This video should be seen by every mother on the planet. Because it’s brilliant. Watch it here and then keep on reading…
When I first started this business, I had this post in my head. I tend to not share something until it’s also on my heart.
Lucky you. Today, it’s on my heart.
Labels are for Jars: You are not a jar.
Labels are on jars for a reason. They tell us what to expect when we look on the inside.
The contents are ALWAYS the same. The contents are ALWAYS predictable.
So, here’s the problem with attaching labels to motherhood. No two mothers are ever exactly the same. There’s not a woman on the planet who’s likely to ever be that predictable.
Labels are for Jars: You are not a jar.
I think deep down, we all want the kind of judgement free world for parents this video suggests we create. But, honestly, I think it’s a long shot. And it’s not because we’re not kind enough. Or tolerant enough. It’s because most of us aren’t living in the truth of our gifts.
Let me tell you a little story…
Earlier this week, I had planned an overnight away from my kids for work. As I was backing out of the driveway of my daycare provider’s home the morning I was leaving, I may or may not have been dancing in my car. The song “Freedom” by George Michael may or may not have been playing in my head.
I felt like the day was chock full of possibility. I was going to eat at a restaurant where no kids would be. I would sleep in a bed without a monitor next to it. I would wake up and not have to rush to make breakfasts, pack a backpack or put a pacifier back in any mouths.
I was excited. Almost giddy, even.
Then, it hit me. What kind of mother gets excited about leaving her kids? Enter my old friends: guilt, shame, feelings of inadequacy, slight self-loathing, self-doubts and the like.
I spent the next day and a half reconnecting with women I love and meeting new ones who had me at hello. I was surrounded by women who challenge me and want to help me reach my dreams. They want to support me. Me. Not the mother in me. Not the wife in me. Not the business professional in me. Just me.
My heart and cup were full. And my kids were nowhere in sight.
Then, it hit me. I haven’t thought about my kids for the past several hours and I feel so alive. What kind of mother feels more like herself when she’s working than when she’s home? Damn it. Here they come again: guilt, shame, feelings of inadequacy, slight self-loathing, self-doubts and the like.
What I just described? That’s motherhood. It’s one big ball of conflicting, ever-changing emotions. I can love and loathe motherhood almost simultaneously. I can laugh with my kids in one minute and have the urge to run away from them in the next.
I didn’t take drugs to deliver my children, but I didn’t breastfeed.
My kids go to daycare 4 days a week, and I work from home. (Oh, and I don’t feel they’re being raised by someone else either.)
I vaccinate my children, but I use essential oils to try and keep them out of the doctor’s office.
I want to instill good eating habits in them, but I still feed them chicken nuggets.
I don’t want to stay home with my kids, but I don’t want to work full-time for someone else either.
There. Label that.
This post and this video are about honoring the women inside the role of mom.
Being a mom doesn’t change that I have goals I want to achieve and dreams I want to pursue. I have gifts that I want to use. God-given gifts that were bestowed upon me. Gifts that only I possess.
All of my choices as a mom are just that. Choices. I’ve chosen these things for my life and my family so I can feel the most ‘me’.
For you, the choices will look different. If your gifts are fully utilized by being home with your kiddos or climbing the corporate ladder while your kids are in full-time childcare, that is OK.
But for the love of Pete, make sure you choose it. Design it. OWN IT.
Quit making excuses for yourself or justifying your choices. And worst of all, quit judging others for not being like you.
There is no ingredient list for motherhood.
Labels are for jars: You are not a jar.
Imagine the world if we just owned our choices. Our feelings. Our gifts. If we were to consciously allow ourselves to be OK being who we are instead of pretending to be what we think we’re supposed to be.
If we were to stop wearing masks.
If were to stop comparing our gifts to others.
If we learned to love ourselves and all our contradictions.
I have a little homework for you. Take out a journal, think about your life and answer the following questions:
In what area of your life are you being less than authentic? Less than the full you?
How would you feel if you gave yourself permission to show up?
What’s holding you back from doing it?
Who can help you overcome that obstacle?
What’s 1 simple thing you can do, right now, to move you in that direction?
Your gifts deserve to be used. Brought to light and shared with the world.
When you honor yourself, you are showing your kids to do the same.
As it turns out, if we are to create this world of less judgment for moms, we do need one ingredient.
Is it patience? That might help. Is it compassion? Certainly doesn’t hurt. Is it kindness, a calm demeanor, empathy, a sense of humor? Sure, all those things could round out the list.
But, I maintain it’s only one.
That ingredient is LOVE.
Love for you leads to love for others. Don’t rob yourself of what you so freely give to others.
PS -Share your struggles here or on the Facebook page. There are tons of other women who need to hear what you have to say. Let’s support one another.
PPS – Or, send your homework my way if you want me to take a peek at it. I’d be honored to be one of the people listed in #5.
PPPS – Hey moms…I LOVE YOU.