It seems that every time Jada Pinkett-Smith says something about life and motherhood, it's something mindblowing.
In the video below, Jada's daughter, Willow, asks her mother, “How hard is it being a wife and a mother?”
If you ask most mothers this question, you'd probably get an overwhelmed or exasperated look, a long thoughtful sigh and perhaps a “freaking hard!”
It can be difficult putting an epic, emotional journey into words. But Jada totally nails it, so the rest of us don't have to feel lost for words anymore.
How Hard Is It To Be A Wife And A Mother?
Jada begins her answer by sharing that being a mother and a wife is the most extraordinary and fullfilling experience. But it's also very difficult being able to balance doing the things she wants to do and having the freedoms she wants to have, while having important responsibilities with her children and their father.
It's a constant thing, every single day, trying to figure out balance. Helping your kids to fulfil their dreams (which often change) and supporting your partner's dreams, while figuring out your own dreams as a woman.
As a mother and wife, you're so busy caring for others, it's easy to forget your own dreams, desires and needs.
It's also easy to forget that you're an individual, unique, powerful woman, with the ability to achieve, be and do anything you dream of.
This is why the very key to balancing being a mother and wife is to take care of yourself, first and foremost.
If you don't, you risk losing balance. The more you give to others and the more you sacrifice without giving to yourself, the more out of balance and out of control your life can feel.
As Jada points out, one of the biggest parenting myths we need to stomp out is that you need to sacrifice everything as a mother.
You don't have to be, do and give everything. We all have a unique blueprint of how life looks and how things should be, which we've learnt as we grew up – in unique environments. We shouldn't impose our blueprint onto anyone nor allow anyone to impose what isn't true and authentic for us.
Sacrifice and ignoring your heart's desires is asking for out of balance chaos. Set your boundaries, and if you don't know how to, tap into what feels good, what feels bad and when you really want to say no. Brene Brown‘s work is a must if you need more help in this area.
Setting boundaries – especially with your kids – is a way of saying “I love you” because it teaches them that people aren't pushovers. We have boundaries as human beings and they are to be respected. It's not being offensive, it's being loving. To you, and others.
If you model firm, loving boundaries to your children, they will learn to set healthy boundaries in return.
Oh – and there's a big difference between having firm, loving boundaries and having firm boundaries while dishing them out like an asshat.
You HAVE To Take Care Of Yourself If You Want To Care For Others
Jada says that you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others at the capacity that we do as mothers and wives. It takes so much energy and work, so we have to be responsible enough to take care of us.
Another consequence of not taking care of ourselves and having balance is we start to make others responsible for our happiness. “I did X for you” or “I sacrificed/went through X for you” or “You made me do/feel X”… then relationships with your children and partner become out of balance.
We have so much power to bring happiness into our own lives and it starts with us caring for ourselves.
Jada finishes Willow's question by suggesting that there's lots of unhappiness amongst mothers due to wrong messages we're getting and giving to mothers. For example, “You're that child's mother, you should be doing X for them, not THAT.”
Says who? Usually someone who feels insecure or sensitive about how they're doing it too. Deep down we all want to be the best mothers possible. Some of us have mother wounds, due to how we were mothered. This can impact our parenting and our confidence.
Perhaps there is so much mother guilt, judgement and increased depression and anxiety, because too many of us have yet to find that balance. Balance begins with making a decision to put yourself first and allowing the happiness you then create, to overflow to all of those around you.
You have a right to be happy… but will you allow it? Choose you, today, and unleash the flood of happiness you'll find from within. You and your whole family will stand to benefit.
Recommended Reading: If you have a mother wound (and therefore have trouble with self love, giving too much, feeling like you're not enough etc.) then this book is utterly life changing – Will I Ever Be Good Enough?