Step #1 – How To Drop The “Perfect Mom” Syndrome

This is step #1 in the 6 Steps To Go From An Angry To Happy And Confident Mom blog series. You can find the rest of the series here.

I was fighting back tears, once again, as I laid in bed and thought about how horrible I had treated my kids.

It was another bedtime of arguing over the same stuff – picking up their rooms, wrestling while they should have been brushing their teeth, talking back when I asked them to put their pajamas on…

By the end of the night I was exhausted and had absolutely no patience for the silliness and lack of attention to what I needed the kids to do. I yelled, to the point where my throat hurt, and said things I regretted.

After turning off their bedroom lights and leaving their rooms, I felt so guilty and shameful of my behavior. I couldn’t help but think I was ruining them slowly by being such an angry, inpatient, and unforgiving mom.

As I washed my face, my mind spiraled into the future and how they would hate me and make bad choices due to their lack of love they felt from me.

And this is what led me into bed fighting back tears, for what seemed like the umpteenth time.

I thought motherhood was supposed to be different? I thought I was supposed to have an endless amount of love to give?

I was NEVER a confrontational, or angry person before kids. But I engaged in confrontation and arguments on the daily with my kids. And I felt so much frustration and anger at times that it shocked me to my core.

I was so unhappy. I wanted to change. But just kept engaging in the same cycles over and over again.

My Big “Aha” Moment

Then over time, I started to realize that there was no checklist or routine that could change my mentality and the way I was showing up with my kids.

I started to understand that my behavior was a “me” thing and really had nothing to do with how my kids acted. I could try, over and over again, to control how my kids behave so that I can feel better. But they still have a certain level of freedom over what they say and how they behave.

Trying to control everything was only causing me to feel frustrated and angry all the time.

The only person I can truly control is myself, so I felt a bit of hope that this was something I could change – even if my kids continued to argue with me or not listen to me the way I believed they should.

I was fed up with feeling angry, frustrated, shameful, and annoyed 90% of the time as a mom.

I wanted to feel more carefree, in control, happier and confident. I decided I had to make a change.

I enrolled in a general coaching program, with the intent to work on how I was showing up as a mom.

A big part of the work was journaling.

Here’s a glimpse into some of the things I wrote when I started this journey with my parenting:

“I have trouble controlling my anger and annoyance. It feels like I can’t stop myself. It feels out of my control and then I just yell and sometimes argue. I get into this repetitive cycle that seems difficult to stop or get out of. It happens most when my kids don’t listen.”

I believed I was in a non-stop repetitive cycle with my behavior that went like this:  my kids don’t listen -> I get angry and yell -> they get upset  -> I feel guilty.

So over the last 8 months or so, I’ve done a lot of work around my mindset and how I want to show up as a mom.

And to be honest, it’s some of the hardest mental work that I’ve done. But it didn’t take a ton of time from my life. Just 10 – 20 minutes a day of some reflection to create change.

How This Work Can Change You

Let’s be clear, I didn’t do this work and now I’m the cheeriest, happiest, most lovable mom ever.

Nope! I found myself yelling this morning when my kids weren’t listening. However, I have found that I no longer get caught up in the “angry – yell – feel guilty” cycle. I can stop myself in the middle of yelling and gain control of my emotions much quicker.

I feel more carefree and have been able to let go of the control over little things that I realized don’t really matter. My kids are young and they are going to act like young kids do, right?

I enjoy spending more time with my kids now. I want to hear what they have to say and what is going on in their minds. I don’t feel like their presence is stopping me from accomplishing what I need to do.

I’m able to stay present in the moment with them without trailing off in my head with thoughts about how I am ruining them or how their future may turn out.

I feel more confident with the way I choose to show up everyday as a mother.

I really want to share this work with you. I want to help you go from being an angry mom to a more happy and confident mom.

Throughout the next six weeks, I will be sharing with you the exact steps I took to go from being an unhappy, yelling, and angry mom, to a more confident and happy mom. This post you are reading right now is the first post in the series.

To follow along and do this important work for yourself, grab “6 Steps To Go From An Angry Mom To Happy And Confident Mom” (this is included in the Quick Guide to Lessen Overwhelm + Enjoy Motherhood More) you can find it here!

Once you download your free printable, grab a pen and your favorite journal/notebook. These materials, plus this blog post series and a few minutes a day, is all you need to transform yourself into the mom you truly want to be.

Step #1 – Evaluate Your Personal Rule Book For Being A Mom

In this first step, sit down with your journal or notebook and list out what expectations and rules you have for yourself as a mom.

Let your mind go crazy.

Questions To Use For Journaling

Ask yourself how you think a “good mom” behaves? Write down whatever answers come to mind.

Question if you truly believe that this is how a “good mom” behaves? Why or why not?

See if you can find proof for why a “good mom” shouldn’t follow the rules you have written down?

Could the opposite of your rule be more true?

Here’s an example from my journal:

I had a rule that a “good mom” should be nurturing. I started to question if this was really true? What I realized is that I don’t have to be nurturing 100% of the time. There are times when I am the disciplinarian and not warm and cuddly. My job is to raise my kids to be independent and handle problems on their own. If I’m being nurturing and running to their side all the time to try to fix their problems, I’m not going to be teaching them independence, resilience, and how to problem solve.

And to take it even further, I was able to come up with other people in their life who are nurturing so I don’t have to be that person all the time to them.

Writing all of this out in my journal helped me realize that not being a nurturing mom all the time could be a benefit to my kids in the long run.

Do you like the rules you have for yourself? Why or why not?

Here are some of the things I wrote in my journal:

A good mom should be patient, nurturing, shouldn’t yell, should want to be around their kids 100% of the time, want to teach their kids, should enjoy being able to take care of their kids.

What my rule book said, was not matching up to how I was behaving as a mom.

But more importantly, I didn’t know if I believed in all the things my mind was telling me were required to be a “good mom”.

My mind was feeding me a lot of lies and I didn’t even know it. These lies were creating a lot of disruption in how I was parenting.

It only takes 10-20 minutes a day of answering these questions in your journal (use this to help you) to change the way you show up as a mom.

Imagine if you weren’t going to bed every night thinking you are ruining your kids? Or didn’t constantly feel guilt and shame because of how you acted? Or no longer felt frustration from battling with your kids?

The small amount of time you’ll put into reflection and journaling seems well worth it to change one of the most important relationships in your life.

Stay Tuned For Step #2…

I hope by now you understand that you’re not alone if you feel more angry than happy as a mom. However, you don’t have to keep feeling this way.

You have learned the first step to making a change, looking at the expectations and rules you have for yourself as a mom.

Come back next week when I’ll share with you how to feel less frustrated and annoyed by your child’s behaviors, and more carefree and loving instead.

You can find Step #2 here!

If you like journaling, and you’re interested in taking this work further, grab the Angry To Happy Mom Journal {Printable}. Check it out here!

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