Here’s a really familiar story.
Last week, a dear mom with the best intentions sent me an email.
She was tired. So tired.
She needed a B-R-E-A-K. She needs a vacation, she said.
Just one week away.
I could feel the desperation in her voice through the email.
I know because I’ve been there — many times. I created my own survival skills while I was an exhausted and tired working mom and I’ve been coaching women on those skills ever since.
Long hours alone with children can wreak havoc on our minds, our bodies and our souls.
We start to grow bitter and angry. This leads to lashing out. Yelling.
In my coaching work, I call this the Land of Bitter and Sour and it affects so many women.
Do you relate to that phrase? I talk a lot about this place that so many women find themselves in as they are busy raising little children and feeling stuck and lost and filled with doubt of the life they’ve chosen, whether they work and wish they didn’t or don’t and wish they did. Or whether they just feel like they have to put everything on hold that makes them feel happy.
What is the Land of Bitter and Sour?
It looks a lot like this:
- Waking up late and filled with dread.
- Walking around angry.
- Yelling and snapping a lot.
- Feeling resentful of what other people have and do.
- Extremely tired and lacking motivation.
- Dreaming of quitting it all.
- Feeling hard and inflexible about everything.
- Saying no to almost everything.
So this particular mama asked me what advice I can give her since she just really needs that desperate break she’s longing for in her life.
I cannot give her any flight tickets or keys to a room of her own. I cannot give her a fast car to escape in no more than I can give that to myself.
But what I can tell her is this:
- You’re tired because you’re so busy trying to create the perfect life … that you forgot you already have one.
- You will get that break you need as soon as you start releasing some of those high expectations you have on what happiness really means.
- You’re tired because you’re filling up your calendar with activities, to-dos that are really based on a life you want to have rather than the one you already have right now.
- You’re tired because you’re consumed by the fear of imperfection — both your child’s and your own — and it’s keeping you captive.
- You’re tired because you’re numbing out on social media instead of turning inward and asking yourself what you really need right now.
Being in the Land of Bitter and Sour is normal in various seasons of our lives. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad for it. Just own it and move through it.
The great thing is that it’s never too late to stop all this perfection-chasing.
You are in control of your life and your JOY.
You hold all the secrets within you to release all of those shoulds and coulds that consume your everyday.
You have the power to mother yourself the way you need to be mothered. You have joy inside of you and you can unearth it and claim it and expand it.
The joys of motherhood do far outweigh the sorrows. It’s easy to forget that when you get stuck in the Land of Bitter and Sour, though.