Over Mothering, is this you?
Now this is something that I see a lot and I think I see it because I can tend to over mother...
It's such a natural thing for us Mums to do, to over mother and to give all of ourselves to our children but the flip here is knowing when the mothering is taking away from you as a person. When it drains your energy and leaves you tired, in a mood, emotional and thinking you're just a maid or a door mat, then this is over mothering. It's a sneaky line between mothering and over mothering but when you cross it you can feel it taking away from your soul.
Over mothering can be seen in; too many night feeds when the baby is 13 months old, eating solids and really doesn't need as many feeds at night, you wake feeling drained and tired in the morning day after day. Picking up teenagers clothes and stuff continually, even after you said you wouldn't be doing that anymore. Worrying about them while they are sick overseas to the point where your sleep is deprived and you are in a totally weird drained state. This just happened to me when my eldest son went to the USA with his school!!!
It comes in so many ways but the way you tell the difference is really, how do you feel in your heart of hearts, in other words does mothering bring your life energy and happiness? I know mothering is full of moments where you need to be strong and it is challenging you at times to stand up for you, but when these feelings keep appearing and draining us then it's time to stop. Move back and change what is sucking the life out of you.
When I realise this is happening and I start doing for me, I often see how the kids change and pick up the role and do jobs that I was doing which they should have been doing. I probably find this the most challenging as I like things to be done in a certain way and I like to get things done fast. When you hand over the over mothering role it doesn't always get done how you imagine but it does get done their way and this is the whole point.
I know when I first started to stop over mothering the critic inside me rose up and said "oh look at you not caring and being so harsh, blar blar blar", I could feel my heart breaking as if the connection that I had with my children was fading. But it wasn't of course, they loved me just as much.
So when motherhood makes you just want to walk away or run for the hills, check your over mothering monitor and re-adjust to place you in the centre of your universe not them.
Over mothering does not teach children how a family works together or resilience or confidence I believe.