167. Conscious parenting through the struggles, and letting go of perfectionism in motherhood

Being a mom on purpose means stepping into your strengths as well as stepping into your struggles.  This means letting go of perfectionism and the chase to be the ideal mom and have the ideal kids. 

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This episode covers:

  • What is conscious parenting
  • Parenting on auto-pilot, why we do it and how it is different from mindful parenting
  • When our kids are difficult we try to ‘out-difficult’ them, and what we can do instead
  • How conscious parenting challenges our western parenting culture and how many of us were raised
  • Quote from Dr. Sheflai
    • Unless we address why we can’t embrace our children for precisely who they are, we will forever either seek to mold, control, and dominate them—or we will allow ourselves to be dominated by them.Tsabary, Dr. Shefali. The Conscious Parent (p. 54). Namaste Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
  • How our kid’s struggles bring us face to face with our own struggles
  • When our kids aren’t easy, they are challenging the things we have conditioned ourselves to be uncomfortable with
  • Letting go of the notion that we are meant to be perfect parents
  • The messy relationships and the struggle matter as much as the peace we crave
  • Hard doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong, it often simply means you are doing it


Related links and episodes mentioned

53. Change your motherhood experience by changing how you make memories

The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali

The key elements of Conscious Parenting

Never Say No by Jan and Mark Foreman

Three Books That Changed My Mothering

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Full transcript (unedited)

Hey friends welcome to simple purpose. I’m here to girlfriend Shawna. And this is a follow up episode to episode 166. So I encourage you to stop by and listen to that one versus 13 minutes pretty quick. In that one, we talked about understanding that you can be a mom on purpose because you were made on purpose. It’s not a checklist you have to make. It’s something that’s already inside of you everything you bring into motherhood, your strengths, your struggles, they all matter. They all help your family and you learn and grow together. And I think we can hyper focus on giving our kids this idyllic childhood, I think we can get caught up in all of the Pinterest requirements on how childhood has to look. But the motherhood experience matters just as much it matters. Motherhood matters as much to us as childhood matters to our kids. So our experience matters. This is important. If you want to dig in a little bit into that, check out episode 53 Change your motherhood experience by changing how you make memories. I’ll link that in the show notes. So as we talk about being a mom on purpose, having confidence in the mom you are made to be. I want to also match that with the topic of conscious parenting because this is another layer that I brought into my own parenting over my parenting journey. And I’m aware, I’m a newbie in terms of my parenting career. But this is what I’ve learned along the way. And this is what I want to share. So conscious parenting Dr. Shefali, literally wrote the book on it. And I’ll link that book in the show notes. I’ve read it, I have lots of highlights in it. It’s really, really great. conscious parenting in general is a philosophy that says, our kids are reflecting things to us that we need to be conscious of that we need to be aware of. Because we spend our days living and parenting on autopilot from that subconscious, automatic programming that’s running the show. Because how often are you really mindful? How often are you thinking about every decision, every thought, every reaction, every emotion that you’re having? How often are you consciously in that rarely, right? We operate on autopilot, we’re designed to operate on autopilot, it is efficient. But sometimes our autopilot programming is not very useful. Often, this autopilot programming is fear based and shame based because this programming is autopilot programming. If you imagine your brain like a computer, all of these automated programs are running to keep the system operating and our programming is what we’ve learned. It’s what we’ve adopted over the years from our experiences is what we’ve heard, it’s what we’ve learned is what we’ve internalized, what is dangerous, what is love, what will hurt, what will feel good, what’s important. All of this information that we’ve gotten through our culture, and our past experiences is actually our programming. That’s what’s running the show. So parenting on autopilot from old hurts and fears and our egos. That’s parenting on autopilot. conscious parenting is parenting from a place that is mindful about all of these hurts and fears and particularly about our ego trying to protect us, and how that impacts our kids, and how that impacts our parenting of our kids. So there’s a real great link that I’m going to link in the show notes as well, that kind of covers the key elements of conscious parenting. conscious parenting is something we can use to guide us through having kids be difficult, because when our kids are difficult, we tend to like out difficult them to overpower them. Right. But if we just take a pause here, and remember that difficult people are here to teach us something about ourselves, then maybe we could start to view our kids. As tiny teachers, this is what I’ve tried to do. My kids are tiny teacher is showing me who I am and what I can work through in myself rather than trying to fit them into boxes of who I think they need to be. And I’m going to say, I’m not perfect at this. I tried to do it. And sometimes I do and then sometimes the autopilot takes over. And I have to realize what’s happening and start to get really mindful about what’s going on and practice these things over and over again.

