Did your family project an image to the world that was completely counter to what went on at home?
If so, you’re NOT alone!
To friends & acquaintances Mary’s family was “perfect”. Her Dad was charming & her mom was well liked. They’d show up to church well dressed & well mannered- heck her father even participated in the services. They were revered.
But, what happened at home was entirely different. There was manipulation, verbal abuse, & shame.
In a private coaching session, we unpacked why Mary felt so stressed every December.
She shared that it was utterly disorienting as a young girl to hear what others said about her family, but live her actual experience. Every Christmas there would be a huge fight before noon & yet they’d still be expected show up as the “perfect” family. And as the only girl she was thrust into the role of confidant, peacemaker, mediator, hostess, and shining star.
Was it any wonder that as an adult she would dread having her family for the holidays? Mary felt like she had to host her parents & siblings (+ spouses) for days since they traveled to her. We discovered that underneath it all was the driving belief that "it’s the holidays & they are her family", which left her no choice...or so she thought.
Had she ever asked herself how she wanted to experience the holidays? She was operating out of obligation & expectation with no consideration to what was best for her AND ultimately her husband & children.
Most women don’t realize that they have choices. You DO! You don’t have to do anything! A belief is just a thought you’ve had over & over-it doesn’t make it true! Despite what your mom or grandma think.
Mary significantly limited the amount of time with her extended family. She also stopped serving everyone hand & foot. This made a HUGE difference in her enjoyment...AND it allowed her husband & children to be a with a much happier, relaxed version of her which was a win all the way around!
Mary's experience may look nothing like yours. But, I invite you to ask yourself...where are you operating from have to or should?
What could be different if you considered what you want?
No one is suggesting that you abandon your family. Instead, just give your wants & needs at least as much consideration as you do everyone else.