Feeling underappreciated goes with the territory of parenting. As a mom, how many times have you wished for more acknowledgement for all you do—from your children, your mate or society? And how many times have you been disappointed when you didn’t see or feel that acknowledgement and encouragement coming back to you?
It might be a very long time until your daughter looks at you and says, “You know what? You’re a really good mom.” Or even until she offers a simple “thank you.” If you are waiting for that moment of acknowledgement, you are not alone. It’s understandable to wish for more acknowledgement but it’s not always realistic to get it.
I believe what’s more important is the fact that moms forget—or don’t give themselves permission—to appreciate themselves. In this rapidly changing world, more is demanded and expected of mothers than any other time in history. Making it even more difficult is that fact that for many of us, our children are less connected to us than ever—they’re more connected to their mobile devices. But the expectations on us remain. As moms, we often internalize these demands and become very hard on ourselves as a result. Not only do we feel we can’t keep up; we feel as though we don’t measure up as parents. We feel that we simply aren’t enough.
Self-Acknowledgement: The Root of Empowerment for Parents
As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s a good time to stop for a few minutes to acknowledge and honor all that you do as a parent and for your family. Rather than waiting for an expression of gratitude that may never come, express your own. I believe this knowledge and appreciation of “self” is one of the most important sources of empowerment for parents. When you can stand on your own as a fully confident and calm self, you can be a leader to your children. And, despite what they might tell you, that’s what they really need and want you to be.
Words of Calm, Encouragement and Empowerment to Keep, Share and Pin
You feel most effective when you are parenting from your best thinking rather than from your anxieties. It can be hard to do that in the moment. When you’re stressed and managing six different priorities with three sassy-to-defiant children, it’s hard to find that source of calm self-acknowledgement that reaffirms your value and all that you do right each and every day.
That’s where mantras come in handy. Mantras are little helpful sayings or affirming thoughts that we can pull out of our back pockets to remind us of our parenting guidelines when our emotional state overrides our best thinking.
I created these Mantras for Moms for you on this Mother’s Day, with a little design help from the EP Staff. You can use them as wallpaper for your cell phone or tablet, or as motivational graphics to put on your mirror or bulletin board. You can also use them to start an empowerment board on Pinterest (which is something I highly recommend. It can be your go-to place for encouragement).
Click here for More EP Mantras for Moms
Who knows what Mother’s Day will bring? Maybe you’ll get flowers and a card or a nice meal from your kids. Or maybe you’ll find yourself in a squabble with your daughter or getting another round of the silent treatment that leaves you feeling sad and wanting more from your relationship.
It is my hope that if you’re not “feeling the love” on this day or any other day, that you will find empowerment here. That you will allow yourself the time and space to reflect on these mantras when you need them and just pause for a bit to honor the hundreds of things you do each day to raise a child and a family—to help create productive, independent young people. The acknowledgement you give yourself is the most important of all. All of us at EP are here to support you in that. Today and every day.
Challenging Parenting Issues: 5 of the Hardest Things Parents Face
Gut Check: Shame and Anger: The Emotional Handcuffs of Parenting
For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Debbie is the creator of the Calm Parent AM & PM™ program and is also the author of numerous books for young people on interpersonal relations.
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For most of us, there are times when we don’t respond as well as we
would like or when things don’t work out as we expect. We all make mistakes and
many of us have felt http://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/effective-parenting/chasing-the-myth/ as a parent. The most any of us can do is to aim to be a : one who provides for her children and tries her best to keep
them safe. One who raises her kids the best she can, even if she makes mistakes
along the way. I have no doubt you are doing the best you can with the tools
you have and the fact that you are here with us on Empowering Parents, reaching
out for help, shows how committed you are to being the best parent you can be.
The mantras that Debbie shares in the above article can be really helpful for
the situation you describe. When you are disengaging and walking away from a
power struggle or argument, use one (or several) of these mantras to keep
yourself calm while you take space and take care of yourself. I’m glad you took
the time to write in and share your story. I hope you will continue to check in
to let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
DeniseR_ParentalSupport thankyou for your kind words of support. It means so much. It has been wonderful to feel empowered..knowing you understand parenting yourself.
Thanks again!- arlene
Mom in MN
It can be so painful when the child you have loved and taken
care of for so long becomes angry and bitter towards you. The situation you
describe is, unfortunately, not an uncommon one in two household families.
Sometimes kids feel like they have to choose sides and, sometimes, it’s the
parent with the fewest rules or who is able to buy the most that ends up
“winning.” Truthfully, no one really wins in these situations and the trauma
can have lasting effects on everyone involved. At this point, it’s probably
going to be most beneficial to focus on you and what you need to do in order to
heal and move forward. After all, you’re not going to be able to exert much
control over the choices your son makes while living with his dad. What you can
control is how you respond to those choices. It may be beneficial to find a
support group in your area for divorced and/or estranged parents. Having
someone to talk to, who understands the pain you are experiencing, can be
worthwhile. The 211 Helpline would be able to give you information on support
groups and other resources in your area. You can reach the Helpline at
1-800-273-6222. You can also find them online at http://www.211.org/.
Keep in mind, the relationship you have with your son now doesn’t necessarily
indicate what your relationship will be like in the future. You can keep
the lines of communication open by texting, calling, or e-mailing your sons.
For more information on what other steps you can take, you may find this
article helpful: Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do. Good luck to you and your
family as you move forward from this painful situation. I hope you will
continue to check back to let us know how things are going for you. Take care.