How Inadequacy Sneaks In
The alarm goes off and without moving a single limb, her mind is already fully engaged and actively racing with all the details and commitments of the day. I hate mornings. Why can’t I be like those ladies that get up bright and early and are productive before the rest of the house wakes? The comparison game has already started, and her feet haven’t even hit the floor. She begins her day feeling inadequate and questioning her ability. One of the biggest struggles for moms is feeling inadequate. I’d like to share the Top Ten Reasons Moms Feel Inadequate (download the full page resource for free in your inbox) and offer some valuable tips to overcome those feelings.
But let’s get the full effect of how inadequacy plagues us in our every day life. So back to the mom who just woke. Her feet hit the floor and she rushes to wake the kids. By the time they all assemble at the table, she notices the wrinkled shirts and holes in socks. Oh man, they can’t wear those wrinkled clothes and socks with holes. People will think I’m a terrible mom!
The kids rush to get their breakfast down and happen to mention it’s picture day. What!? Of all mornings! I am never organized. I stink at this mothering gig! She picks out clothes that will suffice, but they aren’t what she would have really chosen for picture day if she had been prepared.
The bus arrives, and the kids start heading out the door. One unhappy camper is lagging. She attempts to hurry him along, only to hear his frustration descend upon her with his disrespectful tone. See, I really do stink at mothering. If I was a better mom, my kids wouldn’t speak disrespectfully.
“Oh mom,” the last child out the door yells back, “I need cookies for school tomorrow.” Oh, great! Another chance to do the mom flop when I send store-bought cookies instead of homemade. I will never measure up!
Still sneaking in…
She turns, closes the door, and heads back into the house. She stumbles on the latest lego creation someone had unknowingly left on the floor. Yep, even my house is a total mess! And I just ruined what took hours to help create. I stink at everything. She breaths a deep sigh and grabs her coffee on the counter.
Low and behold, there sits the permission slip that had to be returned today, right where it had been carefully set out, so as not to forget it! See, no matter how hard I try, it will never get better. Not one word was ever uttered. In fact, she had a smile on her face the whole time. But that internal dialogue, the words in her head, had power.
Within the first thirty minutes of her day, she has compared herself, fallen short, and flopped into a heap of I’m Not Enough! I’m guessing that while the details may be different, comparisons varied, and the self-talk in different shades, you can still identify. It is easy to feel that we don’t measure up. You find yourself feeling like you don’t have what it takes, can’t pull it off, or that you don’t matter.
What can we do when we feel like we don’t measure up?
First, we need to stop. We need to stop the thoughts that are flooding through our head and take some control. You see, negativity can be like a runaway train…no stopping! The minute we catch ourselves starting into negative internal dialogue, we must make the decision to jump that track and change our perspective. While we don’t have control over all circumstances, we do have control over our perspective of those circumstances.
A Shift in Perspective
So let’s look at some of the internal dialogue from above. What would shifting that perspective sound like?
I hate mornings. Why can’t I be like those ladies that get up bright and early and are productive before the rest of the house wakes? Becomes…Mornings can feel hard, but I’m going to give this my best!
Oh man, they can’t wear those wrinkled clothes and socks with holes. People will think I’m a terrible mom! Becomes…Not sure those would be my choice of clothes, but I can add socks to my list of needed items!
What!? Of all mornings! I am never organized. I stink at this mothering gig! Becomes…Wow! We nearly forgot that. Glad we caught that in time. Maybe next time I could put an alert on my phone to remind me.
See, I really do stink at mothering. If I was a better mom, my kids wouldn’t speak disrespectfully. Becomes…Mothering has some challenges. It makes me sad when he struggles with his attitude. Maybe I can make some time to discuss that with him this evening.
Oh, great! Another chance to do the mom flop when I send store-bought cookies instead of homemade. I will never measure up! Becomes…Well, I can make cookies or buy some. With short notice, I opt for store-bought. I look forward to a season in mothering that feels a little easier.
Yep, even my house is a total mess! And I just ruined what took hours to help create. I stink at everything! Becomes…Oh man, I didn’t see that there, but maybe I need to address the house today?! I feel like it has been a challenge to stay on top of things lately.
