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The devil and our culture have done an excellent job of planting lies in our minds. We believe three big lies about ourselves as mothers and these lies are making us miserable.
Come find out what the three lies are, how you can renounce them in the name of Jesus, and how to pull out those weeds to stop believing those lies.
Sterling shares how free she feels in her vocation of motherhood after finding and eradicating these lies!
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LISTEN TO THE SHOW
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RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THE SHOW
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TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW
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Welcome to episode three of the Made For Greatness podcast. I’m your host Sterling Jay. And today we’re going to be talking about the three big lies of motherhood. And to be honest, this is totally something I just made up, but I discovered it in my prayer life this year and in my journaling exercises and in this deep cry for my heart for wanting to enjoy my life more. And so I just became a detective. I became a thought detective and I was like, why are all these thoughts that I’m having throughout the day? And I really wanted to know why I would look around and see my beautiful life and not feel happier about it. And so when I first heard this idea that your thoughts control your feelings, I was so excited about it. I was so excited because I thought if that’s true and I have control over the thoughts that I think then I could really change the way that I feel, because honestly, I was feeling pretty crummy. I was feeling like I would go to bed and I would think about the next day. And there would just be this kind of sinking feeling in my stomach. Like, Ugh, I don’t want to wake up and do that. And I didn’t want to die. And I still loved my life and I could pop into my rational brain and say, Oh, you’re so blessed. Look at your kids and your home and your husband and all of these things that have happened.
But I still found myself not wanting to live through it. I looked at the day ahead and it just looked like a lot of pain and it didn’t feel like I was living fully alive. It didn’t feel like I was excited or had joy. And it’s not that I expected my day to be, you know, skipping down the street with rainbows behind me, but I hoped that there was more. And so I became a thought detective in my own mind. And then I did this work with my clients and eventually it really shook out to three big lies that I think keep moms from enjoying their vocation right now came. So the three lies are number one, the kid shouldn’t be doing that. Number two, I’m a bad mom. We’re all very familiar with that. And number three, it’ll be better when, and we all have a different one, right when there’s no one in diapers. When we move, when my husband finds a job, when there’s a teenager who can help me with driving, whatever it is, okay, it’ll be better. When, so I’m going to break down these three lies for you. And I’m going to show you the many ways that we are thinking these lies all throughout the day. But before I break them down, let us ask the question. Where did these lies come from?
And there really are two answers. The first one is the devil, right? He hates God. He hates the God made us in his image. He doesn’t want us to have any power. And he delights in breaking up our families because he knows that if he can break up the family, it will be very easy for him to break up Catholicism. If there are no strong families, if we all just withered away, it would be very difficult to continue Catholicism. Now, of course, we know that that isn’t true. Catholicism is timeless and we have the Bible and we know that we win in the end, right? But the devil is still trying very, very hard to do as much damage as possible before that happens.
And one of the ways to do the most damage possible in the world is to crush the hearts of mothers and to make them not enjoy their lives. He wants us to feel trapped. He wants us to feel sad. He wants us to feel like we’re missing out on something, better, something else. He wants us to not have a deep connection with our husbands. He wants to convince us we’re too busy to feel deeply connected to the Lord in our faith lives. And he’s doing a really good job. And the second place that this lie comes from is our culture, right? We live in a postmodern culture in a world that is not Christian. Really the majority of the people that you will meet are not Christians. They do not believe in Jesus. They do not believe in the good news. They think that they should do whatever feels good. That’s their religion of choice. And you can see how they’re getting more and more confused and more and more destructive even to themselves because they have no guide. They have no moral compass. There’s nothing that they can point to. This says, this is the way that I should live. And so, as they’re spinning around, trying to make sense of the world, senselessly with no compass, they’re saying very loudly that there is very little value in the vocation of motherhood. Why would you choose to sacrifice yourself for someone else? I would, you have children and all marriage is outdated.
Of course, you’re not happy who would be happy, stuck at home with a bunch of kids. Didn’t you want more for your life? The culture is so twisted up right now, but they are the majority and they are very loud and they are very sparkly. And it’s a very attractive thing.
