What most touched them was when I talked about the urge I had to inflict pain on my oldest daughter when she was little. How even though I adored her, only wanted the best for her and absolutely did not believe in any kind of punishment I still at times was overtaken by the urge to hurt her. Punish her. Make her pay for what she was making me experience. I would find myself knowingly squeezing her arm too hard, not seemingly punishing but very conscious that I was giving in to my urge to inflict pain, that in that moment it was stronger than my love, any positive feelings, beliefs, or self-control.
I've had several moms, just in the past week, crying on the phone with me, feeling shame, distress and even horror that they would have similar, or other negative reactions towards their beloved children.
Feeling that something is really wrong with them. And often times thinking that they are the only ones to have negative and damaging urges towards their children. That they are uniquely flawed.
It broke my heart to hear how much pain they’re in relative to it, and how much some beat themselves up for it.
I really want to make it known how common those urges are, particularly the more unmet our own needs were as infants and young children.
I can't even tell you how often this comes up in group calls I have as part of my programs.
It starts with one mom quietly and shamefully admitting to something she's done or felt. I then always ask if anyone else has ever done or felt the same thing. And invariably, every single mom, including me, raises her hand!
This is one reason I make sure that every one of my programs includes a group component. I want all my moms to have a deep, connected and safe community so they can share and be heard in the truth of their mothering experience, and hear of others who are going through very similar experiences.
There is tremendous value in hearing of other moms’ negative impulses and feelings towards their children, hearing about others’ reality of being a mom, as well as being able to speak of yours, and to be heard and supported in it.
I strongly encourage you to find a safe way to create this for yourself. We have to stop hiding from other moms who'd so benefit from our transparency.
For many parents, the relationship with their children brings up their deepest unresolved issues, the part of them that they may have managed to hide in the rest of their lives.
Those unresolved issues (or OUR CRAP as many of my clients call it) are what causes us to react to our children in ways that we’d never imagine we would. In ways that people who know us might not even believe that we do.
We often don’t even have a clear understanding of where it comes from.
I now consider that doing our own deep healing work is the most effective way to become the parent we know in our hearts that we can be. And it’s the majority of the work that I do with clients.
But I didn't always know that.
As I said on my call "3 Unfortunate Mistakes Conscious Parents Make That Prevent Them from Having Truly Happy Children and Harmony in Their Family", my poor Cassandra is the child with whom I worked through my control and anger issues. And it was quite a journey.
I even hit her, once, when she was 7.
Looking back, I honestly don’t know how I did resolve my control issues with her. I know that there was a lot of behavior modification of myself, of muscling against my reactions, of convincing myself to parent lovingly and positively, of talking with like-minded friends and reading tons to gradually re-program myself.
But one thing I do vividly remember is when I hit Cassandra. Something about that incident forced me to seriously take notice of what was going on in me and commit to addressing it so that things wouldn't continue to deteriorate between us. Somehow just that seemed to finally completely shift things between us. And we enjoyed a wonderful relationship after that.
AFTER 7 ½ YEARS OF STRUGGLE!!!
Having since then done tons of emotional, healing and spiritual work, I now not only can understand but can also quickly move through those kinds of reactions, feelings and impulses.
If you also struggle with reactions to your children which you dislike, please know that it’s normal. And that there’s a way out if you want it.
I now know that by doing your own deep healing work, you could have in 3 months what took me 7 years to achieve.
If you realize that you need to do some healing work, let's chat! My passion is helping moms heal their wounds and dissolve their triggers so they can be the parent they want to be to their children, and I've developed very effective ways to do so.
EMAIL ME AT Eliane@ParentingForWholeness.com to schedule a free 30 minute chat where we'll come up with a plan so you can become the mom you want to be to your children.
UPDATE, July 2017:
I've learned a ton since first writing this article 3 1/2 years ago and talking and working closely with hundreds of parents.
I now know that it's not necessary to do years, or even months of one-on-one healing work to clear these oh so disturbing yet common impulses.
For most parents, these impulses disappear as we work through my Clean Parenting™ Program.
I can't say specifically what causes them to disappear, but here's what I do know happens as moms integrate the principles taught in the program which are factors in that shift:
(I recommend you read the many many testimonials on the program page to give you a sense of what parents experience and might be possible for you as well.)
You need to be living it, day to day, moment to moment.
And this is what my program helps you do, if you're not able to get there on your own.
It is NOT an easy process, because it's really intensive and deep work and requires an extremely high level of commitment and honesty, but most participants are astonished at the magnitude of shifts, clarity, and improvement in their lives they experience in just 2 months.
And though the focus of the program is not on healing parents' issues, I'm amazed at the degree of healing that many parents say they experienced through this wonderful journey.
For parents who still have unresolved issues that they want to heal once the program ends, I do offer additional programs and one-on-one healing sessions to support them in their ongoing journey.
If any of this speaks to you and you'd like my help in becoming the parent you so long to be to your children, while also learning to value and care for yourself, email me at Eliane@ParentingForWholeness.com to schedule a free 30 minute chat where we'll come up with a plan so you can become the mom you want to be to your children.
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