Guest blog post today by Luciana Naldi!
I had an idyllic childhood, in pretty much every way. I grew up in the almond
orchards of California enjoying freedom to run, play and explore any time I wanted to. I
was surrounded by love and laughter and support from both my parents. My mother was
selfless in every sense of the word, as was my grandmother, and great-grandmother both
of who I had the privilege to have in my life well into adulthood. They did everything we
are made to believe good mothers do, and then some. My own mother cooked, cleaned,
drove us everywhere, made my dad’s lunches everyday and put her own career,
ambitions and desires on hold for many, many years and in some ways still does. When I
became a mother, naturally I believed that was the kind of mother I was expected to be so
when I had my second set of twins in 4 years ( yes you read that right), the decision to
quit my job to become a stay at home mom was one that I both felt I had to make and
wanted to make. I wanted to create the idyllic childhood I had had, for my own children. I
honestly didn’t think it would be a struggle or even difficult to be a stay at home mom. (I
know, if you could reach out and slap me, you would) I was that naïve. I had a very
blissful, simplistic view of being a stay at home mom because I had only experienced it
as a child.
Well to say I struggled would be a gross understatement. Even with help from friends and
family I felt overwhelmed. But not for the reasons I had expected. Yes I was physically
tired, and yes I hardly had a chance to shower, eat or sleep but I expected all that having
gone through it with the first set of twins.
What I didn’t expect was the discontent with being labeled a stay at home mom and
feeling like that’s all I was now. I wasn’t expecting to feel as invisible and devalued as I
did when I quit “working” in the professional world and only started “ working” raising
children. I didn’t expect to feel unfulfilled by the daily mom duties that I thought I would
blissfully enjoy. I didn’t expect to feel massive guilt over this realization either. Every
day women would come up to me and say “ I always wanted twins! You are so lucky!” or
“ you are so lucky you get to be a stay at home mom, I don’t have that luxury.” This
made me feel ungrateful, selfish and even more ashamed for not wanting to be with them
in this perceived domestic bliss 24 hours a day.
It took a long time for me to acknowledge, and voice that being a mother
wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do with my life…and feel ok with it.
It took me a long time to actually say that motherhood alone didn’t fulfill
me, that I was more than just a mom… and that was ok also.
It took me along time to give myself permission to write the story of
motherhood that is true, empowering and healthy for me.
I feared what others would think of me and that it meant I didn’t love my children enough
to sacrifice it all for them.
Which just isn’t the truth. I don’t’ believe it has to be either my happiness or my
children’s. I don’t believe I have to be a martyr to be a good mother. I believe I can
choose to write the story of motherhood that is true for how I want to live, love and
parent. I believe making my self care a priority and fulfilling what I need to be my best
self, not only makes me a better human, but a better mother. A more present, patient,
engaged and loving mother and one that can handle the inevitable plot twists life is going
to throw at me with more of a calm manner and a focus on learning and getting better
I just recently started having this conversation with more mothers and have been blown
away at how many feel the same way and are also afraid to verbalize their feelings for
fear of being seen as selfish, not motherly enough, ungrateful. The worst part is that this
judgment is coming from other mothers. Does everyone agree with me? No. And that’s
ok too. They are hopefully doing what’s true for them. My hope is that as women and
mothers we extend each other the courtesy of support before judgement, and cooperation
before criticism. The truth is we all deserve what makes us our best selves. Our best
mothers. Our best women. Our best humans. If you’ve ever felt judged, pressured
or ashamed at what you think you should or shouldn’t be feeling as a
mother, know you’re not alone and it’s ok. You deserve to be happy and healthy
regardless of how many dishes you do, how many meals you cook or what you cross off
on your to-do list.
You don’t need anyone’s permission but your own to create the life you want and live it.
Listen to yourself. Trust yourself, what you need, what you want and what is true for you
and the kind of mother, woman and human you want to be. Then go and live, love and
parent in a way that fulfills every part of who you are. Because you deserve it. And
because your children deserve the best you.
Luciana Naldi is a Self-Care Coach for Mothers. She helps them define health, happiness
and success as a mother, then guides and supports them as they implement self-care
habits that are sustainable and work in their real lives as moms.
To learn more you can visit her website at www.luciananaldi.com, visit her facebook
page at https://www.facebook.com/Lucianamamaonamission/?ref=bookmarks
or visit her facebook group the M.O.M. Squad –
If you would like to email her directly and get more info on what she does and how she
does it while also raising her herd of twins, shoot her an email at