The Stepford Trap

sometimes looking perfect on the outside can feel pretty icky on the inside...

What is this trap you say? Well, let me be candid and reveal some golden nuggets as a result of my work in both my professional capacity as a psychotherapist, and in my personal developmental journey as a first-time mother.

The Stepford trap is very much like the movie "Stepford Wives" with a little twist. It is concerning motherhood. It is the fantasy that is created in our mind regarding how motherhood needs to look like. It is essentially an

externalized view of what being a mom "should" look like.

This trap will leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and running on empty. Not to mention quite resentful of never being able to measure up to how you thought you will be as a mom.

There is a couple of factors at play here, so I thought to highlight the ones that seem important to me.

I. Focusing on how motherhood looks like rather than how it feels like.

AKA Consumerism and Patriarchy

As mothers, we get bombarded with opinions and images of how we need to act, dress, feel, and do daily.

Instagram shows us what kind of products will help our infants "sleep through the night" and what kind of toys to buy to "make your baby hit developmental milestones early"

Patriarchal society equates housework and motherhood as one. Equates value and productivity as one.

When you disconnect from the constant stream of targeted marketing and patriarchal messaging, you'll be able to connect and attune to your little ones needs without the background chatter of "this is what you need to buy and do in order to be seen as a good mom"

Focus on what feels good in your body. This is what you need to follow when you are parenting. The body will never lie, the heart will always guide you.

Breathe that in.

II. The pain of unmet needs

Not all our needs are met as children. Some have experienced more pain than others in their childhoods. Some have experienced trauma.

The wounded inner child can "wake up and demand attention" when you become a parent. Having a child can trigger something so visceral inside you.

The wounded adult will attempt to meet those unmet needs through their own children. Giving too much when too little was given. Overprotecting when the wounded child felt unsafe.

Attempting to be "the perfect parent" you never had to your own child will take away from being present and attuned to your child's own needs. They might not need what you are over giving them. Therefore, parenting your own inner child can be such powerful work. It gives you the power to see what is yours to be healed without it getting muddled and projected onto your child.

It allows your child to grow up without ancestral baggage. It allows them to be free.

This is the time to do the work in order to let go of how you thought motherhood will be and instead be present to how it really is. Letting go of control and allowing yourself to exist in this complex role of being a mama.