In the study of child development we learn the concept of the “imaginary audience” that adolescents feel during their phase of egocentrism. They feel that there are imaginary eyes on them at all times - scrutinizing what they look like, say, and do. I think that this phase returns for women when they have children – all of a sudden we feel the pressure to be a perfect mom ALL THE TIME - even when no one is looking. Not to say we don’t strive for perfection for the good of our kids (good save, huh?) but if we are honest with ourselves our mommy reputation is pretty important to us. For instance, I have no problem if people introduce me as “Cherrell, the most awesomest mom in life….ever”.
So the thought that there are forever present eyes of judgment is understandable but is a myth.
1 – People are not always watching and judging you. When you are alone with your child, he is not judging your parenting skills (although he may be testing them) .
2 – Even if people are always looking, they probably aren’t judging you, they have better things to do – and your kid is probably cute enough to distract them anyway.
The truth is that the only constant eyes of scrutiny are our own. This can lead to problems with anxiety, depression, and self esteem – and consequently, take away from your performance as a mother. So relax – if you didn’t bring an extra pair of underwear for your potty training toddler, or if you gave a cookie after brushing her teeth - you are still an awesome mother. I mean, you didn’t leave her in a burning home or feed him yogurt that has been left out for 6 days – so celebrate your greatness!
The love you have for your children is abundant and shines through how you protect them every day. So forget the imaginary audience and get rid of your own self conviction – your baby loves you for you and wouldn’t trade you for the world!
Our Guest Blogger, Cherrell Thomas, is a professional counselor, licensed by the state of Georgia and certified by the national board of counselors. With over 7 years in the field, Cherrell has experience in multiple areas of mental health. Through her private practice, HELPFUL THERAPY CENTER LLC, she promotes the power of inner resiliency and encourages her clients to define their own "happy". However, she may have met her match in her three year old daughter who is teaching her everyday about life, parenting, and the struggle for sanity.
Follow along as we uncover the myths in a candid conversation, only a Mama can identify.
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