When you are unhappy, no role is enough

Waking up this morning, although a bit tired, I felt really content.  I magaged to beat my own PR in a 5k race yesterday! I run for a staggering (for me) 27.33 minutes!

I then spend Sunday with my children enjoying the sun and nature doing some trail walking, picking up flowers, stroking slags, horses and climbing on mud.

Then…I read a comment on a newspaper online where a woman said: “it’s so nice to see successful, super fit women rather than the usual wives, mothers, victims.” ….
There are many things wrong in the world and in our society and this is one of them.

Women are not victims, wives are not victims and mother are certainly not victims. 

PEOPLE are victims when one of two (or both) things happen: 1) they choose to be, and 2) they have been psychically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically abused.

Women (sadly mostly) are so desperately trying to impose unrealistic standards to other women – it’s crazy! 

So first , motherhood is not good enough, screw the children – they can be raised in a nursery or by grandma or a nanny – depends on how much money you can spend. What really matters is to WORK even if your children are really small, even if you can afford not to go to work, even if for your own reasons you don’t want to. Send them to an all day school and follow your career cause THIS IS the only way to feel fulfilled as a woman.

Then, even this was not enough. In order for women to be really empowered, apparently, motherhood and successful careers are NOT enough.

I read this morning that women, now, also need to be super fit, complete marathons just before going to work or be able to cycle from London to Paris on a weekly basis.

Right. To all of this I say: 😐 . All I see is unhappy women trying so hard to prove something… probably to themselves even if they don’t know it yet.

There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to work, be healthy and fit and also have children. But there needs to be a balance and a realistic take on what is sacrificed each time.

 

I don’t need to be the CEO of any company to feel empowered. Money doesn’t empower me. Going out naked doesn’t empower me. Flying to business meetings every second day doesn’t empower me. Body image standards also don’t empower me. Arrogance doesn’t empower me, ignorance doesn’t empower me and blaming others for all my problems certainly doesn’t empower me!

I don’t hate men, I don’t feel the need to do so, I don’t feel victimized, a lesser member of western society because I am a woman, or that I need to be able to do exactly what men do! It is not a competition – men and women have different qualities, skills, and strengths and that is OK!

I want to and know that I can do more!

I feel very empowered that I have been lucky enough to live through every single experience and developmental stone of my children!

Teaching them, guiding them, working through issues together with them, showing them, talking to them, learning new things with them, supporting them and evolving together with them – requires physical presence, at least for the first few years of their lives.

I feel very empowered that I have gone through many difficulties in life and haven’t become bitter and negative.

I feel empowered that, after hard work with myself, I am slowly getting to the point where I delete toxic people from my life and surround myself with the ones that love me and make me happy.

I also feel empowered that I try every day to love myself more, stay as active as possible, lead a healthy lifestyle, learn to make myself happy first and teach my children to do the same.

Being in a healthy relationship or marriage an choosing to be with the people you deserve is VERY empowering!

If you want to be perfect at everything – please don’t let your children pay the price! 

Happy Monday and don’t forget to smile ☺ Life is what we make it!

Till next time x




Crying moms; are children assholes?

There is a new mom-trend around most groups, forums, and videos, lately. I am not sure when it started but it seems to be everywhere now: exhausted, fed-up, pissed-off, unappreciated moms going viral for posting drama overloaded videos where they mostly rant about their miserable mom lives and ungrateful, difficult kids.

I get it –  I am tired too. Unless you are a Holywood celebrity mom and you have another 5-6 (plus) people looking after your children, instead of you, then are most likely an exhausted mom. If you are a working mom, you are tired. If you are a stay-at-home mom, you are tired. You start being tired (among other things) from the morning after the night before, already.

Should you shut up about it? ABSOLUTELY NOT. You should discuss it, express it, you should exchange opinions and ideas with other moms, family members and professionals about it, you should ask for help if you need it and you should find ways to deal with it for the sake of your whole family.

However, I don’t get why moms feel the need to constantly moan about motherhood – since it’s something they chose to do. Why do they feel the need to call their children ‘assholes’? –  … and that is of the nicest things I heard. Being a mom is really hard, indeed. Moms should get together and find healthy, respectful – for their children, ways to address issues, deal with problems and get the support they need.

We maybe need to learn new parenting skills or adopt new parenting styles that might work better and commit to an attachment type of raising our children and building strong relationships with them.

