Episode 59

Women talk about glass ceilings in the corporate space, but for those who experienced childhood trauma, there’s another kind.

The ceiling that says what your mother was like is all you’ll ever be as a mom.

If your mom was awesome, you may be happy to be half the mother she was.

But if your experience with your mom growing up was far from pleasant, are you satisfied with hitting your head against the ceiling of her limits?

Or are you up for breaking through? Let’s talk about it.

The motherhood Unmasked podcast with Vanessa A. Harris Episode 59 Take the Limits Off!

Subscribe to Motherhood Unmasked: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeart Radio


Take the Limits Off!


When you believe all you have is all there is, you settle for less than what’s available to you. In this episode, I’m talking about why your mother’s limitation is not your limit.

If unresolved childhood trauma is complicating your motherhood journey—this podcast is for you.


But before we get into today’s episode, I want to make sure you know about some opportunities available to you.

If you’d like to get to know me and what life’s like behind the mic, along with access to fun and practical resources designed to help you win, then click the connect with me tab on motherhoodunmasked.com to sign up for my twice monthly email.

And if spend time on YouTube, I invite you to subscribe to my Got a Minute to Pray Channel. Prayer gets a bad rap because of people who like to overcomplicate things.

Prayer is conversation with God and on the channel I lead you in a short prayer once a week based on a Bible verse, while stunning visuals play in the background.

There’s no stronger way to start your week than in prayer. So join me and subscribe to Got A Minute to Pray on YouTube.

And without further ado, let’s get into today’s topic.


I remember hating my mother. Not because that’s what teen girls do, but because she treated me with contempt.

I couldn’t figure out what I did to cause that.

The answer is nothing. Nothing I did deserved that treatment.

I know that now, but as a kid I didn’t know what to make of behavior that looked and felt like intentional cruelty. Like it was her mission in life to show me hostility.

It took the love of Jesus and the analytical nature he gave me to look beyond my wounds to wonder how my mom got that way.


Something or things she experienced, whether at the hand of others or the consequences of her own actions, shaped her into the woman I experienced.

She wasn’t that way in response to me. She behaved like that based on the limited view she had of herself.

And what I realized is she was limited before I was born.


Limited in her ability to function as a nurturer, in her capacity to love me sacrificially, and in her ability to acknowledge the beliefs that kept her from doing so.

Giving of yourself from a place of self-awareness is challenging for a mother with any number of children, but especially a mom who’s broken and won’t deal with why.

By the time I became a teen, it was easier to assume my mom was wicked, but a woman showing contempt for the child she birthed indicates the contempt she has for herself.

Loving others as yourself is a messy business when loving yourself trips you up.

Unfortunately for me, it meant she didn’t give me the investment, love and nurture every child deserves. But it makes all the difference to understand it wasn’t about me, that I walked into her issue—a mess already in progress.


And while I now have compassion for a journey, I still don’t know the details of, I’ve decided her limits don’t have to be my ceiling.

It would be easy to stay in self pity and believe all she gave me is all there is and, therefore, all I can give my own children.

That what I missed out on as a child ruined me forever—leaving me without hope to rise above it.

But limited thinking requires your cooperation.

As important as parents and other authority figures are in modeling what’s possible for you, they are not perfect and they don’t have the final say.

And if you caught what I just said, that should free you as a mom, knowing that your failures aren’t final when it comes to your kids.

But you couldn’t believe to be more than what you were exposed to as a child just trying to survive, much less process the trauma you went through.

But you can choose to take the limits off today.


It’s freeing to embrace the truth that the person who hurt you was likely messed up before you came along. Wounding you was part of the collateral damage.

But you don’t have to make their issue your identity.

You were at their mercy as a child, but you have power now you didn’t have then. You can respond to the hurt based on the person you want to become as your goal and the Holy Spirit as your guide.

He’s able to take you far beyond the best you can think or imagine for yourself.

He may lead you to enlist the help of a trusted counselor, but change starts with a choice—your choice to take the limits off who you can be, despite what happened to you.


And it all starts with renewing your mind, changing the tape that’s played in your mind for years. You need new information for the new identity.

Surround yourself with people headed in the direction you want to go.

There are parenting classes where you can learn the skills your mom didn’t. You can join mom groups where you surround yourself with other moms doing the challenging yet satisfying work of motherhood but without all the trauma baggage.


But for me, the biggest change agent is God’s word. Mediating on verses describing who I am because of Christ.

I am new in Him. Old things, including limits, have passed away.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I am blessed in every way God can bless me. I am precious to Him and protected by Him.

The Lord is my shepherd. And I lack nothing, not even the wisdom to parent differently.

As I trust in the Lord with all my heart and follow His lead, not depend on what I know from experience, He will guide me.

And despite all the hardship and trouble I’ve experienced, I am more than a conqueror.

And I can tell you for me, steeping myself in Scripture and selecting a new circle helped me feel lighter.


When you’ve carried baggage a long time, you don’t realize the weight tolerance you built up until someone helps you drop your bags.

And yeah, you’re strong. You take pride in what you’ve endured all these years. But what did it cost you? How have those bags left you bowed over, without hope, limiting your perspective to the ground around you?

When you take the limits off who you can be and the life you can enjoy, your children not only get a healthier version of you, but the life lesson that it’s never too late to pivot for the better.

If you’d like more food for thought on how to become the woman and mom you want to be, check out this week’s food for thought post on motherhoodunmasked.com.

I share food for thought on Thursdays, two days after that week’s episode airs.

I hope this episode encouraged you to be open to better, but it’s no replacement for someone trained to help you process your traumatic childhood experiences. Someone to help you see beyond the limits placed on you.

And until next time, when it comes to you being the mother of your children, you are the woman for the job. So don’t give up on yourself. I’m rooting for you, friend. Take care.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast should not be taken as medical advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your health care professional for any medical questions.


Need Help to Heal?

Looking for a journal?

Journal from the Heart is a great every day journal with an encouraging verse or affirmation at the bottom of every page. If you’re working through any kind of loss, the journal, My Journey Through Grief and Loss, helps you acknowledge the significance of your loss while honoring the memories you’ll always cherish. And if you meet with a counselor or a coach, you need a journal to keep track of breakthroughs and aha moments in between sessions. A copy of the My Reflections Journal for guided post-session review would be perfect for you.

The Motherhood Unmasked Journal

A Journal Worth Your Story

160 pages waiting for you to fill it with the struggles and the wins on your motherhood journey!

And she’s pretty coming and going! Available on Amazon.

Got A Minute to Pray?

Got A Minute to Pray? Prayer channel on YouTube featuring prayers about a minute long written and read by Vanessa A. Harris.

New “PrayerTube” channel on YouTube

Features prayers about a minute long written and read by Vanessa. Start your week off right, with a prayer on Monday mornings. Because prayer changes things and you have a minute to spare.

Let’s Stay Connected

Do you know why I call you Mama BARE? Because you’re unmasked and unapologetic in admitting motherhood is tough, and you appreciate conversation that honors that.

So, connect with me for more support, empowering the best version of you as a mom.

For encouraging bi-monthly emails and exclusive access to practical resources that help YOU shine, tap “COUNT ME IN.”

Let’s Be Social!

Ready for MORE Motherhood Unmasked episodes?

Copyright 2022 to date Vanessa A. Harris. All rights reserved.

Share what’s on your heart…

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s