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CwL Ep54: The Myth of the Modern Mother

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I’ve been delivering coaching, trainings, lessons, webinars, you name it, for over seven years online. And today on the podcast you’re listening to what we’re calling, a tiny training, taken from inside the vault here at LC HQ and we hope you enjoy it.

First of all, I thought, let’s just inventory this for a second. Right? Most likely you’re a person who you would probably like to be achieving success in these areas. So you probably really want to be doing well at your career, if you’ve got one or if you’ve got your own business, whatever, you’d probably like to be doing well at that, your own health, let’s have a great whole foods diet, let’s exercise, let’s be mindful, all the things.

Then you want to be on top of your family’s health. So you’re looking at all the ways, what they’re eating, if they’re moving, they’re being mindful, if we’re all having a good time in the household. You probably would love to have a great relationship, a great partnership absolutely a priority. You would like a happy and organised and clutter-free, I’m just looking around because my cleaners have literally just left, so the house will be tidy until the kids get home from school, basically.

And you probably like nice things in your home or to upgrade little bits and pieces. Friendships. I’m sure that you would like to be a great friend and [inaudible 00:02:10], that’s another area to be good at. You probably are thinking about your investments, or you’re building wealth, or where the next holiday, all of those sorts of things, like all of the abundance kind of things in your life. And you might also just be like, “Wow, it’d be nice to finish a book one of these days, or actually complete that online course that I signed up to.” Oh, you know what? Maybe, am I going to do those dance classes? Acting classes? Crochet classes? Whatever it is [inaudible 00:02:41] that would make me a good human as well.

So, I just thought we would pose that first, if you are most people, this is probably your expectations of yourself. But if we were going to actually break those things down, like what being great at all those areas of our life look like into actual tasks, like what that would mean for your day to be kicking goals in all those places, you would probably see how incredibly, incredibly high and unrealistic your standards are for achieving mastery in all those areas. And by thinking that you can be good at all those things, you are literally setting yourself up to be a failure in terms of your interpretation of yourself. And I hope you can see that, like how crazy it actually is to think we’d be on top of all that stuff and doing really well at it all the time.

It’s completely unnecessary to have those expectations of yourself and it’s being created within you. So this is something that you are 100% responsible for, right? Ouch. But it’s true. This whole modern mother thing is that… I really do think that most of us assume or look at other people and believe that they’ve got their shit totally together and they’re doing all the things. I know that there would be people in your life that you would look at and think, why does she make it look so easy? Or, if only I could be like her. Or, every time I go to their house it’s spotless. What’s wrong with me? We make that mean something about ourselves.

And if you’ve ever thought that about me let me just be the first to say, shit not together at all. And I really do try to share that, but even then I still don’t think… I think when you just see people on video or their online presence or whatever, you might lose sight of the fact that there’s also real life happening. Okay. No one has it all together. You are literally looking around making up other people’s lives through this really tiny lens. And I think it’s come from all these different areas, like when we’re building these expectations for our lives, or we have these expectations of what other people are doing which we make mean something for ourselves from social media, obviously.

Potentially our parents and their judgement . Maybe people make comments to you that you internalise and go, “I’m not good enough at this, or this, or this, or this.” Maybe just seeing and having access to all this information is not really helping the modern mother, in a lot of ways we lose. I mean, I genuinely think that our intuition has been lost in this saturation of information that we look for answers outside of ourselves. And most of the time if we just got quiet with ourselves we would know the answers. And this identity, and people really do identify as perfectionists and high achievers.

And that was definitely me. If I was given a job, I’d want to do it, and I’d want to do it really well. And so we create these expectations from all these different areas, but that’s just a few of them there. Or perhaps, and if you’ve done Ready for Change, you know that this is a little of what we… What we do is, it’s a lifetime of just taking on stories and beliefs from other people and the world around us about what it means to be a good mom. What it even means to have it together. What that looks like for you is probably different to what someone else thinks, but you have just taken on all these beliefs over the years that you now just believe to be true.

