Every parent brings emotional baggage into their parenting

deal-with-parenting-stress-1Let’s look at some of our defences:

    • Shy, Timid, Passive
    • People pleasing/Approval seeking
    • Perfectionist

  • Is your Work you worth?
  • Is your Caring your worth?
  • Is getting it perfect your worth?
  • Compassion for others, yet none for self

Every parent has defenses

We develop substitutes like above – to be loved, ‘maybe I will be loved for this – if not just for myself (maybe they’ll love me for :my work, my looks, my pleasing everyone, my taking care of everyone, my getting it perfect, my taking responsibility for everyone).

‘Sheila’s marvellous, she’s so capable!’ (Yes, and so worn out, taking responsibility for too many people and too many things’), but if I don’t do (whatever – the caring, the getting it perfect, the people pleasing, always conforming to others wishes – does that mean I won’t be loved, I won’t be seen by you?

How did we get our defenses?

We develop defenses in response to the defensive behaviours of another, to keep us safe, to avoid a reoccurrence of an earlier hurtful childhood experience A simple example may be: A defense of  shyness and  timidity, may come from having a dominant and controlling parent. The child may feel threatened, so the child cleverly develops the defense of being ‘timid and shy’ so the parent treats them with kid gloves.

Self-Awareness is key

  • Where I’m shy – find your voice, speak up, champion self as you’re an adult now
  • Where I am timid – affirm but my presence matters too!
  • Where I am passive – maybe I need to assert a little more?
  • Are you a people pleaser? You do it for approval, approve of yourself & you won’t need others approval and move from co-dependent relationships towards separateness and a stronger relationship with self that is approving and accepting
  • Perfection – move away from this fearful place of ‘if they saw me as I really am, I wouldn’t be enough – towards ‘I will just do my best and reduce my expectations of myself’

Is your work your worth?

  • If your work is your worth, see your creativity as for you maybe it was a way of being seen and being loved in a world where you did not feel visible/loved for yourself. Can you feel compassion for self, and that you deserved more? Can you see how deserving of love you always were? A new affirmation of : ‘I am not my work’ and develop a new way of relating to self. Value yourself and show that through your everyday actions towards self, taking time out, minding self, affirming self and treating self in a loving way.

Instead of Blaming – Bring it back to self and see if there’s a message here for you

  • When you project (blame another person) begin Taking Back your Projections and see what they are saying you need to do for yourself!

Maybe a spouse is good at taking time for himself, and you want to blame him: “You’re never here!” – the real issue however may be to ask yourself ‘How is it I’m never there for myself , how is it I find it so hard to take time for me?.

  • When we have an issue with someone, it’s often that they are good at doing something that we need to do more of– for ourselves!

They take better care of themselves than we do. They don’t take responsibility for everybody – like maybe we do. They take time out – how is it you find it so hard to do that?

Fake it till you make it!

Even though you find it hard to:

  • Take time out
  • Mind yourself
  • To take responsibility just for yourself
  • Affirm self – instead of being critical
  • To ask for help, seek support, to receive the compliment or the gift
  • To speak up for yourself, to say how your feel or what you need
  • To practice Self Care
  • Please yourself, instead of always pleasing everyone else
  • Have heart for yourself, only feeling compassion for others  – ‘it wasn’t easy for you’

Do it anyway and Make New Choices

To do it anyway, as this is the key to developing a stronger relationship with self, and helps me move from dependency on others.  You operate from an ‘inner stronghold from where no one can demean you, you hold your boundary around your time, your worth and yourself.