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Baggage & Motherhood

We all have envisioned what it would be like to become a mother. Some of us may have had idealistic hopes while others may have had more realistic expectations. No matter what your hope for what motherhood would look like, it’s probably safe to say that your reality is different than you had thought it would be.

One of the many, many challenges of being a mom is that we all carry with us our past experiences, what is often known as our “baggage”. Our past shapes who we are and how we think about things. This nature and nurture interplay has molded us, and (sometimes unfortunately) has an impact on our parenting. And then, sometimes life hands us new baggage along the way, as if we didn’t already have a million things in our amazing juggling mom hands.

Our stories are all different. And we find different ways to cope. But there is the underlying truth for all of us no matter the story, we are impacted and so is our role as Mom.

We had a happy childhood, a rough childhood — maybe one we’d like to forget. We’ve gone through medical challenges, overcome obstacles, seen relational struggles and successes. We have suffered abuses. We have fought mental health battles. We have grieved losses. We have been through a divorce or we experienced one as a child. We have partners that we try support who have been through any or all of the above, while we continue to work on ourselves.

It’s incredibly hard to channel your inner peaceful parent self when you are juggling not only the external world of work, raising children, maintaining a household, sustaining your marriage, but also the internal world of your inner voice, ingrained habits, core beliefs, and life story. 

Carrying all your own “stuff” all the time can make it very hard to manage motherhood.

How do you get yourself out of bed to care for your children when you have depression and the very thought of moving not one but two legs off the bed to touch the floor with your feet sounds like too much to bear?

How do you keep your child on a healthy schedule and routine when you have ADHD and find yourself distracted, half-completing tasks?

How do you continue to parent your children when you lost a child?

Introducing a motherhood series, Baggage & Motherhood. The last Thursday of each month, a brave mama will share her story of her experiences and how they impact her role as “Mom”. All of these posts touch on the real life struggles of bringing your “stuff” with you to your most important job, motherhood. 

Here is an idea of what posts in the series will be about:

  • surviving abuse
  • being a child of divorce
  • having mentally ill parents
  • having ADHD
  • parenting through depression and anxiety
  • parenting through cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival

As a reader, let me know, what baggage do you bring with you into your motherhood journey? What topics would you like to see in this series?

Click to see posts in the series!

If you are a mama and would like to contribute to this series, please email me, Christina, with what topic you would like to write about.

I hope you all find this series helpful and relatable. We all struggle, and we all need each other.

After all… this is real life, mama, and it ain’t easy.

Christina Furnival

Christina is a mom to two wild and wonderful kiddos, a licensed psychotherapist (LPCC), the founder of her website and therapeutic motherhood blog Real Life Mama, and a children's book author of a social/emotional wellbeing series, Capable Kiddos! She and her Scottish husband are raising their family in San Diego, where they love to hike, play soccer, cook, walk around the lake, and go to the beach.

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