Let's face it, we all have baggage. The crap that we carry around with us from one experience to the next. Old wounds, hurts, emotional trauma, pain, loss, resentment, fears… it all follows us. Most of us. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not we are probably putting some of that on our children.
I recently interviewed Kerri Hummingbird best selling author, Soul Guide and host of the Soul Nectar Show. Her recent book “Love Is Fierce: Healing the Mother Wound” talks about how for thousands of years, mothers have been disempowered, shamed, belittled, and abused. As a result, many mothers have developed victim mentalities which result in their being unable to love fully, neglecting their loved ones, and even competing with their children for control and attention. A woman with the Mother Wound will experience an intense struggle not to pass it on to her children.
We touched on some of the trauma that many mothers face in their lives and how those can effect their parenting. Most people usually think of trauma as a physical thing, but there is also emotional trauma that people face. I truly believe that is more common than physical trauma. Being hurt emotionally, lied to, betrayed… these all cause emotional trauma.
Too often we allow our past trauma to effect our present.
Maybe you had a hard relationship with your mother and that has led you to change how you parent your child. Did you grow up seeing your mother treated poorly? Were you in a relationship where you were treated badly yourself? So many of these things end up boiling over into how we parent our children. If we don't work to heal those traumas from our past sometimes we unknowingly put them onto our kids.
For me, watching my son fight for his life after his father hurt him. That caused severe emotional trauma that has stuck with me for years and years. I have allowed this trauma to effect how I parent. I became hyper-vigilant or what most would call over protective. That over protectiveness caused me to have issues co-parenting with my daughter's father and also caused issues with my daughter.
Kerri talked in our interview about how she had to spend a lot of time working on herself. She did a lot of deep spiritual work to find who she was at her core. She spent time focusing on her past stories and how they had effected her. Realizing that she was allowing stories of who she thought she had to be control her. Constantly being told that everything was her fault – and believing it!
She discovered that she was always trying to fix things by doing what everyone else wanted. She was a people pleaser. The problem with being a people pleaser is that everyone else is happy but you are miserable. Have you ever gone against your better judgement just to make others happy? Ignored your intuition and just gone along to try to keep the peace?
What Message Are We Sending Our Kids?
The biggest question that Kerri asked herself was – what message am I sending my kids? By ignoring her own emotional traumas and issues she was not living a good example for her kids. She was passing down trauma. By not living her truth and who she really was she wasn't showing up authentically in her life. When we do this it shows our kids that they should be doing the same.
Are you living your life the way you want your kids to see? Do you show them a life where their mom is living in a victim mentality? Or are you showing up like the badass you truly are? When there is conflict do your children see you manage it or run from it? Have your past traumas caused you to live your life as a person that doesn't seem true to you?
We are always telling our children to be true to themselves, be who they are. But do we always model that behavior for them? There are so many different issues that we struggle with in our lives. There is no easy fix for these things or the traumas that we have experienced. That is why it is so important to do the hard work to address them and learn how to wipe them clean.
If we are able to do that we will be able to show up as the best versions of ourselves for our kids.