Being a mom is supposed to be the most rewarding, joyous role on earth, and sometimes it is. But let’s face it, sometimes being a mom feels awful. Tiring. Overwhelming. Resentful. Worrying. Did I say tiring? If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy!
Confession—I’m a single parent of three boys under the age of 8. If anyone knows tired and worried, it’s me. But by Hashem’s great mercy (and that’s no exaggeration), I have learned some important mindset lessons that, as I apply them, are changing the way I relate to my kids, giving me so much hope, and improving our lives day by day.
Lesson 1: Do NOT believe everything you think. Thoughts are weird things. Where do they come from? Who put them in your brain? Are they coming from your intuition? From your past hurts? From your Yetzer Hara? From the voice of your mother, programmed into your head since childhood? From G-d Himself? See how it can be confusing? You could analyze and become paralyzed over where the thought is coming from for days and get nowhere, or you could ask a simple question: How does this thought make me feel?
Lesson 2: If a thought makes you feel bad, change it. Hashem does NOT want us to be despairing, stressed, guilty, angry, etc. All of these emotions are the opposite of emuna. Emuna is accepting every situation in life as good, great, and from our loving Father, for our best. So if you’re having a thought that feels yucky, it’s not only a good idea to change it to make yourself feel better, it’s an obligation as a Jew to get yourself back to feeling emuna.
Having negative thoughts and emotions may be an indicator of something that needs attention in your life, but once the indicator light flips on, it’s time to move through the emotion into a positive space of action, acceptance, and prayer. You can literally pick any other, better-feeling thought in the world, put it in your brain, and look for proof of its truth so you can believe it.
Lesson 3: Change a thought by looking for proof of a better-feeling thought. I’m going to get into a personal example now. To say my three boys fight is a massive understatement. They are absolute warriors. A thought I had for a while was, “Oh my gosh, they hate each other.” This made me feel nervous, and ashamed, and it made me yell at them every time they fought. Another thought I had was, “I’ve got to be doing something wrong here.” Which made me feel guilty and powerless. So I decided to pick some new thoughts!
When picking new thoughts, you can look for evidence of the exact opposite of your original thought. Here’s what I came up with: “My boys love each other so much, and they’re having fun testing their strength on each other.” And: “I’m an amazing mother, so I’m going to teach these guys how to be safe and kind.” Do you see how my original thoughts could be true, but my replacement thoughts are also true? Which ones do you think feel more empowered and peaceful? Exactly. Which ones do you think I should practice believing?
Now that I’ve learned these lessons, I’ve become passionate about helping other women do the same. Motherhood is the greatest gift and the greatest challenge. If you’re struggling with thoughts and emotions around your kids and motherhood, please check out my 8-Day Mommy Mindset Makeover—in 10 minutes a day, you’ll learn how to bring awareness to the thoughts that are hurting you (and your kids), how to change your thoughts into ones that make you feel better and act better as a mom, and how to build the family you’ve always dreamed of—with G-d’s help.
All my love and blessings to you, Mama! You got this!