“There’s nothing wrong with me,” I’d tell myself. “It’s the situation that’s the problem.”
I was exhausted, unfulfilled, joyless. And worst of all, rageful. In short, I was failing to thrive.
Curled up on the floor I’d mutter, cry, scream, “I’m miserable and I don’t know how to fix it!”
Rage was not my problem though. It’s not yours either. Rage is the symptom.
It’s the result of the suffering that comes with self-sacrifice, mommy martyrdom.
You don’t intend it. You don’t even know it’s happening until you find yourself in it. But there it is. Your family is your world, and suddenly there’s no space for you in it. And you have no clue how to do things differently, at least not in any way that feels right to you.
You hope for a quick fix, but it would only be a Band-Aid and would fall off as soon as you started to sweat. Even learning a step-by-step process to manage your rage is less than you and your kids deserve.
The only true remedy is to be rid of the rage all together—by making big moves one tiny step at a time. Tiny steps that as a whole allow you to be you again. There is no prescription for success here, but it starts with awareness. By asking yourself these empowering questions you can begin to get out of the cycle of misery.
1. What do I need?
2. What do I want?
Go a step further if you’d like, and imagine yourself already having what you want. What would that look, feel, smell, sound, and taste like?
My clients often find it difficult to know what they want, so if this is the case for you the final three questions can help you better understand your desires.
3. What have I lost that I’m mourning?
Although it sometimes may not seem like it, you always have a choice whether you act in accordance with the “shoulds” and “can’ts” or not. If the “should” or “can’t” lights you up, then go for it. If not, why make yourself suffer? This is all about feeling better, so you can be a better mom to your kids.
4. In what ways do I feel ‘less than’ that are causing me to suffer?
Many moms find that what they most want is to feel like a good mom. They then go about developing greater confidence in themselves and creating a new definition of “good mom” that feels lighter and better aligned with what they know to be true, without settling for less or causing harm to their kids.
5. What do I worry will never happen?
Take this worry seriously. Not because filling yourself with worry feels good (it doesn’t), but because it shows what you’re attached to. And often we attach ourselves to something we think we want, but upon further examination we find it’s actually the feeling we think that thing would give us that we want.
These five questions will bring you a newfound sense of awareness from which you can then begin to make changes. If the idea of taking action sounds scary to you, remember we want you to succeed. So take the tiniest first step that will take you in the direction you want to go (even if you’re not sure it will), and then take another one. And then another. Until bit by bit your needs are met, your desires fulfilled, and your rage a distant memory. You’ve got this.
Ashley Kim was once the worst good mom out there. She is now a Certified Professional Coach helping other moms free themselves from feelings of insufficiency and suffocation, so they can (re)discover themselves, build confidence, and be excited about life. Find out more about her at www.ashleykim.me or join her Uncaged Moms Facebook group.