The following post is from Kat of Inspired To Action:
When I had my first daughter, I had the misconceived notion that all motherhood comes naturally. As if, a great shaft of light would shine down from the heavens and all the motherly wisdom of the ages would be bestowed upon me.
Either I was wrong or I was sitting too far to the left. Somehow, I missed that great beam of motherly knowledge.
Instead, learning to be the mom I want to be has been a great struggle. And I’m far from done.
So, did I “miss it”? Do I expect too much of myself? Or is excellence in Motherhood something we need to be as purposeful about as pursuing a PHD or an Olympic gold?
For me, that answer is a resounding yes. If it is for you too, here is how we can plan to be even better moms in 2012.
1. Create A “Degree Plan”
How do you need to grow? Dream about the kind of mom you want to be, the kind of mom your kids need. Sometimes those two things are different. Don’t over think this part, or try to order things in a certain way. Just write. You’ll narrow down you goals in the next step.
2. Write Your “Syllabus”
Identify the 1-3 key areas in which you want to grow. What changes will make the biggest impact? List the areas you want to work on this year. Think long and hard about this so that these are very specific and focused.
Once you have your list, break each one down into actions you can take.
For example, if I wanted to be a more patient mom this year a couple things I’d list would be:
- Get more sleep.
- Exercise more so that I have a bigger energy reserve
- Really “listen” to my children so that I have more compassion and empathy for the things that are important to them, even if they seem minor to me.
- Pray daily for my children.
- Keep a patience chart on the fridge. The kids are free to put a check on it anytime it seems I’ve lost my patience. Then we can talk about it. I can regroup or explain that just telling them they can’t have 5 lollipops in a row doesn’t mean I lost my patience.
3. Focus on your “Major”
When you start to work on each of these key areas, don’t do it all at once. Pick one at a time to work on until you see consistent growth and progress. Then move on to the next one. I recommend focusing on each area 1-2 months.
4. Buy Your “Textbooks”
List 1-2 books to read on each area of growth. We MUST learn from the wisdom of others. We could bang our heads against the wall until we are more patient, fun, fill-in-the-blank moms or we could read one revolutionary paragraph in a book that changes our perspective on everything.
5. Find a “Professor”
There isn’t an Olympic athlete who doesn’t have a coach. If we want excellence, we cannot do it alone. We need someone outside ourselves to speak into our lives. To build us up when we feel down. To provide wisdom and accountability.
List potential mentors to check in with monthly, stay accountable for book reading, goals and to ask questions.
It can be scary to find a mentor. Not everyone you ask will have the time to be a mentor, but be determined to ask until you find one. Having a mentor will push you to do more, be more, work more than you would on your own.
If you are relatively self-motivated, this could just mean that you email someone each month with your goals and an update on how things went last month. Few people would say no to a commitment as small as that. If you’d like a more hands-on mentorship, you might meet with this person monthly. Or, perhaps you might find that hiring a life coach or a counselor to be your best option.
Whatever it takes to grow.
6. Take Time to Review
This is a vital and often forgotten key to growth. We have to constantly review. Humans are prone to distraction. By looking at our goals and plans often we can be sure we are staying on track and making progress.
Graduate With Honors
May we all look back on 2012 as the year everything changed. Here’s to the Year of the Awesome Moms!
Do you feel like you need to be more purposeful about growing in your role as a mother? How do you plan to start?
|Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site dedicated to helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.|