See, no matter how hard I try, it will never get better. Becomes…Yes, this is a tough season. I can only do my best and know that things will change. I hope the next season is a little easier!
These are some simple ways we can change our dialogue to avoid the extremes, the negatives, and the hopeless. These small shifts are extremely powerful to how we approach things and feel about ourselves. It can feed our insecurity and inadequacy or cause us to flourish in healthy and meaningful ways.
After we shift our perspective, we must practice making the positive dialogue our new normal. Maybe you’ve had a positive example in mothering, and maybe you haven’t. Either way, support is important. Surround yourself with others who can approach the mothering journey with optimism, hope, and grace! Find ways that you can educate yourself in parenting matters, support yourself in positive growth, and inspire your journey with joy!
There are many reasons that moms may feel inadequate. I’ve tried to list what I would consider the Top Ten Reasons below. And even as I write these, I could come up with more. Isn’t that crazy?! With each item, I have included a quick tip, thought or action point. Use this quick sign up form to receive the link to download the free printable and more here so you can refer to these later! If you already a subscriber, it is waiting for you in your inbox!
1. Society places a lot of expectations on moms.
2. Social media depicts the best of others but not the tough moments in a day.
3. The amount of activities that families are involved in has become overwhelming.
4. Some societal judgments make moms feel less valued.
5. Many moms are single parenting and feel as though they are not “whole.”
6. There can be a great divide among parenting practices and what you choose.
7. The proverbial measuring stick has become unreasonable and unrealistic.
8. Some women have tabled their talents, dreams, or personal skills to parent.
9. The dialogue in our minds can leave us feeling discouraged and defeated.
10. We can be plugged into the wrong things, leaving us without worth or meaning.
When is it more?
What happens when we sit too long with the feelings of inadequacy? It can begin to impact us in negative ways. And isn’t it incredible to think that our thoughts can be directly related to our health. Positive thoughts have been scientifically proven to help heal things in our brain, while the opposite is also true.
When it is time to seek help
Often, people struggle with a chemical imbalance that can really challenge their ability to make these shifts in perspective on their own. In this case, it can be helpful to evaluate for a mental health issue. Sometimes, depression or anxiety can cause our thought patterns to become difficult to control or become stuck in dysfunction. In some cases, you may find yourself constantly worrying, stuck in negative patterns, and unable to stop or change your thoughts as you’d like. If you have felt this struggle, you might take a moment to evaluate if you might be experiencing a situation that might include mental health issues. I am including this resource as a full-page download in the current newsletter about this blog, which is a checklist for common symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Sign up with this quick form to get yours now! This checklist is not intended to diagnose, but rather to help you identify which symptoms might fit together to make sense of how you are impacted in daily living. If you find that you have several items (you don’t have to have them all) from a list, it might be worthwhile to talk with a doctor or counselor. You might find this article Counseling: The Why and How to Getting Help a good resource.
Anxiety, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are three of the most common mental health issues Moms may experience. Maybe you have someone close to you who has struggled with it, or maybe you have walked the difficult road yourself. There is no shame in that. I would love to help encourage, support, or inspire you. If these issues are new to you, take some time to understand them better. Either way, I encourage you to check out next week’s blog article as we talk more about these three issues.
Tune in to ChannelMom (KRKS– 94.7 in Denver) at 1:00pm MST][ kk on Friday as we discuss these topics there as well. Stay tuned for upcoming Call the Counselor segments addressing issues with moms! Click here to convert to your local time zone.
Until Next Time,
I was listening to “You Say” by Lauren Daigle and was thinking how the lyrics fit so perfect with this topic. Because I support the Anti-Piracy Act I would recommend purchasing the song to support the artist. If you would like to preview and purchase you can do so with the link below. Please be aware, I do get a commission on the sale: if you decide to purchase it through my Amazon Affiliate link. However, you don’t have to buy it here. I just thought this song fits so well; I wanted to give you a means to purchase it. There is also snippet of a preview available through this link before purchasing, but the whole song really speaks volumes. However you decide to listen to this song, please enjoy!