I think we have to acknowledge that as moms, right? Instead of saying like, well, I know, and we shouldn’t want that. You know, let’s acknowledge though that it does look kind of great. Sometimes, sometimes the pictures look really fun. Sometimes the vacations look really special.
The world is very shiny. It can seem very seductive and very attractive. And it’s important that when those feelings come up, that we just noticed them instead of adding shame or guilt on top of already feeling this way, just notice. Of course, that looks fun.
Of course, my friend who has no kids and travels all over the world, of course her life looks fun in pictures. I’m sure it is fun. Sure. There are moments that are really fun and exciting. And we’re going to talk more about how we view other people’s lives, but not today. Today. I just want you to know that these lies, that I’m about to break open for you. They come from the devil and they come from the culture. It is completely understandable that they are floating around in your mind.
It is not your fault that they are there. Now, what is our fault is that we grabbed a hold of those lies. We planted them and we’ve been watering them and growing them ever since we’d been nurturing them, like they’re these sweet little baby plants that we want to grow. We do that by believing them over and over and over again. And when I tell them to you, you’re going to realize you say this to you yourself all the time. These lies all the time. And every time you do that, you’re grooving tracks in your brain. You’re watering that little plant and it’s growing and it’s taking over a lot of areas of your life.
So let’s talk about the first one. The kid shouldn’t do that. Hey, and as moms we experiences all day long. When we look at our children and they do something, we think that they shouldn’t do so some easy examples. My three-year-old boy should not hit his brother or steal his toy.
My nine-year-old girl should not give me sass and roll her yyes at me. My seven year old should be not sneak food out of the cabinet. My one-year-old should not burst into tears every time I walk by him and do not pick him up. Okay. Teenagers shouldn’t want to stay in their room all day. We have these ideas okay.
About what kids should and shouldn’t do. Hey, we’re telling ourselves that they shouldn’t do that. Okay. This is what I’m about to say to you is a really tricky thing to understand.
The way I know that they should be doing that is that they did. Okay. And should as a funny word here, because your brain heard me say my nine-year-old should roll her eyes at me. And I don’t mean that in a press, in a future tense, but the fact that she did it means that’s what she should have done in that moment,
Because God allowed it to happen. When we decide that the children shouldn’t be haved, the way that they are currently behaving, what we’re telling God is that we got some that he got something wrong. Listen, Lord Little blaze should not be taking toys from baby. Peter, could you swoop in and fix that, please? He should not be doing that.
But if he did it, it was his job in that moment to do that. So let me explain that a little bit further. The way that children grow cognitively in their brains is pretty specific. And in general, it follows a pattern.
And just like when a baby is learning to walk and they fall down, we’re like, Oh, that’s okay. Let me help you. Let’s try it again. And we have so much love and forgiveness for babies who are learning how to walk, but somehow we lose that love and forgiveness. As soon as our nine-year-old rolls her eyes at us. And we’re like, Oh no, you will not do that in our family. That is disruptive.
Okay. But the truth is, that’s just another developmental stage. She is learning how to be respectful. And her roll her eyes at me is the equivalent of that baby falling. While trying to learn how to walk.
It is her job to test out what being disrespectful looks like, what it feels like. And she’s asking the question, how do my parents respond? When that happens? How does God respond? You know, after the age of reason, the kids can discover that when you sin, God, doesn’t actually like float down and say, listen, I saw that you just lied to your mother. Here’s your consequence, right? Like it’s just this like little niggling voice in our body
That says, Oh, that wasn’t very good. You probably shouldn’t have done that. God gives us so many opportunities to learn what sin feels like. And he hopes so desperately that we will repent of those sins snd learn from them. But if your nine year old rolls, your eyes rolls her eyes at you
And you lose it. And you yell at her, which is exactly what we do, right? We’re like, Oh, that is not okay. You will not speak to your mother like that. You need to go to your room, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we’re so upset about it.
We, in that moment are responding with anger because we have this thought she shouldn’t be doing that. And so we get angry. And so I want to share with you that the antidote to that which has changed absolutely everything in my parenting. And one of the reasons why I now get upset. So infrequently my kids, which is still utterly amazing to me, every time they do something naughty, I immediately think that’s exactly what she should be doing, right? Yeah.
