I wasn’t always the mindful, mostly Zen person I am now. In fact, I was the total opposite.
I was in my head 24/7. I lived an anxious life, operating from fear-based beliefs, and it showed up in my parenting, hardcore.
In my earlier days of parenting, my anxiety and fear exited my body in all sorts of ways, but as it related to my kids, it was yelling. Sometimes it was more than yelling. Sometimes it was a total meltdown, screaming and crying, and raw emotion escaping me.
I would overload quickly and often and then take it out on my kids. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth. I was someone who desperately wanted to be a good parent, who always thought she would be a good parent but wasn’t being a good parent.
It’s not surprising that my oldest resembles this anxious, fearful version of me, as he spent a lot of time with her. What I have witnessed, repeatedly, is that they learn from us, from our actions and behaviors, and the thoughts and feelings we carry inside of us. They soak it all up, just as we did when we were children.
This is why it doesn’t surprise me that my second child is much more like the person I am today. She had less time with the mommy wolf and more time with the mindful mama, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Back then, I believed that good mothers sacrifice everything for their kids...time for themselves, their own interests, sleep, exercise, hobbies, fostering other relationships, etc. If you didn't have a long list of things you gave up for the sake of your kids, you weren't a good mother.