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Struggling Mama




Mom's Letter


Hi Krissy!!

I am so happy and relieved that I have found a mom that looks like me who teaches how to not only be a better parent but do so without the traumas of toxic generational curses.



I say struggle because that’s precisely what it is for me. I want so deeply to be this easy-going mommy who gives choices, options, enlightenment, the courage to be strong, free, independent and secure in himself but every leap and bound and hurdle I get past, there’s still another coming head-on with a caution sign on it saying “this is how your mom handled it so do better” but still I often react before I have a chance to correct myself and then I’m in a whirlwind of emotions.


As my son gets older, it gets more challenging. He is 2.5 and extremely smart, strong-willed, and very independent. He knows what he wants and wants it right then, his way, and wants it without any contest. I find it so difficult to be able to teach and parent while not simultaneously breaking him down.


I’ve tried distractions, eye-level talking, time ins, time outs, taking favorite toys, behavior charts, affections, ignoring tantrums, quiet place, bribery, negotiating but I still am not getting anywhere. I find myself getting so frustrated and crying because I feel I’m not only failing as a mom but failing him. It almost seems that I’m just not made out to be a mom and it deeply hurts me.

I know this age is a very trying one and they like to test their limits but how do I manage and navigate through this? I get so depressed, embarrassed, and (dare I say it) jealous of other moms who “have it all together”. It makes me question myself and I wonder how and why is it that I can’t seem to get on the same accord with my child? What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? How do I fix it?

I’m sorry this is so long but I admire you and your parenting skills and objectives so much and hope that through your teachings I may be this better mom I aspire to be.

Thank you for reading!


Krissy's Response


Mama: Hi Krissy!!

Krissy: Hey Mama!

Mama: I am so happy and relieved that I have found a mom that looks like me who teaches how to not only be a better parent but to do so without the traumas of toxic generational curses.

Krissy: I am so glad we are able to connect. It is nice to see someone who looks like you helping you navigate life’s transformational journey. I am so grateful that we are on this path together.

Mama: I’m a product of a toxic parenting relationship and I struggle every day in trying to heal from it while still trying to be a better mom to my son. I say struggle because that’s precisely what it is for me. I want so deeply to be this easy-going mommy who gives choices, options, enlightenment, the courage to be strong, free, independent and secure in himself but every leap and bound and hurdle I get past, there’s still another coming head-on with a caution sign on it saying “this is how your mom handled it so do better” but still I often react before I have a chance to correct myself and then I’m in a whirlwind of emotions.

Krissy: I hear you so very loud and clear. You and so many moms are saying this same exact thing. You are not struggling alone. Let me tell you, we all want to be that easy going mama that gives choices and says the right things at the right time. We want to show up full and ready to pour into our children ever so gracefully. The reality is, that is not always the truth. You are a whole full human being living this experience while you parent. That means that things are going to happen that make you feel guilt, shame, doubtful, hopeless, distrustful, question yourself, etc. These feelings are not exclusive to you, they are shared by all moms, even those that seem to have it all together. How you show up is what is important. So that means that you have to have a process by which you unpack the hard moments with your child. You have to extend yourself so much grace and in turn, you will be able to extend that same grace to him. What your mom did is done, it’s over and it is not coming back to hurt you. You cannot live your life backward trying to protect your son from your mom. You are your own whole person and he needs you. I don’t know what that healing journey will look like for you but I want you to know that you can have both at the same time. You can heal from your upbringing while raising your son mindfully. It won’t be perfect but again, that's to be expected. Our children don’t need us to be perfect. They need us to show them what navigating life through these challenges looks like. Your son gets to see mommy heal and grow and shift. He gets to hear you apologize to him when you make a mistake. He gets to see you come up with solutions to that mistake and work at it. He gets to see you learn how to better self-regulate. He gets to know what it's like to have a mom that cares so deeply for him that she is willing to crack herself open, dive deep into the dark spaces, learn the tools of healing and show up as capable as you can. Which, by the way, will get easier and easier as you continue the process. Resilience is a whole practice. That is what your little boy gets. That is the gift that you are giving him and GIRLLLL, it is priceless. One day when he is facing something hard he will know what to do because his mama lived this. That's your work. So keep being brave. Keep showing up. You are exactly the mama he needs.