And that is such a calming thought. When you look at your nine-year-old and you think that is exactly what she should be doing right now, because in my mind, I know that a woman who ends up being strong and confident and respectful had to go through the developmental stages of falling down first and rolling her eyes at me is that moment. And so when I look at her and I love her, and I’m confident she’s going to turn out fine. I can say, listen, that is not a respectful way to speak to me. I need you to go to your room for 10 minutes, or I need you to help me out with a chore today, or need you to give me 10 burpees. I love you. And I know that you are a very kind and respectful girl, and you’re just learning how to do that.
What’s amazing about that is now I’m forming this lovely connection with her. She’s seeing that I have a strong boundary because I said, that’s unacceptable. Here’s your consequence. But I did it from love. And in that moment, I’m actually showing her what a woman who treats someone respectfully looks like, because when we use our ugly mommy voice and we shame them and we do it so quickly, ladies, I mean, we don’t even mean to right. And you know it, cause after you’re like, Oh, I wish I could have taken those words back. They were ugly when we do that, we’re just showing them exactly how to be rude and disrespectful. Okay. So let’s pick another example. Let’s pick the three-year-old boy who hits his brother. Okay. In that moment, of course he should do that. He has these big emotions. He doesn’t know how to regulate them yet. Right. And this is version of him falling down, had a big emotion. Didn’t regulate it correctly. And I could have yelled and shamed him and been like, don’t do that. We don’t hit people
But instead if I go, Oh, that’s what three-year-olds do. He’s in that three-year-old, you know, hitting his brother face totally normal. Then I can just respond again with love and a clear boundary. Oh, when you hit your brother, you need to go stand by the door. You need to go spend two minutes in your rim to calm down. We don’t hit people. That is not how we express our frustration. When you are ready to be calm, you may come back into the living room, but I’m showing him how to regulate my own emotions instead of watching him and then losing it because I’ve made up this huge that like, Oh, if my three-year-old hits his brother, he’s going to turn out to be a horrible child. And we’re all doomed forever. And that is where our brain goes.
Okay. So the biggest lie that’s going through our head all throughout the day with regard to our children is my child should not be doing that.
If they do Mama, that was exactly what they needed to do in that moment. And they are creating an opportunity for you to show them how a strong, respectful woman who has very clear boundaries communicates in a difficult situation with love and kindness. That is the kind of mom I want you to be. And let me tell you, when I started becoming that mom, it made me feel so confident. Like I didn’t even think that that was within reach for me. I didn’t even think I could feel like a great mom. And I, I think I saw some wisdom and strength in women like in their fifties and sixties, who had been moms for a long time. And I thought that maybe confidence came with time. But now I realize that for me, confidence came in knowing that I could control my own emotions and respond appropriately, no matter what the kids were doing. And the first step to that was just acknowledging that what they were doing was development mentally appropriate for where they are at. Okay. If you’ve got a teenager who wants to stay in his room until 11:00 AM, guess what? That’s what teenagers,
There’s nothing wrong with him. He’s never going to want to wake up at seven 30 and come have breakfast with the family and be cheery and nice to you. It’s just not in general what teenagers do. Now you can still say I have a, a boundary and a rural rule in my, our family that you have to be up by this time. If you want to eat breakfast and you can communicate that to your teenager with love. But if you shame your teenager for that choice,
He’s what are you showing him about? How we think about people and how we talk about them And talk to them. Teenagers bodies, literally, and biologically need more sleep. It’s why they want to sleep in so much.