If I was a child, today, and my mom was a blogger, I would be so upset with her telling the whole world about all the ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ things I did. I would not like it if she had called me an ‘asshole’ in one of her quotes on her Facebook page, or posted about that day she told me off in public. Humiliating me, embarrassing me and moaning about how bad/hard/sad her life is because am in it – would be devastating to me.

I believe that these moments with your children are sacred and private. How would you like it if your partner posted about how bad you were in bed one day, talked about your arguments, the fact that you are a bad cook, or that the house is a mess cause you couldn’t be bothered to clean or share things that are embarrassing or humiliating and definitely personal to you? Why do some parents think that it’s ok to do it with their children?

I often find myself in conversations where moms complain that their children are ungrateful, rude, dishonest, they lie, cheat, speak back to them or are difficult and even ‘horrible’. Many times I end up being the odd one out for supporting the view that children are NOT born bad. They aren’t born rude. When giving me my daughter for the first time to hold, the doctor didn’t say: ‘congratulations, it’s a girl. A dishonest and stubborn girl’.

It is, indeed, easier to blame others, – even our own children – rather than facing our mistakes and downfalls.

When our small children misbehave in any way then that is the perfect time to reflect on our parenting methods. Children learn by mimicing what we do and say. The way we treat them and each other becomes the standard which they develop with and learn from. For some parents, accepting their own flaws and embracing change is really hard.

Understandably, social norms, their own upbringing, educational background and their current relationship status affect the depth or self-reflection and openness to change and provide a ‘safe’, in every way, family environment for their children to grow in.

I was recently ‘kicked out’ of a Facebook parenting group for stating that reward is a much more effective learning method than punishment and that ‘hitting’our children is abusive. Sadly, so many parents do so and strongly believe that it’s the best way to ‘discipline’ their children.

Perhaps, it is about time governments realize the importance of investing more resources in educating new parents and parents-to-be on how to raise emotionally and psychologically healthier children.

I am a tired stay-at-home mom, often exhausted, many times dreaming of sunbathing on an island alone, sipping on martinis and being massaged… even for 10 whole minutes. I get angry, lose my temper, have no patience at times and need a time-out. I have my good and bad days, problems, health issues, worries and struggles –  like everyone else.

However… –  I chose to become a mother and since then I have made a promise to myself to try my hardest to treat my children with respect, raise them with love, parent them with mindfulness and raise them to be emotionally intelligent. I make mistakes, like every other mom and I try to fix them and not do them again. I don’t always succeed but I keep trying. I apologize to my children and when they behave badly I try to find out what we have done as parents for them to act this way.

I don’t feel the need to post daily about how ‘bad’ my children are or how ‘angry they made me feel like.  I moan about my bad days to my husband and close friends and I am grateful every day for my family. I am not living on cloud 9, I don’t pretend to be perfect or have it perfect either. But I also don’t choose to feel like a ‘victim’ mom either. 

In a world where it’s ‘trendy’ to blame others for our own problems –  be different and do something much more liberating and healthy. There is NOTHING wrong with admitting to making mistakes (and owning up to them),  –  it’s human and it’s OK! Our children deserve the best parents they can have and we can all be that.

Till next time xxx

Some more of my thoughts on parenting…:

 




When everything is blue…

We all go through times in our lives when we feel really frustrated, let down, and sad. It happens to us at work, personal life, sports, friendships and many times, we feel disappointed with ourselves. Some disappointments disrupt our daily routine while others could change our lives. When something or someone fails to meet our set thoughts and ideas, we feel let down, sad or even betrayed.

All disappointments, no matter how big or small, come out of our expectations for how something should have been.

You feel disappointed because you might have recognized that you don’t have, didn’t get or might never get to have whatever it is you wanted.  You had expectations of your life and future and things didn’t turn out the way you had hoped they would.

The extent and severity of the disappointment we feel is determined by the level of emotions we have invested on specific outcomes or people. Love and health disappointments can really challenge and greatly influence our sense of self.

Disappointment comes with a lot of sadness. And what should you do when you feel so sad? Unfortunately, there is no magical cure or easy fix. But there are a few things you can do to speed up your healing process and help you work through these issues more effectively.

There is no easy way out of sadness…

I am afraid you will have to go through the whole process from start to finish and the more you accept that truth the faster you will feel a little bit better.

