Being mom all the time was a little bit of a shocker to me, despite hearing from everyone that my first few months was feed the baby, eat, sleep, repeat.
Except, I think I missed, that the sleep part was like for 2 hours at a time.
I thought I could prepare well for being mom. But now, being on the other side of it, I think you’d agree too—first time moms can never really be prepared. No matter how much they try.
My Biggest Problem As a Mom
Three months into it, I was tired and in desperate need of community. So I left my piles of laundry and dishes to go to my very first moms meet–up.
Holding my three month old son closely to my chest, I nursed my coffee like it was my lifeline. The speaker bounced up to the front of the room with a great big smile on her face. She opened her mouth and her words slapped me sideways.
Until that moment, I had no idea that my biggest problem was that I had started to believe some lies about what it means to be a mom. It came down to three very specific lies that I was believing.
3 Lies You Believe About Being Mom
I know you might not be a new mom. But to be honest, I meet moms every day, no matter what stage of motherhood they are in, who are believing these same three lies and they don’t even know it.
I’m not gonna sugar coat it. These lies are subtle but destructive.
So much that you might even think as you read more that you don’t struggle that much with any of these, but that’s how they work.
That’s how they get you.
It starts with just a little struggle then it cascades into a down–spiral in your thinking that slowly destroys your emotional well being as a mom.
So, let’s take a closer look at just what these three lies are, and I’m going to share with you what you can do to be a healthy living mom instead.
Lie 1: Being Mom Means…
You Do Anything and Everything For Everyone Else
Mom…when can we do this? Does anyone know where this is….mom? Mom…my uniform needs to be washed, did you do that?
That’s just a glimpse into the future for a mom who has believed this lie. Being mom means you do anything and everything for everyone else—so much that you are relied upon too much!
Mom, Mom, Mom…
Now, we all will experience the mom, mom, mom where’s this, can we questions. But, what I’m trying to say here is, being mom means that you literally do everything. It’s self sacrifice for the good of everyone else.
If you believe this lie, you might think you’re loving your family by taking care of them.
But the problem is, that when you do everything and anything, you also remove the opportunity for you kids to develop responsibility.
By the time your kids are faced with bigger responsibilities they don’t know how to make good choices.
Secondly, something else gets lost in the process—you do! You start to feel like, “Who am I really? What happened to the real me? Do I matter or am I only good for what I do for my family?”
So, let me ask you, have you ever encouraged your son to do some things around the house? How about this one? When was the last time you truly felt excitement for life—and experienced a real honest enjoyment of motherhood?
Today is the day to change that by being a healthy living mom instead.
The Healthy Living Mom Gives and Takes
As a mom, you can give to your family by doing things for them and also by giving them responsibility. How do you do that with a baby and a boy who’s only four years old?
First, you can start empowering your son by giving him small responsibilities. Like helping you with the dishes or laundry—or even making his bed and putting away his own clothes. By doing this, you’re helping him to develop good habits for later in life.
Secondly, a healthy mom takes. Takes what?
A healthy mom takes care of herself first.
She’s a mom who is thriving personally, living purposefully, and loving intentionally.
Now at first glance this can totally appear to be selfish, but it’s quite the opposite. It’s self care, but I’m talking real self care—not just a pedicure—although a pedicure is exactly what we need at times.
Real self care is being intentional to sit down and look at where you’re strength is coming from. It’s identifying what you’re filling yourself up with spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Not to mention, getting serious about taking control of your self talk.
A healthy living mom takes care of herself first, because she knows that if her cup is empty, she cannot offer anything good to anyone else.
When we feel like we have no time left in the day to do it all, I really like how Club 31 recently put it in Managing Ministry: How to Balance Pouring In and Pouring Out,
“..conforming our minds to the Spirit is exactly what we are thirsty for – life and peace. So from this place, we can begin to formulate a path to bring us back to Truth when the pouring in and pouring out feels unmanageable.”
Lie 2: You Only Find Yourself Apart From Being Mom
Sometimes the real you is something that you end up really missing now that you’re a mom. Because let’s face it, being a mom can run you ragged and in the process you can feel like you’re losing yourself.
The second lie here is that you can only be you—apart from your family. There’s a pretty common way this plays out.
I’ve heard a lot of moms get really excited when their oldest finally heads off to Kindergarten—so they can find themselves again. Basically what that means is that they meet up with their girlfriends at Starbucks and head to the gym. They can’t wait to have the morning to themselves.
