How I have longed for confidence and beauty this past couple of weeks while ensnared in so much ugliness. Death, destruction and disappointment have presented themselves to me in so many ways and fear has grasped ahold of my heart stifling my ability to blog or even reason.
A mamma is only as happy as her most miserable child.
I was really hoping I would never have to live the miserable-mamma-mode again. I spent too many years of my life in obsession over the details of my children’s lives, but I suppose it’s just part of the territory we gain with conception.
Obsession: It’s not a bad thing. It is a good and necessary thing to be consumed with the life we are responsible for. After all, if a mom isn’t obsessed about her baby’s needs, then how will that child survive? It’s only natural that our very identity can become wrapped up in our children.
A mama is who we are.
Our children are our pride and joy. As they learn to communicate and care for themselves, their dependency on us slowly weans away. Eventually they learn to make their own choices and even support themselves financially. A mamma’s responsibility to her child is naturally weaned away as well. Her identity, however, doesn’t just dissolve. We must choose to let go of who we were with each progression our dependents make–no wonder that there’s so many difficult seasons of pushing and pulling!
A mama is not all we are.
Throughout my son’s addiction there have been many power struggles, especially before the actual problem came to the surface. Raising kids is confusing enough, but add the mind-altering, emotional rollercoaster that drugs bring to it and it’s extra difficult to decipher between meeting true needs and enabling the demanding manipulation. I personally shut down. My body literally became numb as I tried to convince myself that this could not possibly be my reality. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I began neglecting myself, my family and my relationships. It took me a long time to wake up to the fact that I, too, was acting dysfunctional.
It’s painful to see our children make bad choices, but like the pain of childbirth, we must push through it. In the beginning of my son’s love affair with heroin, I was very naive to what was going on and the fact that I simply couldn’t believe it only gave it more power over me. I fell back into the ugly pit of despair two weeks ago when my boy returned to his habit, but I don’t want to stay there! This is why I am finally blogging about it. There’s too many of us mammas silently striving to survive. We need each other. If I have learned anything from the past several times I have been in this crisis, it is that I am of no use to anyone when I’m an ugly mess. I must be strong and confident. If I expect my boy to get out of his trap, I must get out of mine.
How do you cope when your kid makes poor choices? C: Reason with him, lecture him; Classics wants others to be in control, like they are. N: Keep the peace, stay neutral; Naturals tend to make problems no big deal. D: Shut down, take it personally; Dramatics appear to be unconcerned, but are very sensitive. I: Comfort him, believe in him; Ingénues are very empathetic. R: Feel his pain, try to fix it; Romantics are very sympathetic and self-sacrificial. G: Discipline him or the one you blame; Gamines tend to take charge of any problem. Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.
Know Who You Are. If you are a mother in despair it’s important to first remember that no one can take your identity away. You will always be your child’s mom. We must be careful not to allow outside influences (Including our child’s manipulative ways) to pressure us to step outside our role. There will be times when our kids don’t like us. That’s ok. We are not called to be their friend. They have plenty of friends; we are their only mom. No one has more vested interest in them than we do. We must be strong and balanced in our role of nurturing, guiding, disciplining and encouraging. Let’s not let our concern for them get in the way of our responsibility to train them in the way they should go.
If your years of training have past (as mine have), then let us remember that we each have our own identity and the right to make our own choices. Our adult child’s choices are not our identity. This week, let’s all put on the garment of Confident Beauty, which trust that God is bigger than any ugly pit we are in and He is able to change it for our good and His glory!
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
As an “Image consultant without the shopping obsession,” Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts by unveiling the power and purpose of their personal Image Identity (Img.ID) and teaching them to accentuate their authentic beauty so they can forget about their appearance and think about others. Please consider having her as a speaker for your next event. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads.