Being a parent is hard work. Our ability to see what other parents are doing and compare our beginnings to other people's middles certainly doesn't make it any easier. We read blog posts detailing messy crafts and sensory bins, we see pictures of our friends and families going on outings and we think, "I should do that." If we only used these sources to get inspired, it would be one thing, but more often we are using them as a meter stick, to see how we measure up. The real challenge, however, is not avoiding comparison, it is avoiding the "worthiness hustle" altogether.
I'm a big fan of the work of Brené Brown. She is a researcher who came across interesting findings regarding shame. Her has been featured on Oprah. She believes (and has the research to back it up) that as long as we feel like we have to do things to be worthy (what she calls the "worthiness hustle"), we will never achieve it. However, once we decide that we are enough, just as we are, we are.
|by Kelly Rae Roberts Source|
We think that we can harness the power of shame. We think that if we beat ourselves up enough about all the things we didn't do but should have and all the things we did do but shouldn't have that we can make ourselves better. It just doesn't work that way. Furthermore, if we are constantly berating ourselves we will not feel motivated to take care of ourselves. We will not feel like we deserve it or be able to take in all the wonderful things life has to offer. How can we parent from emptiness?
You, dear parent, are enough, just as you are. Don't forget that.
For Further Thought:
1) What things do you do to hustle for worthiness?
2) How would it change your life to know that you no longer had to hustle for your worthiness?
3) Our children are our best teachers. Do you expect them to work for their love from you? Why do you make yourself work for it?
For Further Reading:
"I Thought It was Just Me" and "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown (watch her TED talks on The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame)
Aha Parenting: Spring Cleaning for your Psyche
Barefoot Barn: The Mistaken Belief Moms Hold
Abundant Mama: A Mindful Mother's Guide to Feeling Worthy
Hands Free Mama: The Kind of Mothering We All Need
Finding Joy: Why Being a Mom is Enough and Dear I am Enough Mom