How to be a successful mother

Updated: Jul 2

What is a successful mother?

And, does anyone actually have this motherhood thing under wraps?

Ever had these thoughts?

Of course, as with any version of "success" in life, everyone has a different definition.

What would "look" and "feel" successful to me, is different for you, no doubt. However, there are some core principles to being an epic mama, that are outlined further below.

Firstly, though, why do we even care about what defines a "successful mama"?

Well, we care, because there's an entire cohort of mamas whose mental wellbeing and sense of life satisfaction depends on them frequently feeling a sense of progress, achievement and success.

So.. we have all these high achieving, go getter women, that become mums, and in that transition to being "mum", there can be this cataclysmic sense of loss of "success" and "achievement".

You see, there's no KPIs, clear milestones of achievement, feedback reports, awards, a boss or client to give you feedback, acknowledgement, appreciation and a sense of progress. Early motherhood can be a never ending groundhog day of feed, play, feed, nappy, feed, another nappy, feed, attempt tummy time, feed, oh look at that baby fell asleep on the boob, scroll phone while baby sleeps on the boob, attempt to eat some food and do some laundry, feed, then oh look at that the sun is setting it's almost time for bed, feed, attempt to sleep, feed, attempt to sleep... oh hey the sun is up, another day here we go.... and around we go. On loop, indefinitely, with much flailing and crying in the mix (from both mama & baby).

On that treadmill of life existence... a once high achieving woman can begin to feel like a big fat failure.

All the certainty of tasks to perform with a clear outcome, are gone.

All that sense of smashing through the to-do-list, allll that control of it just being you & your laptop or computer... of being able to go to the toilet whenever you want (gasp! the luxury!), alllll the serenity intermixed with feelings of progress & growth... gone. Constant, boobin, barely sleeping, lots of poo, self-doubt, worrying if you're doing a good job as a mama & crying & confusion, is left in its place.

Also, throw in lots of hanging out with other new mamas who also have a million feelings of confusion, questions, and conflicting opinions to add to the mix too. Your mind can come home from a mama meetup filled with wayyyyy more confusion and self-doubt than beforehand.

And, so, in the midst of all this chaos, a once high achiever can seriously begin to lose their sense of achievement and with that, their sense of identity (yes, yes, I am indeed speaking from experience :) )

For some of us, the way we're wired, is that we LOVE feeling a sense of "achievement", "progress", "accomplishment", "being smart", "mastery", "certainty" and "success" out of everything we do.

Is that you?

Do you also identify as someone who likes to "succeed at everything you set your mind to"?

For "conscious" mamas, early motherhood can be especially hard.

You see, when people choose to parent only from their ego and for short term gratification, they will be able to feel "achievement" in parenting. They will turn to routines, sleep training, control, punishment, power, dominance etc and will find alllllll the feelings they want out of subjecting their child to their egos demands. For them, early parenthood will feel like "the best years of my life"... ah yesss... finally a source of unbridled power over something that can't fend for itself or push back or resist. There will be an all powerful feeling of complete dominance and control over another entity. For people who parent purely from their ego and fear, early childhood can feel quite delightful... it's only when their children reach the teenage or young adulthood years, and begin to want to take some personal control away from the parent and to claim their sovereignty and right to be an autonomous human with personal wants and desires beyond meeting their parents needs, that the wheels will begin to fall off.

But, for intentional, conscious mamas, who are committed to meeting their child's needs in the early years... their ego will suddenly be starved.

(For conscious parents, though, remember this:

the hard road gets easier, and the easy road gets harder.

Conscious parenting is harder up front in the early years, then easier in the long term.

Whereas ego parenting is easier in the short term, and harder in the long term.

Conscious parenting is a lesson in delayed gratification.

It is sowing seeds... aka neural networks... that will blossom in future).

Right... back to why we even care about what is a "successful mama"...

The reason we need to define a version so what is a "successful mum", is so that we can carve out some sense of "achieving" something and feel some level of "control" amongst the chaos that is parenting in a "conscious" way...

so that we can hack the situation to ensure our ego needs are still be honoured, in a way that respects and meets our children's needs too.

You see, if we don't own and feed our needs in empowering ways, the ego will tear down our life and try to get our deepest needs met in whatever way it can... often in exceptionally destructive ways.

So, what can we do?

  • How can we get our needs met, keep our ego at bay, so that we can meet both our child's needs and our own?

  • How can we make the relationship with our child one of conscious connection, rather than a power struggle of dominance/submission that will fall apart when our child gets older?

