Mental health is a very important issue and one I applaud our generation on being more aware and pro-active in this space. We appear to be the first generation to (tentatively) embrace therapy and release the stigma associated with getting help for our emotional and mental well-being.
I am grateful to live in a time where I can share that I’ve been in therapy without fear of being labeled “hysterical” or having that information risk my employment or any other aspect of my life. And with any positive change there arises a new challenge to explore…
I’m seeing this challenge manifest with new moms raising babies in the age of mental health awareness (or at least the start of this age, we have a long way to go!).
Being aware that all of our experiences, beginning at an early age, are internalized and we create stories for ourselves to make sense of these experiences, and some of these stories create limiting beliefs and blocks that will impact us later in life - new moms are keen to shelter their children from these impacts.
This is a worthy goal, but it’s one I doubt is possible. This is one example, of many, where we simply can’t control every aspect of our kid’s lives. We have no control over exactly how an experience is internalized by a person, even a little person, THAT WE BIRTHED.
It’s important to be aware that we have an impact on our kids. A big one. It is our job to support them, create a loving, thriving, safe environment with open and honest communication. I just don’t think it’s possible to shelter them from creating their own limiting beliefs and blocks. We can help them side-step some of them, but not all.
They’re human. Part of the process of being a human is experiencing the world, creating a view of it based on those experiences, and then updating that view with more experiences (doing the work to undue parts of those views that no longer serve us). That’s growing up. It’s a tough business and one I think is aided by therapy, support, and mental/emotional health awareness no matter how you were raised.
Given these suspicions, I want to put a call out there to all mommas - if worrying about your impacts on your kid’s mental/emotional health is paralyzing you in making parenting decisions or overwhelming you and impacting your own mental/emotional health - it might be time to take a deep breath. You’re doing a GREAT JOB. And you can only control so much.
What do you think? I’ve been mulling this over for a while and I’m really curious to get your perspective. Is this part of your children’s development a big consideration for you? Do you feel confident in how you’re navigating or is it overwhelming? Has it made a big impact on your life decisions since becoming a parent? Do you think I’m nuts or on to something?