Guest Blog Post by Dr. Glenna Rice
An invaluable tool for all moms, that gives you the ability to stop judging you and create more ease with parenting is the willingness to be a bad mom.
Sound crazy? This is just the willingness to be a bad mom, the willingness to be judged by others.
What would it take to be a bad mother?
To be a truly great mother you have to be willing to be a bad mother. When you are willing to receive the judgments that you are a bad mother as just someone’s interesting point of view then you can be the phenomenal mother you truly be.
When you are willing to receive the judgments that you are a bad mother as just someone’s interesting point of view then you can be the phenomenal mother you truly be.
How does this tool work? Once you become a mother everyone will share with you their judgments about the correct, right and good way to raise your kids. They will give you advice on how to deliver your baby, how to nurse, what to feed your kids, if you should stay home or go back to work, what activities your kids should do, if you should discipline your kids, what college they should go to and on and on.
If you make these judgments real at all you can never see what would actually work for you or them. You stop being you and discount what you know to avoid their judgments. If you are willing to be a bad mom then any judgments you get from your kids, the neighbors or your mother will not be able to stick you because you are already willing to receive them. You have allowance for what they think and it is just interesting.
If you make these judgments real at all you can never see what would actually work for you or them.
You never need to resist or react to the judgments and make your choices wrong, you can choose how to parent for you and create something greater than you could imagine. This tool allows you to never have to fit into this reality’s insanity about parenting. Like this insane view, if you are a good mother you have to sacrifice your life for your kids. Have you ever heard anyone say “I would give up my life for my children”? This is supposed to be a good thing? No, it is crazy! What child would want their parent to give themselves up for them? I never wanted that for my mom, I wanted her to be amazing!
Giving your life up for your children does not show them how to be phenomenal it shows them how to be limited. I want my 3 children to be phenomenal. When we as parents choose greater over sacrifice then we show our children how to choose that for their future too. In this reality sacrifice is the right way to parent. A bad mother would create greater than this. Are you willing to be a bad mother and create a greater life and an amazing future for you and your kids without sacrificing you?
“Are you willing to be a bad mother and create a greater life and an amazing future for you and your kids without sacrificing you?”
Sometimes the hardest judgments we receive are those from our own children. Here are two stories to where using the tool created wonderful changes I would never have considered. Years ago, when they were in elementary school, I put the wrong sandwiches in the girl’s lunch boxes, one got tuna and one peanut butter and they both hated the sandwiches they got.
When I picked them up from school I got a litany of how awful it was for them at lunch. I turned to them and said, “I am sorry, I am a really bad mom, I don’t know how to do this stuff right, maybe I need your help.” I did not get upset, resist or react to what they were complaining about. The girls both said “oh no you are not a bad mom at all, you are the best mom ever” and started making their own lunches.
Recently my older daughter had a very difficult day at school and she was seriously down in the dumps. Than night she left the house and didn’t tell me. When I found out where she had gone I was very upset. My Son, who is 20, laid into me about how I was acting. He said, “You are terrible; you are going to get mad at her when she is depressed – what kind of mother are you?” I started to react and argue with him, defend myself, tell him I wouldn’t do that, that is not what is going on, etc.
Then I remembered the tool, be willing to be a bad mom, be willing to receive his judgments as just an interesting point of view. I expanded out, become more space and repeated in my head, “what would it take to be willing to be a bad parent? Interesting point of view he has this point of view.”
“Sometimes the hardest judgments we receive are those from our own children…Then I remembered the tool, be willing to be a bad mom, be willing to receive his judgments as just an interesting point of view…”
What this changed was amazing. He stopped judging me. There was no more space in my world for what he was saying to stick me. The, ‘I have to be a good mom’ button was gone.
He started to tear up and I asked what was up for him. He started to talk about things that were troubling him about his future. He had been worried that when he finished his degree in engineering he would end up stuck in a job that would be boring that he hated and he would become depressed.
Wow, that was not where I would have thought the conversation about his sister would go. This opened the door for an amazing generative conversation full of questions about his future and how to create a future that would work for him. I was able to show him a totally different possibility beyond this reality.
I said yes you may end up in a boring engineering job and when you do you will change it or get a new job and you can do this as often as you like, just like I did, just like your dad did. You will never be able to do a boring job, you are too creative and you can change anything. What if every job you had was better than the last? In this reality staying at the same job for 20 years is valuable, what if it wasn’t, what if that is not true for you?
For my son the question could be – would you be willing to be a bad engineer and create something greater than you could imagine, just like the willingness to be a bad mom creates something greater than you imagine?
A question always opens the door to possibilities.
Dr. Glenna Rice, DPT, The Questionable Parent