That’s an interesting question…
And the answer is tied to your thoughts about motherhood.
Are your thoughts about raising kids, especially as a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), like these?
It is my job as Mom:
• to ensure my kids experience happiness and positive outcomes
• to provide, encourage and support their success while minimizing failures
• to ensure they have any and every opportunity for enrichment and growth
• to minimize negative aspects of life
• to guide them down a path of success (as I define it)
Those statements, which I used to identify with, do appear as if I viewed motherhood as a job.
A job that as a smart, college-educated, advanced degree holder, capable and hardworking former career woman wanted to kick ass at.
My kid was going to be the best behaved, smartest, non-video game addict popular athlete around. How could he not be with such a dedicated and smart mom at the helm?
After many rocky years filled with unforeseen challenges…
What? My kid can’t have ADHD or Sensory Processing Disorder. Is that even a thing?
What? My kid needs special education and an IEP?
What do you mean he’s anything other than a pleasure to have in class?
What do you mean he can’t write at grade level?
What do you mean he isn’t cut out for traditional team sports?
What do you mean that he’s quirky and doesn’t have many friends?
None of this was in my plan as a dedicated, organized, determined and all around kick-ass mom.
If my motherhood expectations were performance review goals in a job, I’d be on probation, if not fired.
I had not experienced this level of failure at anything I set my mind to in the past.
That is how it felt.
But then I learned about The Model.
I learned how our thoughts drive our feelings which drive our actions and results.
I shifted my thoughts about motherhood out of “This is my job! It is the most important job in the world! “(As was told to me by society, not to mention my own well-meaning mom and mother-in-law).
Instead, I shifted my thoughts towards a desire to develop a better relationship with my son.
I had to ask myself, “What do I typically look for in my relationships with others?”
If you are anything like me, you may look for:
• A sense of connectedness and closeness
• Feeling like you are accepted, just the way you are
• Signs of compassion and empathy
• Actions that show respect and love
These are the feelings I wanted to experience and have my son experience as part of our relationship
I wanted to accept him as he is.
I wanted to feel and act compassionately and empathetically when he was having a bad day.
I wanted to show him I respect him by giving him more independence and responsibility over his own life.
I did NOT want to foster a co-dependent connection.
I wanted him to be confident with himself, walking his path that he created for himself and I wanted to do the same for me and my path.
Separate – but together.
This shift in thinking has allowed me to be more present with my son.
I’m not concerned or fearful or anxious about “resume’ building” for his future.
I’m training my brain to think thoughts to support our relationship, now that I’ve got a better understanding of what I want that relationship to look and feel like.
I’m practicing thoughts that challenge my SAHM thinking – that my child and his life are NOT my life’s work.
My life is my life’s work.
His life is his.
It has allowed me to develop a different set of performance review goals.
Achieving a calmer mindset? Check.
Living in the moment? Check.
Showing more acceptance and compassion? Check.
Looks like someone deserves a raise….