Mama: As my son gets older, it gets more challenging. He is 2.5 and extremely smart, strong-willed, and very independent. He knows what he wants and wants it right then, his way, and wants it without any contest. I find it so difficult to be able to teach and parent while not simultaneously breaking him down.

Krissy: Here is where you can rest. Your son is doing everything that he is supposed to do at his age. Every demand, his strong-will, his desire for independence means that cognitively he is killing the game. So when he presents you with these challenges it is your opportunity to be his confident, capable leader. REIMAGINE your role in those moments. What does it look like to you be a support to him? What does he need from you? What will build him up and make you both feel good? That is not to say it will always feel good but disappointment is not a bad thing and you can even affirm him through his disappointment. “You are so upset because you were not ready to leave the park, you were having so much fun with your friends. I get upset sometimes too. It's a hard feeling. I’m sorry that you are sad.” The “breaking him down” part comes when we feel the need to lecture, shame and blame. Or when we feel the need to make their big feelings more comfortable for us by making them stop or “use their words”. Us doing those things is of no benefit. When we empathize we build a deeper connection that will be supportive in the future when you face the next hard moment.

Mama: I’ve tried distractions, eye-level talking, time ins, time outs, taking favorite toys, behavior charts, affections, ignoring tantrums, quiet place, bribery, negotiating but I still am not getting anywhere. I find myself getting so frustrated and crying because I feel I’m not only failing as a mom but failing him. It almost seems that I’m just not made out to be a mom and it deeply hurts me.

Krissy: Connection before correction is a popular phrase in the mindful parenting community. Use your imagination to visualize and RECREATE your interactions with your son. What do you want them to feel like? How do you picture yourself responding? Are your responses in line with where he is developmentally? Can you adjust your expectations? Do you need time to sit and visualize your calm, confident responses to him? It sounds like a lot of resistance is being shared between you and your son. Resistance because you are trying to teach him and he is trying to teach you. You both have so much to learn from each other. That learning that you both will do takes time, practice, patience, trust, mutual respect, and connection. You have to learn a new rhythm with each other. Unfortunately, this journey is not all up, up, up. However, the more consistent you are with positive discipline practices, and your own healing process, there will be less “downs” and you will recover faster. He is only in this phase for a time period. He will change as it becomes age appropriate. Replace your fear that you need to break bad habits with confidence that your response to his behavior is building a stronger foundation and deeper connection for the future with him.

Mom: I know this age is a very trying one and they like to test their limits but how do I manage and navigate through this? I get so depressed, embarrassed, and (dare I say it) jealous of other moms who “have it all together”. It makes me question myself and I wonder how and why is it that I can’t seem to get on the same accord with my child? What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? How do I fix it?

Krissy: You fix it by working towards accepting yourself, we are all trying. There is no such thing as a parenting expert and there is no perfect parent. What is so perfect about that is that we get to teach our children how to be human and how to thrive in this world. We get to accept them in their imperfections as we accept ourselves. Forgive yourself, cultivate hope, be compassionate with yourself. How? By showing up, by trying, by digging in instead of numbing out when you feel depressed, embarrassed or jealous. For me, digging in looks like yoga, journaling, identifying what I’m feeling but not over-identifying with the feeling. So mama, dig in and REBUILD.

Mom: I’m sorry this is so long but I admire you and your parenting skills and objectives so much and hope that through your teachings I may be this better mom I aspire to be.

Krissy: You are already enough. You are already worthy. Your son STILL thinks so and he STILL needs you. You are wrestling and I am so very happy for you and proud of you. Not everyone gets the gift of wrestling with themselves to become more of who they were before life imprinted on them. You are brave and you are capable. Don’t forget that! Keep showing up!


Love, Krissy


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