  • The first thing you should really allow yourself to do is cry. So, go ahead, there is absolutely nothing wrong with crying. Let is all out and cry as much as you need to. 
  • Another thing you should come to terms with, is the fact that right now you are not in a good place and that is normal, it happens to all of us. Feeling hurt, disappointed, betrayed, let down, or sad doesn’t make you weaker. These are all normal human feelings and there is no person on the whole planet who also hasn’t felt this way at some point.
  • If you feel like expressing this frustration and sadness physically, you can do that. Physical activity is a great way to let all this tension out so go walk, run, stay in the middle of a field and scream, kick a wall. Do (safely) what it takes to not allow your emotions to boil inside you.
  • Some people feel reluctant when it comes to confronting the person or situation that made them feel sad and disappointed. Others, though,  feel the need to do so and that probably helps them heal in more ways than one. Try to be mindful of how you express your feelings and frustration – words can really hurt. Do not be afraid of telling the person who made you sad and upset how you feel. You have the right to do so and you should. 
  • Do allow yourself time to ‘mourn’. Many times sadness and disappointment, especially when it comes to health or relationships, feel like grief. There is no easy way out of it, am afraid. Give yourself time to go through all the emotions and embrace them. The more you resist these stages of the sadness process the longer it will take you before you feel better. 
  • When the time feels right, move on. Surround yourself with positive friends and people who love you. If you are lucky enough to have a healthy, loving and encouraging support network take ‘advantage’ of that. People who care about you will never leave you on your own especially when you feel so down. They’ll help you stop dwelling on the negative experience and get up on your feet.
  • There are things you have to do. A whole life ahead of you. Many amazing experiences to still enjoy. Lots of chances to be happy, succeed, travel, achieve, evolve, be a good partner, parent and enjoy yourself and those you love. The faster you heal, the more time you will have to do all these things and more. When its the right time.. let things go and be hopeful for what comes next. 

The only way out is through the pain.

When you feel sad, hurt or disappointed – no reasoning will heal your pain. That’s right. No matter how many pieces of advice and comforting words you get to hear, they won’t be able to give you an immediate relief. Sadness can be a healthy part of life if lessons learned by it make you a stronger person. Am afraid no person on Earth is except from pain, sadness, disappointment and grief. After you give yourself the space and time to go through all the emotions then how you deal with the situation is what really matters. Ask for help if you have to. Stay hopeful. 

Till next time xxx

 




You can’t change what you don’t aknowledge

It is probably an uncomfortable thought but most of our days are spend in a state of self-delusion. We often excuse our behavior and justify our actions within a twisted internal monologue that feels safe and cosy. Whether its something bad or even good, we will defend it with everything we’ve got without realizing how much deeper into an unhealthy pattern we lead ourselves.

To make things worse, when we do get a chance for self-reflection or critical feedback by others we quickly contest it and get upset. Many people claim to be in favor of constructive criticism but when it actually comes down to hearing things that wound our egos we simply don’t want to know. We retaliate and, at times, become verbally abusive or defensive only because we are not self-aware and thus unable to admit and accept uncomfortable truths.

Sedikides in 1993, identified three motives for evaluating oneself: self-assessment (seeking accurate self-knowledge, whether positive or negative), self-enhancement (seeking favorable self-knowledge), and self-verification (seeking fairly obvious self-knowledge that is probably true. When research participants were given the chance to select questions on knowledge about themselves, self-enhancement was obviously the most popular while self-assessment the least sought.

“Despite what they may believe to be true, most people do not really want to know more about themselves; rather they want either positive information of information that simply confirms what they already know”, (Byrne).

The lies we tell ourselves are the most damaging. They lead to a fake perception of one’s self, denial and inability to change and get where we want to be. Without being willing to acknowledge sides of our personalities and lives which are unpleasant, we keep being dishonest with ourselves. Self dishonesty leads to unhappiness, problematic connections with others, unfulfilling interpersonal relationships, depression, lower self esteem and a sense of ‘everyone else is to blame’ thinking for what is happening in our lives or how we react to different situations.

A good way to start practicing self-awareness is self-reflection. One of the biggest challenges is to manage and pause our thoughts for one second before engaging into conversations with our default reactions. People who are mindful can discipline themselves and allow for moments of reflection before responding.

Self-reflection allows for deeper understanding of our reaction, words, thoughts and how our behavior affects others. It can take place anywhere and at any times. Allow yourself time to think : ‘what was my fault?’, ‘what is it I refuse to acknowledge?’, ‘what was I afraid of admitting by welcoming others’ criticism’?, ‘what is it missing from your life and is getting filled in other, not fruitful, ways?’. These questions will surely bring up insecurities and misconceptions.

