Becoming a mom isn’t easy. There’s this learning curve that no one can quite prepare you for. Learning your baby’s coos and cries, learning how to soothe them and when to sign versus rock takes time, sometimes more than we’d like to admit.
Even within that, no one really talks about learning to be a mother. The mother, so to speak. And I mean The Mother you want to be. Not the mother everyone tells you to be.
Because let’s face it, motherhood, like most things, won’t really start to make sense until you’ve found your why.
What do I mean by your why? Let me explain.
As a mother, why type of children do you want to raise? Are you raising strong, independent children who will conquer the world? Maybe you want them to grow up and be loving souls who help anyone they come across. Or you could be like me, and want to raise a mixture of the two. Whatever it is, it’s important that you know. This will set your foundation.
You need to know what your end goal is. Otherwise, you’re just mothering in a circle, with no real end in sight. Which, is not something you want. The saying holds true, “If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything.” And this definitely goes for parenting. You yourself, have to have values, morals, and beliefs that you won’t compromise on.
I’m sure we all have them. But it’s important to speak to them. When you verbalize something it gives more action behind it. It will hold you more accountable. And it will help you decided who your children will be.
Not knowing who you want your kids to be as adults pushes you to just do whatever. Then those comments from complete strangers (or even our close loved ones) start to hold some weight, right? I mean, you don’t know what you’re doing so maybe they know better. That’s the thought process that can easily happen when you have no foundation when you don’t stand for something in your motherhood.
Again, it’s YOUR MOTHERHOOD. Not your moms, not your friends, not the weird lady at Target that overstepped her boundaries, its YOURS! And it’s important to know that. But you can’t know that if you don’t know your why. If you don’t have an end game. If you don’t set concrete morals and values for yourself and your family. It’s mothering with intention.
Once you’ve figured out your values, your why and end game come much easier. And then you kind of just reserve engineer everything from there. And it won’t be perfect. It won’t even make sense a lot of the times, but you’ll know what you’re trying to do. You’ll know what you were trying to get at, and eventually, it will show.
I recently decided I wanted to explain myself more to my kids. I want them to understand why people think, say, act, etc how they do. So what better way to do that than to explain my actions, thoughts, feelings, right?
So within this, I also want to teach them to be more loving and kind. Which means I have to be willing to model said behavior. Because these are my values and characteristics that I have chosen not to compromise on.
Here’s an example of what this looked like for me in the beginning.
Karter, “Mommy I like my new shoes.
Me: “Yay, I am so glad you do!
Karter: ” Here mommy I want you to see them closer.” and proceeds to throw his shoes at me.
Just imagine trying to explain to your child why they can’t hit you in the eye with their shoe while in excruciating pain without yelling at them. It did not go well, like at all. Huge disaster. But that was 3 months ago.
Now, I could handle that situation in a way that would make Mother Theresa proud without batting an eye (even the one I was hit in). Again, it took time and a lot of me fumbling the play before I was able to score. But it all stemmed from me sitting down analyzing my motherhood and making the decision to mother with intention.
It involved me establishing my personal values. I decided on some standards I wanted to live by throughout my life and then decided to act them out in front of my children. This allows me to be consistent, grow as a person, show my children a real-life role model of who I want them to be and be happy in the midst of it.
Motherhood is hard, regardless of what road you take, but at least this way you can almost guarantee your work will be worth it, and to me, that’s the most important.