Do you ever write a note to yourself? Of course we have task lists and reminders but I’ve found lately I’ve been encouraging myself via Post-it notes. I used to do this when I worked in an office, so why should the “job” of being a mom be any different?
Since scaling back my roles in marketing and interior design, I’ve had such a challenge transitioning from career to full time mom. I know so many can relate. I think my main problem has stemmed from lack of measurable success. It sounds so silly, but being in sales and working to build my business, I could always measure how well I was accomplishing what I was working toward.
Motherhood, not so much. If I based my success on behavioral feedback from my kids… I know the answer would be pretty negative. I mean, I can translate all the screaming and yelling and fighting in that way at least. I feel as though I’m telling them the same thing every day and not seeing them grasp on. Don’t get me wrong, we have pretty amazing kids. They’re healthy, strong, intelligent, responsible, caring little humans, but I can’t take credit for that. I can’t even take credit for their love of the Lord, that’s all Him. We’ve chosen to homeschool our kids but their learning is all them. I can’t measure my success by what they know but also don’t want to put that kind of pressure on them or me.
It’s not that I need constant affirmation but I think we all feel like we need a goal to work toward or insight as to if we are doing things right or succeeding. I’ve looked hard but I can’t find a common THING to measure my success. This makes the job of motherhood so wearisome, so draining, and so (as my friend says) “lather, rinse, repeat”.
I was recently encouraged to instead of looking for earthly, tangible ways of measuring myself and our days, question if I have accomplished the goal of making my kids feel loved. I don’t often ask myself or my kids, if they FEEL loved, but it’s given me a new perspective.
Sally Clarkson, a favorite author of mine, said when asked how she influenced her 4 now adult children, “This is the secret: loving them well, generously, all the time, in every situation…unconditional love won the day.”
Instead of trying to control our days or kids to give me some sort of accomplishment, just focus on loving them. That is my #1 job as a mom. So this is what my motivational note to myself says over my kitchen sink, “do they feel loved?” This is my reminder throughout the day of what’s important. It seems so simple that we often forget that’s what matters. Not did we get the chance to read together, did I get laundry or anything on my to do list done, did we get to our devotions that day, did I speak with kindness at all those stressful moments (especially during the hours of 4pm-7pm), did I get one on one time with the kids or get outside enough today. Of course these things are great to strive for, but the Bible says “the greatest of these is love”. So I’m putting LOVE at the top of my list today and every day. Everything else can wait.