conscious parenting can be a struggle when we put it into the framework of our authoritative parenting culture, our Western culture, many of us might have been raised with parents who you just had to listen, you did what you were told you were obedient. Shame was an effective motivator. Fear was an effective motivator. And so to have conscious parenting come on the scene. It feels like a big threat to that. But conscious parenting doesn’t mean you let your kids treat people poorly. It doesn’t mean you don’t hold them to standards. It means we aren’t trying to make them the perfect child. So our ego stopped screaming. Because when we’re trying to do that, or the power struggle is tied to our ego, right? Our ego needs the power struggle to be successful. And then what’s the purpose? have the power struggle, right? It’s to make them fit the mold, so we can feel better. So conscious parenting helps us step out of our own ego and fear set firm and loving boundaries and also see them for where they’re at the book conscious parenting, it really goes into this in a lot more lovely and well worded ways that I can. Here’s one quote that I want to share. Unless we address why we can’t embrace our children precisely for who they are, we will forever seek to mold control and dominate them, or we will allow ourselves to be dominated by them. I mean, like, I think we can all see ways that we try to control our kids, and then ways that we just submit control because we’re just like done. But anyways, if I go back to this belief that I am choosing, that I am the mom that for my kids, if we’re paired together as mom and child, and we both have something to learn from one another. And when I’m coaching women, or reflecting on my own life, as a parent, I can see how my kids struggles are drawing something out of me that’s growing me and teaching me I see that connection. If you have a kid who struggles with something, it causes you, it should cause you to face your own struggles with that. It isn’t just like, oh, I have this really loud kid who demands a lot of attention. It’s more like, I struggle with the idea of being loud and demanding attention. And here I have a kid who apparently doesn’t struggle with it. It’s kind of their preference. What can we teach each other? I know that at any given time, in my parenting journey, there’s at least one kid I’m struggling with. And when I wrestle with the struggle that I have with them, I’m also wrestling with a struggle I have within me when our kids aren’t easy to parent, that is when we’re both able to learn something from one another, we can learn how to be comfortable with something we’ve conditioned ourselves to be uncomfortable with, how to be comfortable with big emotions, when we’ve shoved them down all their lives and numb to them and ignored them. How to be comfortable with imperfections or poor grades or poor performance when we’ve believed that we need to be perfect to be lovable. Or how do we allow our kids to dress a certain way that leaves them open to judgment, when we’re so worried about being judged ourselves, people we find difficult or people who are challenging our comfort. And you know, likewise, as parents, we offer our kids another view on things they can’t see. Because they’re living with their own filter and interpretation of the world. And it is immature, it’s not fully developed, they might not see that they can have big emotions, and express them in healthy ways. They might not see that they can be imperfect, and make mistakes, and still set new goals for themselves and still be lovable the entire time. And we really need to do our work first, we can’t just try and make our kids think what we think because, Oh, that’d be so easy. Our kids just thought what we wanted them to think. If my kids thought you know what, Mom, I’m not going to wipe the toothpaste tube clean on the hand towel. You know, while Mom, I want to eat a vegetable. If my kids agreed that it was just kind to talk nice to their siblings, my life would be so much easier. And my bathroom wouldn’t be covered in like blue minty goo. It would just be so much easier if all the people in our life agreed with us believe the same thing. So isn’t it interesting that we live in a world where that’s not happening?