Seek to understand, not to be right.

Self-awareness is an emotionally painful process. It is very hard  to see things about ourselves that we don’t want to admit. As you develop self-awareness you will be able to make drastic changes in your thought process and emotions. Self-awareness is also one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence which is an extremely important factor of success in every aspect of life.

Having self-awareness allows you to see where your thoughts and emotions are taking you. It also enables you to escape from the bubble you have created and get a more objective, clear and realistic understanding of yourself, specific feelings and thoughts you have and why. It will give you a great opportunity for self-observation, acceptance, self-honesty and openness. 

You will, therefore, be able to focus your attention and energy on things that will take you where you need to be in all aspects of your life.

Get real and acknowledge the lies you have been telling yourself. The uplifting sense of freedom you will end up feeling will enhance the quality of your relationships, your life and sense of self.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” – Aristotle 




Domestic Abuse – Why she stayed

For people who were lucky enough to not have been the victims of physical, emotional or mental abuse, the concept of ‘why I stayed’ seems impossible. They find it very hard to sympathize with those women; they wonder how can someone stay in a relationship where she is undervalued, neglected, beaten up and abused in any kind of way.

Abused women are not to blame for not being able to leave a toxic relationship.They reasons could be hundreds – life is not always so straightforward. They need support, understanding and a non judgmental attitude. They need to feel empowered, strong and not alone.

 

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Being a nice person IS a choice

I was thinking today…-  why is it so difficult for some people to stay good? Society and childhood factors are always influential but at the end of the day no-one can ever force anyone else to behave badly!  No-one can make you bitter or nasty – all that is YOUR choice!

Well, this morning, reading the news , I once again felt kinda disgusted at some people’s choices/actions/behaviors.

I thought that there are people who beat up peaceful activists who try to save the bull from horribly dying in a bullfight…there are men who beat up their women in public. There are people in the street who can’t be bothered to be nice, shop assistants who don’t even smile when interacting with customers. There are sad 16 year old bullies who target a fellow classmate and brutally abuse her.

There are bad parents who hit their children, verbally attack them and destroy everything good of their childhood. And there are other parents who don’t even realize that by being bitter, nasty, rude individuals they teach their children to also become the same.

There are ‘men’ and ‘women’ who verbally/emotionally/physically and psychologically abuse others daily! There are people who abuse animals and kill them for fun… I could go on for ever…

I feel so disappointed  about the negative people who live among us but I am also thinking: screw that! All this will NOT turn me into such a person also.  I don’t quite get how hard such choice is for others but there is NO excuse for treating people like crap and behaving in a pathetic and rotten way (your unfortunate past/childhood is not an excuse, either).

Choose to stay good; positive people with be drawn to you. Try smiling too – it’s contagious 🙂 




Your story: Break the Chains of Abuse

Natasha was a young mom that had to come face to face with a parent’s worst nightmare. This is her inspirational story:

I met my abuser when I was just 16. I had never been in a physically abusive relationship before, and he was my first serious relationship. He applied for a job where I was working, and I thought he looked so cool in his leather jacket and bleached hair. I always had a thing for the older “badass” guys (Read: ‘Bad Boy Love’).

We started talking as friends, and had an agreement that we wouldn’t start dating until I was 18. However, within just 2 months he had sucked me in with promises of a bright future, and I bought everything he was selling.Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t start abusing me as soon as we met, nor as soon as we started seeing each other. It took a few months before he tried anything at all. One day we were sitting on his couch and play fighting.He slapped me hard across my face.

unnamed (5)I was so hurt, emotionally and physically! I could feel my face stinging, and I ran away from him and drove as fast as I could home. I was so confused! Why did he do this?! He called me about 50 times that night – all night. Until finally around 3 a.m. I answered the phone. “I am so sorry – we were just playing and sometimes I don’t realize my own strength” I believed him, why else would he call so many times just to tell me that?! I was so young, so naïve, I had no clue what I was in store for.

So, I forgave him, and we continued seeing each other, but I felt like I was in control. We only saw each other when I had spare time, and only for as long as I could stay. I was going to school, working, and was on the dance team in high school. Things were going ok. He hadn’t hurt me since the first “accident”.

I don’t even remember the second time he hurt me, or the third. I remember the really bad times, and even have most of them blocked out and will remember them now as a flashback.