What if that was completely fine? Or what if your dis you decided instead like, listen, I know your body is tired, but I’m going to teach you how we show up. Even one more tired. How are we going to show up anyway? And we do things and get things done. That’s what I want to show you about our family. Okay. So that first lie is the kid shouldn’t do that. Now that leads us to
The second lie, which happens so quickly right after the first one. Okay. Three-Year-Old hits his brother, brother starts crying. You think, Oh, he shouldn’t have done that. And then the very next thought is, and the fact that he’s doing that means that I’m a bad mom. Okay. We have the I’m a bad mom thought all throughout the day, just about everything that we, we have that thought and we’re watering it every day. We’re grooving it in. And our brains are really good at efficient thinking. So right now you’re not having any conscious thoughts about breathing or driving or walking when you’re doing those activities. Because the brain’s like, Oh, cool, we’re going to do those things a lot. So I’m just going to delegate that to the lower part of the brain that does things subconsciously, and your brain has already done that with the thought I’m a bad mom, because you did it so many times that one day it was like, Oh cool. This is now something we think so often we’re gonna put that to the subconscious brain. And we’re just going to play that as a soundtrack for you all the time, whether you want to or not. You’re welcome. Right. That’s how often we think that we’re bad moms,
But what does that even mean? And that thought doesn’t serve us at all. It feels so yucky. I want to offer you another thought because this work that I’ve learned being a mindset coach, It’s not like mantras,
Right? So we’re not going to go in front of the mirror and we’re not going to say, you know, I’m a good mom. I’m a good mom. And suddenly believe it. Well, we are going to do is we’re going to choose to think of ourselves the way that God thinks about us. We’re going to ask ourselves if God came down and he sat next to us,
What would he say? And if you struggled with, to know what he would say, I want you to think about a friend that you have, who thinks she’s a mess. And she shows up to your house. And she was like, Oh my goodness, the kids watched so much TV yesterday. And I just, I ordered a pizza. I didn’t even make dinner. And everybody stayed in their jammies and I’m just really struggling right now. What would you say to comfort that mom? You would probably say something like, honey, you’re doing a great job. I know how much you love those kids. And you have created such a wonderful home for them and you are doing the best that you can right now. And I see that. I see how hard you’re working. And of course you’re struggling maybe because you know what life circumstances she has. Right. But we don’t do that for ourselves. We don’t say to ourselves, Oh honey, I see that you just snapped at the kids, but I totally understand how you got there. Right? You didn’t sleep a lot last night.
And money is a little tight right now. And Christmas is right around the corner. And you’re worried about, you know, one of your kids, whatever the story is, we immediately just go, Oh, you’re a terrible mom. And kind of implied in that is, and you always will be
Right. So I want you to find some different thoughts that you can have about yourself. And you can take this to your prayer time and ask the Lord, Lord, what kind of mom do you think I am? One of the things you see that are good about me being a mother,
And you can think about one of your friends and what you would tell her, because almost assuredly, what you would tell her is something that you could tell yourself and later teach you how to go from one really negative thought and work your way all the way up to the positive opposite of that. So instead of thinking, I am a bad mom, I can help you think I’m a great mom. And really, really believe that that’s an advanced comp concept. So we’re not going to talk about it now, but I do this with my weight loss clients, too, where they go from, I have an ugly body and I hate my body. And it’s too hard to jump to. You know, I have a beautiful body. I love my body. And so there’s a lot of baby steps in between right now. Maybe one of the thoughts that you could have is
I’m a mom, let’s take the good or bad out of it. And just say, I’m a mom. I’m becoming a mom who knows what her kids need. And becoming a mom who feels confident in her choices.
Right? Okay. They’re such better thoughts than I’m a bad mom. Let’s try to dig up the root of that lie. Take it to Jesus. And I want you to renounce that with him too. I want you to say in the name of Jesus, I renounce the lie that I am a bad mom and that I believe sometimes it may be, I’m not the right mom for my kids, whatever those lies are in your head, go and renounce them. And that is the equivalent of digging up those plants and throwing them in the trash so that we’re not going to water them anymore. And then you can begin to choose instead, Mom, just that. Okay.
The last lie that I want to tackle is it’ll be better when, and I think we tell ourselves this all the time, I thinking it’ll be better when all of the children are older. And then I met a string of parents who had teenagers, like big families and then teenagers. And they grabbed me. Each of them, it’s like, they told each other to all do this. And they were like, Oh, you should enjoy this time with little kids because it gets so much harder when you have teenagers.
