Let's Get Real: When the Parent Everyone Sees Isn't Who We Really Are


By Modern Mommy Doc

Co-worker: Hey, good morning! How are you?

What I wanted to say: Well, I’m running on 4 hours of sleep, ate breakfast in the drop-off line at my kid’s school after helping them study for their spelling test by calling out words while I was in the shower, and all morning I’ve been wondering if I my boss was going to be mad when I ask to leave early again to take my kid to the orthodontist.

What I actually said: Great, thanks! How are you?

It’s HARD to let anyone see what’s really going on. We put on our smiles, our “everything's peachy” attitudes, and keep on trucking. Day after day after day.

It’s exhausting. 

Parents (and especially moms) are used to building up these walls that reinforce the “I can do it all--and look great doing it!” mentality. We put on masks that don’t let anyone in. That don’t let anyone see who we really are and how we’re really doing. And we don’t take them down for pretty much anyone.

Vulnerability is, well, vulnerable. It’s scary.
 
What if someone sees the real me and they reject me? Or thinks what I’m going through isn’t that big of a deal? What if they just think I'm a hot mess?

Being vulnerable allows us to build trust in our relationships, whether it’s with other parents or with our partner. It’s how our relationships grow stronger and build a deeper connection.

But if we’re being honest with ourselves (and I’m totally raising my hand on this one), sometimes we don't even know how to go about it.


What does being vulnerable even mean?


How does someone become vulnerable in a relationship? What would it actually look like?

Becoming vulnerable means making space to be quiet with ourselves. We need space to be able to get real. What do you REALLY want to be doing 5 years from now? What do you REALLY want to be spending your time on now? What are you ACTUALLY spending your time on? Are those things the same? We’ve got to take a hard look at those answers, but we can’t if we’re not able to quiet our mind enough to find that space.

Becoming vulnerable means being honest with the people around us about how we’re REALLY doing. This one is tough. We’ve got to take that mask down that says, “I’ve got this, all the time!” and start letting your inner circle know that, in fact, you don’t got this, most of the time.
 
Becoming vulnerable means developing a mindful self-compassion practice. As parents, we’re used to treating ourselves like a mean drill sergeant would: harshly and critically. We’re all already highly-skilled at giving ourselves a hard time when we don’t mother, show up in our work, or show up for ourselves the ways we want to.

Mindful self-compassion is about learning how to encourage ourselves in tough moments with kindness instead of criticism. 

How can you take down your mask in just ONE area of your life? Call up that friend you’ve been putting off? Ask for more help at home? Try it in just one area and then watch as it snowballs into the rest.

This post originally appeared on the Modern Mommy Doc Blog. Check it out!

 

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