  • And how can we get a feeling of personal achievement while doing this? that end, here's 3 keys to being a "successful mama":

1. Decide on your long term parenting goal: what are you trying to create & why?

  • i.e. is the goal perhaps creating secure attachment for your child now, so that they will have a strong self-esteem, which will allow them to have the confidence to not self-abandon & succumb to unhealthy peer pressure as a teenager?

2. Uncover how your ego needs are getting a huge feed in the long term

(this is super powerful as it wires up an important success principle: delayed gratification) through meeting your child's now needs?

  • i.e. how is holding space for their tantrums now giving you significantly more "control" in the future, for example, when they feel they can bring their big emotions & problems to you as a teenager... how will that give you control?

  • The idea is to realise how not "eating 1 marshmallow now" (1 marshmallow is code for seeking control, routine & total dominance over their life now), will give you "2 way bigger, juicer marshmallows" in the future (2 marshmallows is code for wayyyyy more control in their teenage years when they are open, trusting and connected with you).

  • The key is to convince every cell inside your body that the actions you're taking today are giving you a farrrrr greater sense of meeting your needs (e.g. control) in the future

  • NOTE: some people espouse "shattering" your ego and sell some fantasy where we can get rid of the ego and become this "pure awakened human". I don't subscribe to that belief set.... instead, I believe in welcoming your ego in for a cup of tea or coffee, getting to know it, then figuring out how to 2 of you can get along and work together as a team... after all, the ego is part of you, might as well learn to love it rather than attempt to fragment yourself and try to be wholly pure instead of embracing your shadow.

  • Your ego can become your most powerful ally, if you know how to work with it...

  • I've truly seen this "shadow work" create mind-blowing magic in the lives of my clients.

  • The funniest part is... those that teach you to get rid of your ego, are in fact feeding their ego (their need to feel smart, significant, powerful, superior, more pure/conscious/awakened than other mere mortals etc) THROUGH teaching you to get shatter of your ego hehe humans are indeed funny... Such people teach that they know how to shatter the ego to "transcend" the human experience and you can too... Look, if that's not one big fat feeding of feeling "superior" and pumping up ones ego, then what else is ;) Which is cool, no worries... we all have the need to feel a level of superiority, only some openly admit it, though. But, to believe that you've transcended the ego and are spending your days telling others that they can too... well, that's an unconscious way of feeding the ego, while believing that you aren't. It's not the most efficient, smart or empowering way to feed the ego, either.

  • Instead, you could, with full awareness, consciously choose how to have your ego work for you and use it to rocket fuel your goals and empowerment.

  • I personally think that making friends with your ego, and putting it to work for you, instead of having it unconsciously dominate your life and spray out chaotically at others, is a boss move. Highly recommend ;)

3. Spend time every single day on things that light your soul on fire, that give you energy and that put you in flow state. I.e. prioritise alignment.

  • The greatest gift you can give your child is the freedom to be who & what they truly are... to love & accept themselves. The most effective way to give this gift to your child, is through embodying that result and being a role model for cultivating that result.

  • So - finding a way to incorporate things that give you your favourite feelings every single day is key.

  • Yes, you might be stuck breastfeeding etc... but, instead of scrolling facebook in a way that doesn't satisfy you, could you be taking a course on your phone, building a business, writing a blog, learning something cool about parenting or psychology or another topic you value?

  • How can you ensure that every single day, you take some time to feel a personal sense of progress, achievement & success?

  • One cool hack, to feel a sense of achievement, is to give yourself 4 "must-do" habits to tick-off a "to-do list" every single day.

  • Choose 4 things, that if done daily, are likely to guarantee that you create some version of "success" over time (as discussed in the book "The Slight Edge" by Jeff Olson). The concept is, that if you do those 4 things each day, you'll know you've been successful at your personal to-do list today AND that you are creating future success too... which allows you to feel that desired feeling of "success" and "achievement", all while also being a mama.

So, in summary, what makes a successful mama?

It's a mama who:

  1. takes the time to understand what her needs are,

  2. shifts her mindset to uncover how her current situation is in fact meeting her needs,

  3. ensures her needs are getting met in a way that is mutually meeting her child's short and long-term needs (win:win, baby)

  4. dedicates at least 30mins per day to an activity guaranteed to give her a much needed feeling of personal achievement and progress, and

  5. thinks long term & big picture (is connected to how what she is doing today, is creating long-term outcomes that she wants).

Need some help to understand yourself, uncover your needs, learn to love your shadow/ego and get it working for you, map out your future desired outcomes and what 4 daily habits would create that future, and to rewire your mindset to perceive that you're getting all your favourite feelings in your current circumstances... so that you can learn to "dance in the rain" instead of waiting for the storm to pass?

Jump on a free 1on1 Calmer Mama Consultation phone call with me.

Book your place here.

With care,

Elise Peck

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