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I think if we as moms are being honest, we all worry about “doing it wrong.” There is no manual for being a mom because if there were, we would most certainly read it every day. Sure, there are books, seminars, blogs, and numerous other things to help us find our way, but we are all painfully aware that there is no “one size fits all” plan to raise children. We know that what works for one will not work for the other, and we also know that just when we think we get this motherhood thing figured out, something happens in a major way that snaps us right back into reality.
A concept I heard repeated over and over again in the questions and concerns that young moms voiced to me was, “What if I totally screw this up?!” I had this same concern. I still have this concern, and I have been a mom for quite some time (will we ever lose this feeling?!)
I have compared being a mom to doing a delicate dance, and I still love this illustration. Our goals as moms are all slightly varied, but for the most part we want our children to feel unconditionally loved and accepted while at the same time we are teaching our children to pass these concepts onto others and learning to be their own strong, independent, compassionate people who can make their own way in the world.
If you are reading here, you are already looking for ways to be the mom you have always wanted to be.
While it is important to learn and to grow in our roles as a mom, there are some constants that seasoned moms feel it is good to be focused on. These eight things are what you can strive toward making cornerstones in your relationship with your children.
- It could be argued that the most vital thing our kids need from us as moms is a sense of security. Establishing rules and routines, maintaining a strong marriage, and providing them with unconditional, unchanging, and unwavering love that is not performance-based are all ways in which you do this.
- Discipline. Believe it or not, our kids actually like being disciplined whether they realize it or not. Establishing rules and boundaries and creating consequences are all ways that we provide the discipline our children crave.
- A sense of belonging. A great way of accomplishing this is actually in having each of our children contribute toward the good of the family through chores, responsibilities, and accountability. When each person has a role to play, they know that they are important within the family unit, and that functioning as a unit just isn’t possible without each member doing their part. Making our children feel accepted, valued, and appreciated are all ways in which we can accomplish this important task.
- Respect. Just as we as parents want to be respected by our children, we can’t demand this from our children if we are not willing to extend respect to our children first. Raising our children with a “do as I say and not as I do” form of discipline negates any sense of respect that our children could feel from us.
- Foster a sense of fun. One of the best ways that we can accomplish all the above concepts is to have a little bit of fun in our life as a family. Plan activities, be spontaneous at times, and make even the mundane things fun at times using suggestions like these. But fun is a thread that should be woven throughout the daily tapestry of every family.
- Teach self sufficiency. Similar to motivating our children, teaching children, encouraging children, and praising children when it comes to making their way are all important concepts in teaching our children to be self sufficient. Teaching them to be self sufficient will be rewarded even before they leave your home. My older children demonstrate being able to be responsible, they demonstrate hard work, and they demonstrate the ability to learn and accept instructions. For this reason, they are becoming in high demand as babysitters and people able to take on various odd jobs both inside and outside as people hire them for a variety of things. These are traits they will carry with them into adulthood. Are they perfect? Do they do these things all the time? No. They are human, they make mistakes, and they are still kids, but they also possess numerous qualities that make them self sufficient, and it shows.
- Guidance toward the future. Dream with your child. Hope with your child. Work with your child to bring their hopes and dreams to fruition while steering them away from paths they shouldn’t travel. Encourage them to use their talents and gifts in the future they work toward.
- Train them to establish coping skills we all need as adults. In addition to working hard, teach your children to fail gracefully, to accept things they can’t change, to be content in all things, and to strive toward growing and changing as their lives will dictate as necessary at times. We all learn to do these things, but it is so much easier to learn these things while under the protection of our homes.
If you worry about failing as a mom, you can rest assured that this is a common feeling in all moms. We love our children, we want them to succeed, and we want to provide them with everything they need to feel loved, valued, and able to make their own mark on the world around them.
Don’t focus on your shortcomings, however, focus on these eight things and be intentional in implementing them whenever and wherever you can. Apologize to your kids when you get it wrong, and pray for the strength and guidance you need in raising them. Then, pray for the things you miss while resting in the assurance that you are the right person for the job.
You can find hope in the first post in the series, What in the World Have I Gotten Myself Into?! here
You can find An Action Plan for the Overwhelmed Mom here
You can find An Action Plan for the Mom Who is Stuck at Home here
You can find An Action Plan for Connecting With Other Moms here
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for Dealing With the Never-Ending Responsibilities of a Mom here
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for Getting It All Done as a Stay at Home Mom here.
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for Getting It All Done as a Working Mom here.
Come back tomorrow where you can find A Realistic Action Plan for the Mom who Worries That It’s Too Late
If you have been enjoying this series and want to make sure you catch the rest through the end of May, you can have the new posts sent right to your inbox by subscribing in the upper left where the cleaning bucket is. Every night at 7 you will get the new posts of the day sent to your inbox. That’s it, it’s that simple. And, you will also get a list of age appropriate chores for your kids by age as a bonus.
See you tomorrow!