And I was like, what? No, I feel pretty confident than when I don’t have diapers and everyone can feed themselves. And there isn’t five kids crying all throughout the day that my life is going to be a lot better. I was very convinced of that. And then when they said that, it wasn’t, that made me so sad because then I was like, well then what am I even doing? Like, is it just going to be painful for the next 25 years? I mean, that sounds terrible.
And we do that all the time, right? It’ll be better when the kids are out of diapers, it’ll be better. If we had a bigger house, it will be better. If we could just go to marriage counseling and fix these problems, it’ll be better when I’m making more money. When I lose 20 pounds, like whatever the story is. But if we’re constantly living in the story, it’ll be better. When that means that we’re saying it’s not good. Now that means we’re waking up. And we’ve just resigned ourselves to living through this day that we don’t like kind of white knuckling our way through life, waiting for this other thing that’s going to happen. And it will finally be better. Good news ladies. That is so sad. And I know it’s sad because that’s how I was living for years.
And it’s just, It’s not true. Let me tell you something. It is not better there than it is here. Our lives are always the same. We have about the same level of happiness and sadness within our control because our thoughts control our field. We have the same level of feelings available to us. Whether we have a million dollars or a small house, or we struggle with infertility or our husband just left, or we have a great job and just got a promotion, just all of it. And we know this is true because people who are wealthy or famous are not actually happier than people who aren’t. And then we know that people like Mother Teresa, who had no money and slept on the floor a lot of times and wore shoes that were too small for her feet was happy.
So we know that it’s not the circumstances of our lives that make us happy. And so right now I want all of you to make a deal with me and yourselves. We are no longer going to tell ourselves that we will be happier when something else changes. I want us to learn how to be happy in our lives
Right now. And I’m going to be talking about that a lot. And when you’re talking about how to have confidence, I’m going to be talking about how to love even the challenging things, which is just by the way, a huge tenant of our Catholic faith to really lean into redemptive suffering. But I think we kind of get that wrong sometimes. And so today I just want you to hang with me for this episode
And just try to believe what if, what Sterling said is true? What if I am thinking the lies, my kids shouldn’t be doing that. I’m a bad mom. It’ll be better. What would my life look like if I didn’t believe those lies, and then that’s not going to happen overnight, but I’m going to work with you and I’m going to help you. You can reach out to me via our website or on Catholic Mom Social.
Tell me shat you’re struggling with. I can help you find better thoughts.
Because God gave us this life. He made you for such a time as this. He wants you to be the mother of your children right now. He didn’t mess up. He wasn’t distracted that day. He didn’t hope that you were going to make better choices. But like, I guess he’s going to let you keep mothering these kids, because what else is he going to do now? Right? Like that’s not, God is outside of time. He knew every single time you were going to yell at your kids and lose it. And he still thought you were the best person for the job. And not only are you the best mom for your kids, but your kids are the best kids for you. It is a perfect combination for what everyone needs to get to Heaven.
Let’s stop challenging our creator. Let’s stop telling him that he got it wrong and that the kids shouldn’t be going through perfectly appropriate developmental stages. And that we are bad and that we couldn’t possibly be happy now, but maybe we could be happy in the future when something changes. Okay, we’re going to get rid of all of that junk in our brain. We’re going to renounce those lies. We’re going to dig them up. We’re going to say in the name of Jesus, I am sorry that I have been so hard on my teenager and not just loving him for who he is.
In the name of Jesus. I renounce the lie that I am not a good mother. I’m sorry that I doubted you Lord. And the name of Jesus. I renounce the lie that I can not be happy in my life right now. Take those to prayer. Maybe one each day over three days and spend some time with the Lord, an ugly cry. If you need to and tell him that, you’re sorry. But the wonderful thing about the Lord is that his mercy is endless and he is waiting with love and anticipation for you to come and repent. He loves you so much in that moment when you do that and he longs to be close to you. And when you do that, you’re going to free up a significant amount of space in your brain to hear what he wants you to do with your life. And we’re going to talk a lot about discerning God’s will for your life and feeling really confident about that.
All right, mamas, thank you so much for listening to the main for greatness podcast. I love sharing these tools with you. Take them into your life this week and really live them out. And remember mama, you were made for God.