“I think I am screwing up my kids completely,” a friend confided recently.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“It seems like I am just putting out fires all day long. I don’t have time to focus on the things that matter.”
“Well, what matters to you?”
She pondered for a moment then said, “Basic values, golden rules type of stuff, respect of all life, gratitude, connecting everything to God.”
I get that. I totally get that.
And when I talk to mothers of young children, they all feel this to some degree. It’s like the day-to-day busy work overtakes everything and they fear that they aren’t emphasizing the right stuff.
As an OLDER mother, I have some good news for you younger moms:
Every problem has a solution.
We just have to be AWARE ENOUGH to be able to see that there is a problem. I applaud my friend. She was able to articulate the challenge:
“I am not focusing on things that really matter.”
Isn’t that cool? She was able to take a moment of out the busy and SEE that her mothering was not accomplishing all she wanted it to accomplish.
Please note: I am a woman. Sometimes I just like to rot in my problems. I think the drama of the challenge makes me feel alive. Gross. I know. When I am wearing my status of victim like a cloak, I don’t want ANYONE, especially my husband, trying to solve me or my problems.
Other times, I am open and ready.
I tell you this because my friend was open. She wanted some free therapy. So we explored:
Our therapy session:
1.) The problem?
“I am not focusing on the things that matter. I get so disconnected from myself and my husband and even my kids. I live life on autopilot. We eat whatever we can find with no plan. I don’t have a good schedule for the kids, we just go from activity to activity. It feels like I am a crazy bumblebee.”
2.) What’s the impact?
“I am giving up on a more connected relationship with my husband and my kids. I am giving up a deeper sense of satisfaction in my mothering. I am giving up on peace because I don’t focus on anything of value. It’s causing a deep sense of unrest in me.”
3.) What changes could be made?
“Well, our family feels connected over books. I used to take my kids to the library once a week. When we have good books, they never ask for a television time. I also know I feel best when our meals are planned out. That gives me a deep sense of balance.”
We discussed the fact that she wanted to bring in the bigger picture of “values” and “gratitude” but she also recognized that her family was eating on the fly. How could they have meaningful family time when everyone was grabbing food and going on their merry way? She wanted to change that. THEN she’d work on having conversations that mattered.
4.) COMMIT to BEING the change!
For my friend, this meant that SHE PUT HER IDEAS DOWN ON PAPER. She posted them on her bathroom mirror. She wrote her library date on her calendar. She began looking at meal plans. As she did this, her eyes lit up with excitement. She was smiling. She was visibly excited about her mothering once more.
I love BEING A MOM, not because it is easy but because it challenges EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE.
It’s actually exciting!
And it’s especially exciting if you can adopt the mindset that
EVERY PROBLEM HAS A SOLUTION.
Sometimes we waste our precious mental energy complaining in our own heads.
- “My kids have messy rooms.”
- “We are always late.”
- “I never have time with my husband.”
- “We never have extra money.”
Mama, you CAN triumph over ordinary obstacles as well as Pikes Peak obstacles. Think about what you need to do and what skills you will need. What CHANGES in YOURSELF will you need to bring forth? If you are ready, commit to being the change in your home. Then make it happen.
You, as the mother, have TREMENDOUS power in your home. You.Are.The.Influencer.
Figure out what you want and then make it happen.
You are a mother. I believe in you.