Being a mom is so very challenging. We wear all of the hats from playmate to maintenance, activity director to prison warden and all of the things in between. We have to learn what our kids want and need and how to best help them interact with others and the world around them in general. They start out literally not being able to survive without us and all it says in our job description is to flip that truth on it’s head by the time we retire. As we all know either from experience or watching others, this is one job we’ll work the rest of our lives.
A singular job responsibility sounds great until you consider all that is needed to accomplish working yourself out of a job. You have to tell them what you want them to do and how you want them to act. You can’t just tell them though you have to model for them what that would look like and sound like. You have to be flexible to where their journey is different from yours and discern how much of your truth you should equip them with. You have to coach and guide their experiences to allow them to learn things for themselves. You have to protect them from harm while allowing them to have their own lives and learn first hand. Basically, every responsibility you have for your kids you also have an opposing one. It can feel just impossible to get right.
You’re doing all the things. You are getting more right than you realize. You are working yourself out of a job just beautifully. So today I’m here to offer a little mom encouragement, corporate style. Think of it as a resume boost for the toughest job on Earth. Because who knows, some day you might be up for promotion, and you want to be ready with the skills to help train up those grandbabies with all the wisdom you’re gaining today.
Capable of Instilling Strategic Mission through Day-to-Day Actions. You always have your child’s best interest at heart. It isn’t a matter of saying no to candy before breakfast because you’re mean it is about making healthy choices for your body, developing self control, respecting the norms and rules of the house, and then sometimes, because you want your kids to see the fun side of getting a little crazy, you allow them a secret Twix with a wink and they look at you like you just handed them a ticket to Disney World.
Consistent Reinforcement of Critical Lessons. You see the bigger picture in each lesson you give your kids. You tell you child to be careful, you explain the consequences that could accompany making a poor choice, you remind them of the consequences, and when they still ‘borrow’ your ______ (phone, clothes, tools, car, etc) and misuse it, you let them feel the weight of the consequences even when it pains you. You know the value of consistency and following through. You’re teaching your kid that, just as much as the consequences of their actions.
Demonstrated Ability to Develop Character. Could you feed the dog, put away the laundry, or vacuum the living room yourself in 1/2 the time with a 1/4 of the fighting (let’s be honest we’d still argue it in our heads at least for a minute) yes, but getting the job done is one small part of why you’re asking. Learning that we all work together as a family and the value of providing for someone else rather than yourself are critical life skills that can’t be taught anywhere else. These skills will take that kiddo far into adulthood and we know that it all started with a simple, hey, could you take out the garbage?
Experienced in Fostering Growth Mindset. Every time you tell them they can be anything when they grow up, every time you tell them the sky is the limit, every time you tell them that all they need to do is apply themselves and they’ll get there, you’re developing growth mindset. Every time you dry their eyes because they think they are dumb, and tell them it was just a mistake, every time you encourage them to get back on their bike, skateboard, or ballet shoes after a fall, every time you suggest coming at a problem from a new perspective, you’re developing a growth mindset. Sometimes that can feel easier to tell them than to tell yourself, but all of those lessons you’re teaching your kid, they are true of you too. If you want some support in building that out for yourself, check out Love and Grow Yourself for a framework to help you do just that.
You got this mama, and daddies you too. Keep finding your balance and remember that they don’t need perfection, that is part of what you’re teaching them too. There is no such thing as perfect, just working to improve and be your best each day. You my friend, are doing a dang good job.