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13 Struggles Every Mother Just Keeps to Herself

13 Struggles Every Mother Just Keeps to Herself

An overwhelming majority of people out there have had a privilege to grow up with a loving mother, myself included, and we tend to quickly get used to seeing our mom perform her role admirably. The things a mom does shape our world as we are growing up, yet we just sort of assume that that’s how things are supposed to be, and never give it much thought. It’s easy to miss all the hard work that goes into raising a family when you are focused on other things like running around with other kids, going to school and playing video games.

Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that a lot of moms don’t really make a big deal out of it, but they definitely have plenty of struggles that they keep to themselves. Here are some of the things I learned from my mom, as well as my wife, once I had already grown up and started a family of my own.

1. She had to walk the tight line between parent and friend

A mother wants nothing more than to see the warm smiles on her children’s faces, have fun with them and talk about all kinds of things. They can be your best friend in the whole wide world at times, but they also know that as you grow up you will only trust your close friends with certain things and go to them to vent about problems.

A moms job is, first and foremost, to make sure you develop into a good human being, with a decent value system, healthy habits and a skill base that will help you succeed in life – this sometimes requires her to pull rank on you, focusing on disciplining and teaching rather than taking your side and encouraging bad behavior.

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2. She shed thousands of tears for you in joy, sadness and anger

Since the day she found out she was pregnant your mom was on an emotional rollercoaster ride. She was in tears, all confused and excited at first, she went through mood swings and cried because she couldn’t find her phone when she was pregnant, she went through hell to bring you into this world and she spent many sleepless nights when you were sick or injured. They may occasionally bring up some of these points, but you don’t know half of it, and it’s only when you become a mother or see what your partner has to go through, that you begin to truly appreciate her sacrifices.

3. She went from a regular woman to superheroine protector once you were born

You see, most moms start out like any average woman, minding their own business and generally not looking at the world with the eyes of an ex CIA agent. However, once their first child is born, they go into full superheroine mode. Moms will scan the perimeter for any sign of danger, from suspicious strangers to bumps in the road someone might trip on, check to see if all the doors and windows are locked, and make sure that both their and the other kids on the playground aren’t misbehaving. It’s not really something they train for or learn in books or see in videos, the mental shift just kind of happens naturally.

4. She knows that you’ll hear most of her advice as nagging, and she’s OK with that

It is important to impart some serious life lessons to your children. All the knowledge and wisdom you have picked up through experience, along with advice based on the kind of common sense that kids have yet to develop, is not always welcomed with open arms. Kids will moan, fuss and generally make the whole process difficult, but mothers soldier on and keep up their “nagging” until the lesson has been fully understood and we develop good habits. They have no problem playing the bad guy, as long as it helps us reach our full potential and grow up to be decent people.

5. She watched the same cartoons over and over again until she learned the lines by heart

One of the greatest joys as a child is discovering a cartoon that is virtually perfect in every way as far as you are concerned. These days it’s easy for kids to get hooked on all kinds of videos, cartoons, TV or YouTube shows and songs, which they will proceed to watch or listen to all day long. It can get incredibly frustrating for a grown woman to listen to the same thing all day long, but moms bare this burden gracefully, and even sing along cheerfully with their little ones.

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6. She had to make tough calls behind the scenes to ensure that you were safe and comfortable

Remember how you got that cool new toy, or had some sweets and got a new jacket, even though times were tough? Chances are your mom had to do some juggling in order to balance out the home budget, which often meant cutting any corner she could winter, spring, summer or fall, so that there was always enough money left to keep you well-fed and well-dressed. Moms are always on the lookout for good deals and innovative cost-cutting tactics, and they will never let you see the hard work that goes into keeping everyone as comfortable as possible.

7. She struggled to understand all the things that “kids are up to these days”

Being your go-to confidant is a task your mom gladly accepts, but it also means that she has to work hard if she wants to keep up with the younger generations. When she talks to you she needs some sort of context and at least a rudimentary understanding of youth culture if she wants to relate, and it can be confusing and tiring for her at times. Being the cool and understanding mom requires patience and quite a bit of research on the side.

8. She tried hard to keep you away from old family secrets and feuds

If you have had a relatively fun and relaxed childhood, all things considered, then you probably owe your mom a huge gift. All families will have some traction, all kinds of small feuds and issues, and perhaps a few skeletons in the closet. It’s up to moms to act as a buffer between their children and the turbulent relations within the family, always keeping their chin up and a smile on their face.

9. She often turned a blind eye when you messed up or did something wrong

While most of us like to think that we were pretty good as children, the truth is that kids can be quite the handful at times. It takes a lot of time to develop a strong sense of right and wrong, and learn how to behave, and our moms tend to be incredibly patient throughout our different developmental stages. We would break things and lie about it, even though it was obvious we did it, or we’d make the very mistakes our mother told us how to avoid; yet mom would sometimes skip the stern talk and let one slide if she felt that we felt very bad about it.

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10. She did her best to provide support and keep you motivated

There are many different ways your mom tries to lift your spirits. For me it used to be the fun colorful lunch boxes, with little notes inside that made me smile and push through a tough day at school. Nowadays, my wife looks for wise and uplifting quotes and puts motivational stickers on our daughter’s backpack and on the covers of notebooks. It’s little things like this, as well as all the pep talks and pats on the shoulder that keep you motivated. Although moms may seem overbearing at times, they are actually constantly gauging our mood, always ready to give us the support that we need.

11. She worked hard to keep you clean and presentable

Most kids just grab a t-shirt and a pair of pants, pout on their shoes and run off to play. Every day there is a fresh, well-ironed outfit ready for you – it always smells nice and looks good on you. Until you grow up you never stop to wonder just how it is that no matter how much you satin and mess up your clothes, they keep coming back fresh and neat. Moms will drag you along to shop for clothes, wash and iron them all the time, straighten your collar and tuck your shirt in, and they even have to remind you to bring a jacket along.

12. She’d set aside her problems and obligations to hear about your trivial issues

Moms have to work hard, be they working or stay at home moms, to provide for their family and take good care of their kids. And at the end of the day, even though they might have been frustrated out of their mind at work, got tired from doing all the chores or discussed some serious issues with their partner, they still take the time to listen to your problems. As naïve and trivial your issues might be when compared to the real-world problems a mom faces, a mom will give her full attention and try to help you work things out.

13. She patiently weathered your tantrums and tried to make you see the right path

A lot of good sound advice is met with resistance, and before most serious problems can be addressed there has to be a time of adjustment where it’s not uncommon for a child to go through a few tantrums. Moms know when to lay down the law, and when to sit back and allow you to let out your frustrations and expel all the pent up energy that was building up for quite some time. It’s good to have a good cry every now and then, and your mother knows it, so she’ll weather a few emotional storms, give you a shoulder to cry on and push you in the right direction once you have calmed down.

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A mother struggles to ensure that her children can have a good life. Apart from making sure that they are safe, and have enough to eat and wear, a mother will face a thousand and one little challenge while trying to raise her kids right. It is important to acknowledge the effort and sacrifices of our mothers, and just once in a while, cut them some slack and do something nice for them.

Featured photo credit: Theresa Martell via flickr.com

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words—many times your parents
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

1. For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

2. For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

4. For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
  • Shut down your thinking
  • Calm your feelings
  • Simply focus on the present moment

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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