It was a Tuesday morning and I was standing at my kitchen sink in a semi-conscious state. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and being slowly driven crazy by the “PJ Masks” theme song on repeat in my brain. All the “things” were swirling and piling up around me: a messy kitchen, piles of laundry, toys everywhere, and a living room that looked more like a jungle with dragons and wild animals running everywhere. On top of it all, I hadn’t showered in days. The only thing I could do was stand there, look out the kitchen window, and cry. I didn’t have the energy to move. I didn’t have the capacity left in me to cope with the chaos. All I kept thinking was, “Is this it? Now that I’m a mom…these are my days? This is my new reality? My main purpose is now to provide snacks, do laundry, and organize sleep schedules while following around these little humans and picking up after their creative destruction…seriously?” Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore being a mother. I had just accidently let myself get swallowed up by motherhood.
As I stood there in a bit of a trance, this thought (seemingly out of the blue) popped into my head:
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE UP YOURSELF TO BE A GOOD MOTHER.
My first response was “Yeah, right. Yes, you do…obviously!” In fact, I think I actually laughed out loud. Seriously, the thought was so ridiculous to me that it was humorous. Of course, you give up yourself and your own dreams or desires when you become a mother. There’s not enough space for both…right? Isn’t that part of the job description? Sacrifice is the name of the game, or at least that’s how I was taught. The more you sacrifice, the better parent you are. Isn’t that how it goes?
Then it hit me, “IT IS A CHOICE.” Loud and clear, it was like I had suddenly been awakened. I was choosing to see it this way. What my children need is a mother who feels fulfilled, a mother who’s inspired, and who takes the time not only to acknowledge her greatness, but to claim it. They deserve that version of me. I deserve that version of me. That is what being a great mother looks like.
Well, heck…I’d had it all wrong. I wholeheartedly believed that my sacrifice was noble, that sacrificing my own passions and desires made me a good parent. The truth of the matter is, sacrifice has nothing to do with motherhood or being a good parent. Motherhood is about learning, growing, giving, and receiving. It’s not about sacrifice. It’s definitely not about self-abandonment.
That day I brushed myself off, took a shower, and chose to start seeing things from a different perspective. It all started with this simple decision: a choice to take back my control, to step into my power, and to show my children what it looks like to follow your dreams.
Glennon Doyle puts it so perfectly in Untamed when she says, “My children don’t need me to save them, my children need to watch me save myself.”
For me, “saving myself” took the form of me finally using my voice. I acquired a coaching certification, built my consulting company, started a business Instagram account, hosted several workshops, and offered talks to support other mothers. I helped others with the lessons I had gained through my experience of losing myself and finding her again.
Do you know what the best part was? It was my children; it was them watching, learning, and absorbing like little sponges as their mother stepped into her power and paved her own path. They are my driving force, my “why”; they’re the reason I will continue to reach higher. As a parent, I have committed myself to being an example for my kids. One that teaches them firsthand what it means and looks like to realize your dreams, claim your power, and live a joy-filled, purpose-driven life. I live in the hope that my example will trickle into their precious minds and become the foundation for them to have the confidence to claim their own greatness without hesitation.
So, I will ask you now:
What are you deciding?
Who are you choosing to be?
Liz Reddick is a #1 Bestselling author, speaker and mindset/ confidence coach. Helping women rise up, go after their dreams and create more abundance in their lives. It’s time to stop playing small! Book a FREE 45 min coaching call with Liz today!