The problem that has no name is the opening chapter in Betty Friedan’s book, “The Feminist Mystique.” She speaks about all of the things that mamas deal with and at the end of the day, still feeling unfulfilled and unhappy without understanding why they are left with a longing for something but can't quite pinpoint what the "it" is.
I think I’ve cracked the code to that problem however, we are plagued with figuring out how to catapult ourselves to get unglued from that state of being, basically how to start the process. Quite frankly, quitting the role of “mom” is not the answer but we can change the way we approach motherhood.
We navigate motherhood like a seven-layer dip. There are so many layers to us and we pile on layer after layer in hopes that this will make us better and more worthy. Consequently, we end up feeling the opposite of the richness we are seeking.
While the 1963 published book has been under scrutiny for some of its imagery of motherhood because it seemed to describe that of the suburban middle and upper-class white married woman, in present-day, we mamas fall into this ideology in some facets of our lives. While some of us may not be suburban mamas, we still experience feelings of emptiness after we have done *all the things. Currently, we have allowed social media to drive how we navigate our journey instead of curating a journey that is tailored specifically to the life we have. Each woman’s journey is so intricately designed and yet we fall for VSCO filters, adding yet another layer to this ambiguous dip.
How can we unmask ourselves and do just as Rachel Hollis suggests and WIPE OUR FACES from all of the added layers we apply to our lives? I think Brene Brown ignited this “How to” with challenging us to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is incredibly difficult but it is also liberating. The act is a truly brave thing to do but yet we chuck up the bravery to be attached to strength, and strength attached to the idea of not being vulnerable. See how that works?
Let’s Unmask The Layers
Rest - Mothers struggle in this department and feel that rest lies in the eyes of the mortal, the lazy people over there, the settled people over here and the area in the back where people are not driven to do better. We have allowed the idea of lack of rest to be the gateway to success and accomplishing all the things. Rest is needed and it can be done in a multitude of ways and bedtime is not the only way. Rest shouldn’t always be scheduled. Rest needs to be spontaneous. Rest is moments of solitude and quietness. They are in place for those times you feel overwhelmed or anxious. Can you imagine waiting until bedtime to relinquish that load? Take a moment and rest.
Reset - Some times we need something EXTRA after we have tried resting (that's what differentiates REST from RESET). Reset means we need to shift things around a bit to fully get the results we feel we desire. Shifting things around means things may get messy and may not look beautiful initially. Don’t worry, the harvest is coming.
Restore - Engaging in restorative activities is how we recharge ourselves. Restorative activities should be scheduled. They should be on your calendar and should be activities that fill you up. Restorative activities are things we look forward to and because of that, it keeps us motivated and keeps the morale HIGH.
So, the problem that has no name is there and will always be for some of us. But we have to make the decision to change those thoughts, and consider the benefits of caring a little more about ourselves and how we elect to live life interwoven in the fabric of motherhood. Peel back those layers and unmask yourself.
If you are feeling unfulfilled even after that promotion, new business, marriage and taking those kids to all of those activities, you have work you need to do within, and it's possible. Change your mindset and prepare to vulnerable, unmask mama, you’ve got this.
*All the things - Everything that women are said to do stereotypically.