The reality is that being a mom is work – any one who’s a mom would agree with that. And no we don’t have to convince the rest of the world although I so would like to sometimes. I am lying on a couch with my feet up whilst my child is in his extra mural. I’ve planned my son’s party this Sunday – on paper at least and I’m just thinking about the one and a half hours I’ve just spent on the road driving.

No I’m not kidding. From 1215 to 2pm I’ve been driving straight. (ACH an hour and forty-five minutes.) And I’m exhausted and feeling a bit sorry for myself. I know I shouldn’t. Firstly because I’m so lucky that I’m in a lift scheme that gives me Tuesday and Thursday off. Secondly because this is life, you have to do the dog work sometimes.

But this brings me to the topic of being a mom and dog work. Is being a mom dog work? It shouldn’t be. It’s not what I signed up for. I don’t think any mother signs up for dog work and no wife either. We sign up for romance, for love, for cuddly sweet creatures who sleep when we put them to sleep. We don’t get that (the sleeping that is, we must discuss the romance another blog), what we get is real little people to bring up. Little people who need to be clothed, fed and more than that socialised, educated and disciplined.

So we’re sitting (at least I am) in the car on long, long drives to school (apparently in London the drive is a standard forty minutes to school for some people – how do they survive it?) and thinking about all that has to be done. For some of us our hearts are racing as we review all the different chores, things we need to keep up with. That’s me for sure. This year however I’m trying something new. It’s called positive affirmations that I’m learning from a CD by Louise Hay called ‘You Can Heal Your Life Affirmation Kit’. (Stop rolling your eyes. I know this is New Age stuff, but I happen to believe in it because it makes sense. Common sense even. Read on and tell me what you think.)

One of the things I’ve learnt is that we create our world with our thoughts and words. Now we all know this. I know it. We know that God created the world with words and words have a lot of power. Hearing it on this CD drove the point home though. It really emphasises how we create our energy space, our lives with the positive or negative thoughts we have.

Now I’m quite a positive person. But I’m toxic. Not an easy thing to admit. But the more and more I monitor my thoughts the more I see the negative, defeatist thinking that comes with it. Like ‘Mom’s do the dog work.’ Obviously if I think that way I will be doing the dog work. I won’t be delegating, asking for help or doing things I like, because by definition I as a mom should be doing the dog work. Not God forbid enjoying myself, and certainly not sitting with my feet up. (I wonder what the therapist will say when she sees me. ‘Ahum didn’t your mother teach you no feet on the couch?’)

So homework for all mothers everywhere this 2011 – examine your beliefs about being a mother. What do you believe you should be as a mother? How many of these thoughts are positive and build you, bring joy to you and those around you? How many of these beliefs are toxic and are creating wrinkles on your face as we speak??

I wrote my beliefs out and I was surprised at how many damaging unconscious beliefs I had. Amongst them ‘A good mother is ugly’, ‘A good mother puts her kids needs first (and that’s why she’s ugly)’, ‘A good mother is always smiling’.

True or False?

I’d say false, false, false!!! And I refuse to believe these snakes in my head any more. So I’m going to replace them with new beliefs (I know a lot of you already know this jingo from More to Life etc. etc. but humour me.) So instead some healthy thoughts, ‘A good mother is beautiful or at least takes care of herself (hopefully that also translates into feels good about herself)’, ‘A good mother expresses when she’s happy and sad and angry and teaches her children the whole spectrum of human emotions and how to deal with them’, ‘A good mother puts her needs first so she is present for her family.’

Much better, much more powerful and I would argue much healthier.

(Okay I know that a ‘good mother’ is out of style and it’s all about ‘good enough’ mothering. But we can define our own good, our own light, our own way, can’t we?!)

I think it can be a bit scary to sit with a piece of paper and examine your beliefs about mothering. We all carry so much. It’s worth a look though and doesn’t take longer than a cup of coffee. So grab a pen, a coffee or juice if you’re on detox like me (still! I know I’m trying to make a lifestyle change here) and start the journey.