How to Mom Out of Freedom Instead of Fear

Moms, please hear this!
 

When I spoke at Birds on a Wire's event, SOAR, last month this topic is what most resonated with moms, and I know more of you need to hear this truth. Here it is quick and simple: I want you to learn to practice parenting living in freedom rather than driven by fear.  

WHY? When we parent from a place of freedom you give you and your children:

  • A perspective that focuses on the good of own personal journeys.

  • A peace and strength found in trusting that God, not you, will provide exactly what you need.

  • A chance to embrace the present and live in the excitement of the future.

I've identified negative soundtracks (self talk) that I hear play in the minds of moms throughout my years as a therapist. Although the season of life may be different for each mom, the soundtracks often sound similar and are always driven from a place of fear.  

Let's change that.

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It's time to change your soundtrack.


One specific negative soundtrack we identified was the comparison soundtrack.  

As a parent, it’s so easy to find yourselves swerving into someone else’s lane in the road of life when you are listening to the comparison soundtrack as it blares in your ears.  This is a struggle for us as adults and can be especially challenging for your kids, tween or teen.

So what do we do?

Check out these 3 ways to help you and your family to decrease comparison and increase contentment and try them out with your family today.

 

1. Be present.
 

One of the easiest ways to get caught in the comparison cycle is to fall into the online social media vortex where you can, within 2 seconds, find someone who is smarter, more successful, thinner, more beautiful, etc.  And if that is true for us as adults, it’s even worse for your kids!

By having marked out social media free time, it creates less opportunity for them to be disengaged with what good things they have going on in their life.  A practical step would be putting your phones away at the dinner table and having “screen free” time where your family spends time together playing games, going on a hike, or doing something active and even goal oriented so they can feel a sense of pride and accomplishment after its over.

2. Be problem solvers.  
 

We usually compare our insecurities and perceived weaknesses with other people’s strengths.  

So, instead of having a stuck mindset, seeing ourselves as either a complete failure or the best at something, we can look through a framework of a growth continuum.  When we do this, we can help kids do the same.

For example, your son might compare his soccer skills with his best friend who just made the best team for your competitive soccer club.  When he gets down on himself for not making the better team, you can help him problem solve ways to help him increase his abilities and skills this year so he can have a better chance in the year to come.  Help him gauge his progress against himself as he dedicates time and energy into getting better as a soccer player.


So, instead of having a stuck mindset, seeing ourselves as either a complete failure or the best at something, we can look through a framework of a growth continuum.  When we do this, we can help kids do the same.


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3. Be cheerleaders.
 

When we compare, we often become threatened by other people’s successes.  

Think about it, when money is tight for your family, it’s hard to be excited about your friend’s raise or the neighbor moving to a nicer neighborhood.  It’s such an awkward place to be since you want to celebrate the success of those around you but it’s hard to do when their success pushes on your own insecurities or inadequacies.  Choose to see their success and what you are lacking as two separate things that cannot be compared.

Doing so creates a flat story because we are all on different journeys and God is working in us differently than he might be working in their lives.  There will always be someone smarter than you, more successful than you, more beautiful than you. That’s life.

Instead of comparing, let’s be honest with God and ourselves when we feel insecure and let’s submit that area to him, trusting that he will offer you exactly what you need during this season of wanting.  If you can, try to remember that their story isn’t your story so it’s actually not about comparisons but simply celebrating one another on in their own story.


If you want to explore living in more contentment with more practical advice, it is a HUGE passion of mine. I wrote The Happiness Map for people to discover their most joy-filled life. 

In chapter 9 we talk specifically about the challenges and joys of parenthood in our culture and give really practical ways to boost your  contentment and happiness in your family life, spiritual life, career, finances and much more! I would love to share it with you.