We were together for 6 years. I had tried to leave once before, but the threats of him killing my whole family, my son, myself scared me to the point that I felt I had to go back so that my family’s deaths wouldn’t be on my hands.

I knew that if he decided to act on those threats I would never be able to look at myself or my family again without feeling so much guilt. I knew that I wouldn’t survive him doing that to my family – because I knew that the guilt would cause me to give up on my own life. I was so afraid of everything.

If I caught my own shadow out of the corner of my eye just right, or someone moved too fast, I jumped out of my skin. He convinced me that I was no good, that I was broken, and that I deserved everything he ever put me through (Read: ‘Speak Up’).

We ended up moving up north near Sutton’s Bay, Michigan. The two of us, my son, and my daughter. He moved up with my kids before me, because I was still working to try to afford for the U-Haul to move all of our belongings up north. He took them the week before I was done with school, and it was his own assurance that I would be coming up.

unnamed (1)He knew I couldn’t live without my kids, so he knew he had me trapped. So, the next week, the night after I finished my last class at 10 pm, I got in the U-Haul and drove the 3 ½ hours north to what I thought would be a new beginning – and it was; just not the way I thought it would be. 

I was up there for roughly three weeks. I was working 12 hour shifts trying to finish my externship, as well as working part time at a local restaurant to try to support the four of us. I was barely making anything at all. I had to go to a local Church to even have enough formula to feed my daughter. I had to depend on the generosity of strangers to feed my son. I ate when I could get enough change together to sneak a McDouble on my break without him knowing.

On August 12, 2011 my life would change forever. I woke up that morning, thinking it was just like any other. I got up, got ready for my externship, kissed my children goodbye and left. The work day was uneventful, I don’t remember anything really out of the ordinary from that day. I do remember him texting me to ask me where the change was. I had taken it so I could eat that day.. But that didn’t matter to him, he needed it so he could take his brother to work. His family were always more important than me.

unnamedI always had to let him know where I was, or where I was going to be, so I remember calling him as I was leaving my externship to let him know I was leaving, and heading to the restaurant to pick up my pay. I remember calling him to let him know I had my pay and was headed home. It was about 10 minutes later I got the call with him screaming that I needed to “Get Home Now, NOW! GET HOME RIGHT NOW!!!”

One of our biggest mistakes as victims of abuse is that we feel that as long as it is only affecting us, we will be fine, or that it is ok, (Read: ‘Why I Stayed’).  That is not the case, and that is why I share my story with you today. I made that mistake. I felt that since I had never seen him abuse my children, and his anger was only aimed at me, that they were somehow safe and unaffected. I wish I knew then, what I know now.

My daughter was just 3 ½ months old when he sexually abused her, and she passed away.

 There were no signs that he was sexually abusive towards children. The State of Michigan sealed his prior record, and that would have been the only indication. His family knew, but said and did nothing. Now my family feels nothing but pain and guilt for not seeing or doing anything to get me out of the situation. They don’t look at me the same, and it isn’t that they feel I should have done anything differently, other than speaking up about what I had gone through. Abuse doesn’t just affect the person being abused.

unnamed (2) It affects children in the relationship, it affects the victim’s families – immediate and extended. The only way to put an end to it is for Survivors to step forward and share their story. Let victims know that they need to get out, and that the Survivors are there to help them do that.

After he murdered my daughter, he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to two natural life sentences for sexually abusing her and murdering her. It wasn’t until I was removed from the relationship, and started to notice how jumpy, broken and beat down I was that I started to realize that there aren’t enough resources for others trying to get out of these situations.

I couldn’t afford counseling, and didn’t know where to turn to for help. Because of that, I founded the Evelynne Aimee Foundation on May 1, 2013. I founded it in Evelynne’s honor, sharing her story to help others. We help victims of Child, Sexual and Domestic abuse to get out of the situation in Genesee County, Michigan, (Read: ‘Abused no More’). 

unnamed (4)Please don’t think that what you are going through is ok. Speak up about what you are going through, or what you have been through. I always tell everyone “Share your story, and if you aren’t comfortable with that, share my story –you never know who you could be saving in doing so.” (Read: ‘Reader’s Story: She Finally Flew Free’). 

 

The abuse and suffering I went through didn’t stop after I was out of that relationship and this is the sad reality for most victims. Its long lasting effects will always be there to remind me of a situation where no woman should ever find herself in. I now suffer from chronic migraines which I can get from the sun, loud noises and pretty much anything that can trigger it. They are caused by permanent nerve damage due to the abuse – and this is just the physical side of it. The emotional scarring and the hurt and pain from losing my daughter will last a lifetime.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and watch the video on my story. 