Some would describe this as finding yourself again—the time and freedom to be you. Honestly, I’m just going to say it—this isn’t finding yourself in a healthy way.
This is finding yourself for yourself only.
Don’t get me wrong, every mom needs a break, myself included. But what I’m getting at here with this example is your heart and your mindset.
Is it fun to meet up with your girlfriends? Yes, but Starbucks, the local health club, and shopping at Target don’t make you who you are—they are things you do.
This is another example of how as moms we can get caught up in creating an identity around what we do—not who we are.
The Healthy Living Mom finds herself in the mix of motherhood.
Finding yourself in motherhood can also seem like your identity is that “you’re just a mom.”
Girl, this is the farthest from the truth.
God created you to be you.
If you start to take on the identity that you’re just a mom or that you’re only you apart from your family—then you’re rejecting the fullness of who God created you to be.
You may not realize it, but you’re also telling your kids and husband the same thing. You’re just a mom. Nothing special. Just a mom—it’s boring, tiresome, overwhelming because there’s all the things you have to do.
Or you’re telling them that you only enjoy life if you’re not around your family.
What I’m actually saying is that finding yourself in motherhood is being fully you and fully mom.
I get it, trying to do this well is tricky—so how can you be fully you and be mom too? You can read more in How to Find Yourself in the Mix of Motherhood.
Lie 3: Motherhood is hard.
Even as you read lie #3, you might be raising your hand saying, “Wait! Being mom is hard! That’s not a lie?”
This mantra is something that is easy to grab hold of because it’s reassuring.You’re not alone in this mom thing and that is comforting.
I agree that motherhood is challenging—and at times very hard, yes. But, the reality is, culture’s mantra that “motherhood is hard” has gotten out of hand.
To help me describe what I mean, let’s think about it this way.
“Mom, it’s too hard!”
It’s kind of like your toddler whining when you ask him to pick up his toys. I can just hear it now, “Mom, it’s too hard!”
The truth is, picking up and putting toys away isn’t a hard—but your son thinks it is so he doesn’t want to do it. Convincing your son to do it when he thinks it’s hard—yeah good luck with that one. I’ve been there too.
The same is true with this mantra of “motherhood is hard.” It gets applied to every aspect of motherhood and this is where it starts to become damaging.
It’s seems to be a lighthearted we-belong-because-we-all-get-it mantra. But by saying motherhood is hard—you actually are repeating to yourself and others that it is hard.
You start to believe that something is hard and those beliefs influence how you feel. And how you feel determines what you do.
It’s like trying to get your son to pick up his toys, if you believe something is hard for you—you also stop trying or don’t even try because what’s the point—it’s too hard.
You accept that this is motherhood and it’s too hard to change. Likewise when you feel like something is hard, you’re less likely to encourage other moms to persevere because you’re struggling to do so yourself.
The Healthy Living Mom lives differently than the majority.
While the majority of moms out there are set on speaking, living and believing that motherhood is hard—the healthy living mom lives out being mom, differently.
She sees every opportunity as one to learn. Failure is an event that she can learn from, it’s not who she is as a mom.
A healthy living mom’s focus is on being the mom who chooses to look at the best even when it feels like it’s hard.
She lives differently than the majority.
I talk about this more in 10 Reasons Why It’s Hard Being a Mom and What You Can Do To Change It.
It’s Not About What You Do
To sum things up—if you look at the lies you believe as a mom you’ll see that all are related to the things you do.
That day I went to my first mom’s meet–up, I left my home frustrated and burnt out as a mom. I came home again to the same piles of laundry and dishes. My circumstances didn’t change, but I was a different person altogether.
After hearing the truth and exposing the lies that I was believing, I felt like I was given the mom version of the ring in Lord of the Rings. It gave me a whole new view of mom life.
A healthy living mom gives and takes, finds herself in the mix of motherhood, and lives differently than the majority.
It was a day for that forever changed the rest of my life. It started a better version of motherhood for me. Notice I said it was start. Each day I’ve been learning more and more what this looks like and it’s always growing and changing.
But not everybody saw or experienced what I did that day. And to be honest, often it feels lonely to have been given this perspective. When you see it—you get it. But I’m finding that most moms don’t, and I so desperately wish that more moms could get it.
So today I hope that you’re one who gets it. That you’re the mom who is able to see this freeing perspective of motherhood—how to be a healthy living mom.
My prayer is that you know the truth.
You are the best mom because of who you are and who you are becoming. Not because of what you do or don’t do.
Did you find that you have been believing one of these lies about being mom? Or did any one of them catch you by surprise?