What a Mother’s Heart Needs
It’s all about the heart. This is what enabled me to see my daughter as an “An Amazing Treasure.”
‘A Mother’s Heart’ is not talked about in the parenting books. Most parenting books focus on giving you tools and techniques to get through the teenage issues. These books are very helpful but there is more.
The more is about mom as a person. Mothers are more than just ‘mother machines’ that manage their house and the lives of everyone in their family. Mothers are human beings that have needs, desires, interests, hopes, dreams and longings but often these aspects of you get neglected.
All of this affects a mother’s heart.
What is the condition of your heart?
The Neglected Heart
You neglect your heart but you do not do this intentionally. You are busy doing what is expected of you for your family. The problem is you are putting yourself at the bottom of the list and there is never time for you and so your heart is neglected.
The Tormented Heart
Your heart is tormented all the time. You can’t believe your daughter or whoever has treated you this way. You think about circumstances or conversations all the time and it feels horrible. You make up huge stories about why your friend didn’t call you back. You replay the fights that you and your daughter have had over and over again in your mind but nothing ever resolves and your heart is tormented.
The Broken Heart
You have a broken heart. Your daughter, husband, family and friends have disappointed you and let you down. Or you may have had an extreme assault on your heart because someone has betrayed you or someone dearest to you has passed away.
Maybe you dismiss your disappointments because they seem small but over time they add up to a constant sadness you carry around in your heart. You say to yourself, “This is not the life I wanted.”
The Detached Heart
If you keep trying to muscle your way through life and you keep neglecting your feelings and thoughts your heart becomes detached. Your heart becomes numb. Your heart walls itself off from anything that would bring any more bad news or sadness. You start backing up from people. You may distance yourself from your friends. You may not feel the need to connect to anybody. You stop trying with your daughter. You think to yourself it’s too late, “She made her bed, and she is going to have to lie in it.”
In some ways you feel safe when your heart is detached. The problem is when your heart is detached you also shut down the good emotions. You become blah towards life. You feel like you are going through the motions day after day. You can’t remember the last time you felt good.
The Closed Heart
And if you keep neglecting your heart then your heart will completely shut down and you will rationalize it by saying this is just how it is I am not 20 anymore. And not only is your heart closed but you become closed to all the blessings of life.
The Healthy Heart
♥ The healthy heart is open. Your heart is open to your daughter, partner, family and friends. Your heart is open to God and all that life has to offer.
♥ A healthy heart is wise. You know how to protect yourself with good boundaries. You don’t take abusive words and actions. You remove yourself from people or situations that are harmful until they calm down and it is safe to reengage.
♥ A healthy heart is kind. Most important, you are kind to yourself. Your internal dialogue is kind and compassionate. You don’t beat yourself up for being exhausted or feeling wounded.
♥ One way your heart is kind is that it takes care of itself. You know what you need and you allow yourself to have it. You need to have lunch with that good friend. You need to take a day off from work. You need to go on a retreat or vacation. You need to be around the beauty of nature. You listen to your heart and trust the leading of your own heart.
♥ A healthy heart gives and receives. Most mothers are very good at giving but are not that good at receiving. When your heart is open you are more likely to receive. You receive the smile from the checker at the grocery store. You receive the playful moment with your daughter. You receive the song on the radio that has a message that encourages your soul.
♥ A healthy heart is grateful. You are grateful for the big things and you are grateful for the small things in the day that you could easily pass over. For example I am looking out my window right now enjoying all the beautiful orange, pink and yellow flowers and it makes my heart happy.
A grateful heart sees and cherishes all the blessings in life.
♥ A healthy heart is at peace. You are at peace with yourself, God and all the relationships in your life. You are at peace with your circumstances.
6 Ways to Heal a Mothers Heart
1. Name it
Take 30 minutes and write out what is going on in your heart. What is bothering you? Who has hurt your feelings and why? Where are you frustrated? Where do you feel defeated? Write it all down.
2. Let go
Some things you need to let go. It could be the fight that you and your daughter just had and you can’t let go what she said to you. Maybe you are holding on to something from your past. What is it that you need to let go of? Do you need to forgive yourself or someone else?
3. Take Action
What needs to change? Where do you need help? Maybe you need to change a pattern with you and your daughter or your husband. Maybe you need to start doing things for yourself. Where do you need to take care of you?
4. Be kind to yourself
How can you be kind to yourself? Do you need more sleep? Do you need more time with your friends?
Maybe it’s how you talk to yourself. Where can you give yourself some credit? Where can you give yourself some grace? Name 5 things that you have accomplished in the past week.
Try walking through your day with an open heart. What would that look like? How would you treat the people in your life that you know or the people in your life that you don’t know? Try smiling at the people you pass by in the store or at work. Call a friend that you haven’t called in a long time or send an email.
Maybe it’s time that you receive. You are all given out. Where do you need to receive? Who gives to you?
I have something I would like to share with you. Go to www.poweryourparenting.com to get my fr-ee Book: 7 Ways to Help Your Relationship with Your Teenage Daughter (and Yourself).
Colleen O’Grady L.P.C., L.M.F.T. Colleen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach with a thriving private practice for over 20 years. She is also a mother of a happy teenage daughter. Colleen empowers women to reconnect with their teenage daughters and reclaim their lives. Her Power Your Parenting program has now served moms from all over the country, teaching them 7 steps to get back in touch with their own voice, their own power and reconnect with their daughters. For more information you can go to www.colleenogrady.com