You can find out more about the Evelynne Aimee Foundation, as well as follow what we are doing to make a difference on Facebook

(https://www.facebook.com/EvelynneAimeeFoundation?fref=ts)

and Twitter (https://twitter.com/e_a_foundation).

We are a 501©3 organization, which means all donations are tax deductible, if you are able to help support our cause, you can make a donation at https://www.razoo.com/story/Evelynne-Aimee-Foundation.  

Thank you. Natasha

 

 

 




Being the parent your child deserves…

A few of the notions of the past decades are:

  • Children should do as they are told
  • Children should obey their parents
  • Children should like all the relatives and kiss them every time they say hello and goodbye
  • Children should generally listen to all adults
  • Mom and dad know better and children don’t need to know why
  • Too much cuddling is not good
  • Children are not the priority…. parenting is not empowering enough…
  • Too much kissing is not good
  • Too much of anything is not good
  • Co-sleeping is not good
  • Children should ‘learn’ the hard way
  • Ideally, children should behave in any given situation
  • Children should be left to cry at school cause that’s how they learn to be independent
  • Children should not embarrass us. Ever.
  • Children have no say in anything, really
  • Only if they are good they deserve a treat
  • We shouldn’t spoil them
  • Parents can use any method they think appropriate to punish their children
  • Children are their parents’ reflections
  • Our children belong to us
  • Children have to follow every outdoor activity their parents choose for them
  • Hitting children won’t damage them in any way
  • Us, parents, have the right to publicly humiliate our children
  • Parents are mostly right
  • Children should naturally respect their parents
  • Children should dress the way their parents want. They are children they don’t know better.
  • Parents can tell off their children and shout at their children when they feel like it. Later they can apologize and everything is back to normal. The apology is optional.

I could go on forever. All the above statements are WRONG! Totally, completely WRONG. Start treating your children with respect, unlimited love, allowing them their space and the expression of their own unique thoughts and opinions, (READ: “Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children”)

Encourage them to communicate more and discuss all their issues, sympathize with them, practice empathy in anything you do, inspire them,  motivate them, respect their differences, allow healthy growth and help them become emotionally intelligentteach them to value themselves. Teach them how to be grateful, to respect their bodies, to be thankful, to protect themselves. Teach them self-confidence in line with reality, values, ambitions, needs of achievement and real concern for others and their ideas without exploiting them.

Help them build their self-esteem so they will be better able to find the balance between being overly dependent or overly self-reliant. BE MINDFUL of your actions and behavior,   (READ: “Bad Parenting: Expecting too much”)

Your children are unique and special in their own way, whichever way that is. They have their own pace, they don’t need to meet guidelines. Be the role model your children need. Raise children who will not have to recover from their childhood, (READ: “Parents: Follow your Instincts”).

“One generation of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world.”   – Dr. Charles Raison




Are ‘shouting’ moms just unhappy?

I recently traveled to London for a few days and shopping around Regent street I came across a very common – from what it seems – phenomenon,  – moms being exasperated, frustrated, tired and aggressive. I am totally against shouting at children or displaying any kind of abusive behavior whether that is verbal, emotional or physical. I felt angry, at first, and really sad for the poor children who were humiliated and maybe scared. I felt that they were being let down by their own moms and that is one of the worst feelings as a child.

Then, I saw a different reality. One that although does not in any way excuse such behavior but does give an added perspective that exposes an unfulfilled life. These women looked sad, unhappy, down and demotivated. They were tired, had run out of patience, they were joyless. Maybe they didn’t feel loved, maybe they were in bad relationships or marriages or even abusive ones. Maybe they were depressed. 

It is so easy to judge mothers or brand them as ‘bad’, feeling all superior and good about our own status as parents which is ‘obviously’ better. Taking problems out on children is NEVER the solution and saying that, not all unhappy moms do that. Some, though, do. Not because they don’t love their children, not because they are ‘unfit’ moms. For most moms around the world, making their children unhappy is not a choice they made when they entered motherhood.

Maybe the next time you criticize your friend or relative for being too harsh on their children, shout at them or always look like they are fed up – offer some support, instead. Try to find out the reasons behind such behavior, practice some therapeutic listening, offer a shoulder to cry on, be emphatic and try to be understanding. I promise you – you will feel a lot better and you might be able to change someone’s life, too.