Several years ago, while I was frantically putting my
girls to bed, my husband asked why I was rushing. Without thinking,
I quickly responded, "I just want them to go to sleep so I can be
All night I thought about what I said and what it
Am I not myself when I'm with my children?
I realized that much of the time, I wasn't. Somewhere
along the way I had taken on the "role" of mom-a role filled with
seriousness, worry, multitasking and martyrdom. Typical, maybe, but
it didn't suit me. I felt drained, disconnected, and more
than ready to be done at the end of the day.
Instead of integrating my mom skills into my existing
self, I split myself and became a different person depending on
what I was doing. And like many moms, I began to lose my identity,
my sense of being and my ability to relate authentically to my
Books, the media, family and neighbors will offer advice
on what it means to be a great parent, but have you noticed that
all the information is conflicting and always changing? Nobody
agrees even on the basics, mostly because we all have individual
backgrounds and challenges and we view the world through our
So instead of trying to play a role or be what others tell
me to be, I try to keep it simple-trust my gut, use common sense,
and just be me.
Being me means dancing in the kitchen, singing in the car,
spending time with my friends, making mistakes, talking about my
feelings, crying when I'm sad, and most important, laughing, a
Some days are wonderful, and I make sure to acknowledge
joyful moments and experiences, but some days are difficult, and
part of my parenting job is to model how to handle challenges, take
responsibility, and accept what is.
So instead of putting all of my energy into a "role," I
put my energy into being me. I wake up and show up so my kids can
know their mom. I want them to see me fall down, get back up,
experience success, handle rejection and have fun.
And instead of striving for kudos from others, I'd rather
strive to be the best version of myself, with the hopes that my
girls chose to do the same.
Try to just be yourself and see what happens.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.
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