So you’ve most likely fabricated a story in your head of what it means to be successful or achieving at all of those different areas and most likely it’s just total crap. Sorry to say, but it is. And the other thing is, all of this stuff is, we seek validation of our beliefs. So, I went through the education system, I don’t know if you guys were as well. But I went to just a very middle-class Catholic girls school, but it was like, anything is possible for you, the world is your oyster, follow your passions. I never felt limited, which I understand now is an example of the privilege that I have grown up with. So I just do want to express that. But I genuinely, genuinely, and I mean, you guys, some of you have been around me for a while, I’m quite an optimistic person.

And I was excited about life. But then I had children and things sort of seemed to change a little bit. No one told me that motherhood was going to bring me to my absolute knees and I’d lose that sense of who I actually was. That making your life be for somebody else was like, “Oh my God, I can never escape this. This is my job now.” Hang on a minute. I don’t know if I actually signed up for that, love this child? And I embraced motherhood, but I didn’t realise at the time I was losing a massive sense of my own identity. And I just fell into this pattern of just doing all the things for the other people a lot of the time.

But here’s the thing, we can share and we can talk about the pain of that or the story of [inaudible 00:09:03] me, poor Lisa. We can all go into that victimhood a lot. Or I could share with you the reclaiming that is possible for all of us. And when we do reclaim our sense of identity, when we do start to focus our time and energy on things that actually serve us and make us a priority in our own lives, and come back let’s start shedding the stories, it’s about letting go. We get to let go. We can let go anytime we want of some of the expectations that we have of ourselves or that we believe other people have of us and start to experience real freedom in our lives, it’s totally possible.

And some of the questions really allude to that. Like how do you make it okay to prioritise you? I see this a lot. Just because you can. But we’re going to talk about it more. So, I do want to say that there is no forward motion in terms of change or transformation if you’re gripping too tight to your current beliefs and everything that’s already happened. Like we hold on to our past. We hold on to our stories. We literally fight for our limitations and all the reasons why it’s not possible for you. I just want to encourage you that you can loosen that grip. You really can.

A part of moving forward, a part of creating change in your life is about just loosening the grip on what you believe currently is, or like letting go of things that happened in the past. And I do just also want to preface this by saying like, I teach mindset. It’s a constant work in progress for me. I start exercise routines, they fade away. I let my washing pile up for days, you guys. There is no expectation of perfection or super high standards in these things for me. Even although that you might think that I have it all together, like I really want to be honest about this. Letting expectations of perfection, and perfection is an illusion anyway, it doesn’t actually really exist. Just letting them go.

And don’t expect yourself to be perfect at all of the things. Don’t expect to be on top of the house all the time. Don’t expect to decide you’re going to do an exercise routine and then you stick to it nonstop, or you’re going to start a new eating strategy and then you’re just going to be that forever. Don’t make blips on the road mean that you’re a failure. What changed for me was that I don’t make doing less, I’m going to be talking a bit about that, doing less than 100% mean anything. Doesn’t mean anything. You choose to interpret the standards. You choose to set certain standards of expectations. Most likely you don’t even have an actual sense of what it would mean to be successful in all those things so you’re just constantly chasing this moving feast.

But when we decided to just go, “Oh, you know what? I am going to have the… The neighbours are going to come around and they are going to see my house messy.” Oh, [inaudible 00:12:35] what am I going to make that mean? I’m human. You’re human. I can’t be amazing at all the things and neither can you. Okay. But we keep ourselves trapped in this whole concept of having no time for ourselves because we are literally living our lives trying to maintain these unrealistic expectations. So how much of your precious time on this planet are you wasting giving yourself a hard time for not being or doing something to a certain standard? Is that actually what you want to be alive? Do you want to do that? The outrageous expectations that you might have for yourself are your responsibility to manage? No one else is going to give you permission to just take it down a notch.

Hey, if you’re enjoying the conversation then it would mean the world to me if you head over to iTunes and give us a rating and review, it really makes a difference. And it’s my intention to get as many of us involved in real conversations that really change the game as possible. Thanks so much for your help and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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