Family

Five motherhood myths that moms believe (but shouldn't)

FILE

FILE

As a new mom, I wanted so desperately to get this mothering thing right. I had a lot of beliefs about mothering in general. Some beliefs I gathered by observation. Some were wishful thinking. Some beliefs other moms told me were true. Some I read on the pages of a popular parenting book. And guess what I discovered about these beliefs?

All of them were dead wrong.

Do any of these sound familiar?

1. Mothering Is Natural, Easy, and Instinctive

We moms are never going to be perfect. Not our homes. Not our method of discipline. Not our food. Not our schedule. When we keep these mythical mosaics of perfection as our goal, we only set ourselves up for sure failure. We need to stop pursuing the appearance of perfection.

2. The Way I Mother Is the Right (and Only) Way

3. I Am “Just” a Mom

4. Motherhood Is All-Consuming and All-Fulfilling

5. A Good Mother Can Do It All, All at Once

As part of our research for our book, "Hoodwinked: The Ten Myths Moms Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off," my co-author Ruth Schwenk and I compiled a list of the ten most common motherhood myths that have left us all, well, hoodwinked. (I shared the first five above and I hope you’ll grab a copy of the book to find out the other five that made the list.)

Ruth and I asked over three hundred moms if they had preconceived notions of what motherhood would be like. An astounding 83 percent answered, “Yes, absolutely!”

Every single one of those moms commented that those preconceived notions were dead wrong.

Whether it was through their judgment of other moms before they became a mom themselves, or just an ideal world of motherhood they created in their mind, there was a common thread amongst our sisters in the survey; a resounding chorus of feelings of loneliness, weariness, and disillusionment was expressed by these women.

At the core was this, though: motherhood just isn’t what they had expected, and they feel totally caught off guard and unprepared for this reality.

In order to dispel the myths of motherhood, we must understand where these myths come from. This is where my mosaic theory comes in.

Many of us have formed a mosaic in our minds of the perfect mom. Throughout our years growing up and into adulthood we have collected tiny pieces of colored glass that we mentally arranged in our mind to form a snapshot of just what we think a good mother should be.

When we step back and gaze at the image we have fashioned, it too can take our breath away. And by that I mean leave us huffing and puffing for air as we race to try to replicate the image in our own lives.

Our mosaics are made up glimpses we’ve gotten of real-life moms, TV moms, Pinterest moms, mommy bloggers, moms on Instagram, etc. We take the good moments of these women’s lives and piece by piece we craft, in our imaginations, a stunning mosaic of just what a mom should be. But there is one teensy-weensy fact we forget about mosaic depictions of people.

They are not real.

We moms are never going to be perfect. Not our homes. Not our method of discipline. Not our food. Not our schedule. When we keep these mythical mosaics of perfection as our goal, we only set ourselves up for sure failure. We need to stop pursuing the appearance of perfection.

When our focus is on the one who is truth, we stop believing the lies. We dispel the myths of motherhood once and for all. Let’s all agree right now--all moms united--that we need to stop latching onto the lies and start living in the truth.

Let’s expose them, together. Destroy them, together. And replace them with the truth, together.

Karen Ehman is a New York Times best-selling author and the author of Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World. You can find her online at KarenEhman.com.