rotten or inconsiderate of others feelings of needs. Being real is risky. It is hard work. It is a life-long process.” -Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall, REAL MOM
As fall begins and outside activities slow down for a few months, I encourage you to take a few mommy time outs when life seems a little overwhelming. Then, under the umbrella of truth, you will be your child’s greatest hero. Blessings to you!
Your mothering makes a difference!