That’s interesting. What do we have to learn here? Parenting is this journey of understanding ourselves, the good, the hard, the weird, and then giving ourselves grace to be that so we can give our kids the grace to be themselves as well. My final point in all of this, being the mom you are being competent in your parenting parenting mindfully and intentionally is that we can allow the struggle we can. We aren’t meant to be perfect parents, we will do some things we wish we hadn’t. Our kids are going to have some grievances over what we’ve done wrong. That’s the nature of human relationships, right? We cannot be everything another person wants us to be unless we lose ourselves completely in the process. And less we adopt their checklist of who we need to be rather than being who we are meant to be. So letting one another down is part of all human relationships. It’s how we handle that together that matters. Allowing the struggle the struggle matters as much as the piece. There are going to be hard days there are going to be hard things some of the years of parenting weeks days moments are going to be hard. In 2020 I ran a group coaching program. Hello local ladies, I missed you guys. One of the first lessons I taught was on hard things. And one of the key takeaways I shared from that lesson and I’ve shared it in emails over the years is hard doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. It often simply means you’re doing it. We were never meant to do things perfect. We were meant to do things that are hard and wonderful, and painful and joyous. I’ll say it again, we aren’t meant to get this perfect. So if we allow space for the hard rather than fighting the hard because when we fight what’s hard and try to fix it and make it different, we usually make it harder for ourselves. So we can pause that urgency, we’re feeling to fix hard things to avoid hard things to make them easier if we can just get flippin mindful for a minute. Pause, we can see that our kids are on their own journey to We’re on a journey, our kids are on a journey. Everything we offer our kids is a mirror to them as well for them to learn who they are. I mean, as kids and you can think about your own childhood, we learn to adapt based on what our parents offer us. And this shapes them good and bad. So I want to encourage you to focus less on being perfect, and more on being intentional. I want you to feel empowered by the thought that you are the mom meant for your kids, and they’re meant for you. You guys have something to learn together. And it won’t be easy. You might worry they’re drifting away, you might be frustrated with them, they might be frustrated with you, you might just be like you suck at parenting. And I say this from experience. And I have to come back to two things. One is the story isn’t over yet. This parenting relationship, this child relationship, the story isn’t over yet. And the other thing is, it was never about being perfect. It was about being the mom that I am letting my kids on their own journey as well. When you feel empowered in motherhood, you allow yourself to operate from your own strengths, from enjoyment of what you enjoy in motherhood. And while also acknowledging that sometimes you get it wrong, sometimes you have struggles. So as we turn to places to find more confidence in our parenting, I encourage you to find it from not your ego, not the checklist. But from your essence from who you are. If this is the most unappealing sentence, forgive me. But it’s it could be true, right? If you parent from your essence and not your ego, you will find confidence in there. The relationship is what matters, your relationship to yourself, your relationship to your kids. And this is where the work is in the relationships, not in the rules, not in the checklists, but in the people in the loving of the people, including yourself. Another great book on this is never seen. No. I’ll link that book in the show notes as well.

I hope that this has been empowering to you. I hope that as a mum, you can just take what works for you and everything I say might not all work for you. But if there’s something in here, that is going to give you a little bit more empowerment, a little bit more peace, a little bit more purpose into motherhood. I hope that you will write that down right now. Write that one thing down and take that into your week ahead. Alright, friends, two things I just want to mention before we wrap up, the first one is join me on Instagram at simple on purpose dossier. And the other one is sign up for the simple Saturday’s email. That’s a newsletter that comes out every two weeks. I shared in the recent email that I won’t be podcasting regularly throughout the summer, but I will stay in touch through Instagram and email. So I hope to still be emailing you some posts from the archives because I mean, guys, we have over 150 episodes. There’s some good ones in the archives. Let’s go back to don’t reinvent the wheel. And I also like to send some tips and some updates throughout the summer. So make sure to go to simple and purpose.ca scroll right down to the bottom of the page and sign up for the simple Saturdays. Alright friends, have a great week.



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