I remember the first time my baby smiled at me; it filled me up in a way that words cannot describe.
As my baby got older, my most important goal was to make her life happy. I soon realized that there were many things I would have to learn to be the best mom I could be.
I had to learn about nutrition, fevers, happy tears, sad tears, fears, wants, needs, when to give in, when to stay firm, but never how to love; that came easy.
The job of “mom” can be rewarding, challenging, exhausting, frustrating, surprising, and even insightful; but it’s that smile on your child’s face that makes it all worthwhile.
I heard a story about a famous research scientist who had made several very important medical breakthroughs. When interviewed by a local newspaper, he was asked why he thought he was able to succeed so much more that the average person, to be so much more creative than the average person? In other words, what set him so far apart from others?
He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from a lesson his mother taught him when he was 2 years old. He’d been trying to take a bottle of milk out of the refrigerator, when he lost his grip and spilled the entire contents on the kitchen floor. His mother, instead of scolding him, said, “What a wonderful mess you’ve made! I’ve rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage is already done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk before we clean it up?”
Indeed he did. And, after a few minutes, his mother continued, “You know, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you will have to clean it up. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a towel, sponge or mop. Which do you prefer?
After they were finished cleaning up the milk, she said, “What we have here is a failed experiment in how to carry a big bottle of milk with two tiny hands. Let’s go out in the backyard, fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it.” And they did!
What a wonderful lesson! The scientist then remarked it was at that moment he knew he didn’t have to be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new – which, after all, is what scientific experiments are all about. I am so happy I read that story while my daughters were growing up because it reminded me that no amount of spilled milk or failed experiments were worth taking a chance of damaging a child’s self-esteem.
Teaching our child a high sense of self-esteem is a gift that will take them through their lifetime AND keep that beautiful smile on their face.
My daughter is now a mother herself, and from the first time my grandson smiled at me…
Let’s explore a typical day for the mom who works outside of the home. Her “To Do” list includes: waking up, getting herself ready, wakes the family, makes sure the lunches are packed, homework is finished, paperwork is signed, gets the kids to school, puts in a full day’s work, runs errands on her lunch hour (with lunch usually on the go), picks the kids up from school, drives them to their sporting event, remembers that she is scheduled to bring the team snack, runs to the grocery store, runs back to the sporting event, gets everyone home, prepares dinner, makes sure that the kids do their homework, makes sure everyone has their bath, takes out the trash (because she is tired of reminding someone else to do it),cleans up the kitchen, does a load of laundry, puts the laundry away, cleans the house, maybe has time for her favorite TV show, falls into bed and wakes up and starts all over the next morning.
Let’s explore a typical day for the mom who works from home. This mom has her own business and is believed by everyone to have the best of both worlds! She is able to schedule time off to attend her child’s school play, dentist appointments and doctor appointments. She can help in her child’s classroom and volunteer to attend school field trips. By many, she is considered the “Have It All Woman!”
Let’s look a little more closely at the mom who works from home. Her “To Do” List includes: waking up, getting herself ready, wakes the family, makes sure the lunches are packed, homework is finished, paperwork is signed, gets the kids to school, drives to her home office, puts in a load of laundry, exercises, checks emails, responds to emails, checks with employees to see what matters need addressed, attends a networking function (a two-hour function with a half hour drive time to and from), gets back to her office, takes care of the work at hand, puts in a full day’s work, runs errands on her lunch hour (with lunch is usually on the go), picks the kids up from school, drives them to their sporting event, remembers that she is scheduled to bring the team snack, runs to the grocery store, runs back to the sporting event, gets everyone home, prepares dinner, makes sure that the kids do their homework, makes sure everyone has their bath, takes out the trash (because she is tired of reminding someone else to do it),cleans up the kitchen, does a load of laundry, puts the laundry away, cleans the house, maybe has time for her favorite TV show, falls into bed and wakes up and starts all over the next morning.
If you are a working mom, can you relate to any of this? If so, my question to you is this; “Where do YOU list yourself on your To Do list?”
When do you schedule:
• Your doctor appointment
• Your dentist appointment
• Your lunch hour
• Your break time
Or, when was the last time you:
• Had a manicure/pedicure
• Got your hair cut with an updated style
• Updated your wardrobe
• Talked on the phone (because you had time to chat)
• Had a leisurely lunch to yourself
• Had a leisurely lunch with a friend
• Had time for a date with your partner
• Saw a movie that wasn’t animated
• Went out to dinner somewhere with cloth napkins
Are you starting to get the picture? Too often, moms forget to put themselves on their own “To Do” list and then wonder why they feel tired and burnt out. From the day we become moms, we begin to put the needs of others before our own as we find ourselves doing “just one more thing”. Before we know it, gradually, over time, we have lost ourselves to the demands of others in our life. Yes, we are happy to be a mom, taking care of our babies, our children, our partners, the house, the job, the cleaning, the laundry, the grocery shopping, and the list goes on. Over time, we find a way to “Do It All” and find we have lost our “SELF” somewhere along the way.
When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant will announce that; should cabin pressure drop and the need for oxygen masks become necessary, you should place your own mask on your face before you place the mask on your children’s faces. At first, this may sound backwards because, as a mom, we always think of our children first. But if you think about it, if we pass out or become unable to care for our children, we are no good to anyone. The same thought process holds true in your everyday life. If you never take the time to put YOU on your To Do list, how can you possibly be the best YOU that YOU can be? If you are tired, run down, unhealthy, out of energy, have mood swings, don’t like your body, or sick and tired of being sick and tired, what value are you to yourself, your clients, family, or the people in your life? How can you create a successful business if you lack the energy to cope with simple day to day tasks?
All women have a fierce strength may not even realize inside of them and it. From the time we get up to the time we go to bed, we’re always doing “one more thing”. Whether it be for the kids, the boss or the brownie troop, we have a resilience inside of us that keeps us pushing on, and we don’t even know where it comes from. We don’t look at this kind of tenacity as strength, but it is! Every woman has an Inner Strength, that strength that she pulls from to be the Have It All Woman.
For some women, putting herself before others may seem selfish. Let’s begin by changing our thought pro- cess and substituting the word “selfish” with the word “self-preserving”! You can Have It All, simply consider the fol- lowing statement: “to remain the Have It All lifestyle I have created, I will be self-preserving and include “ME” at the top of my daily To Do list!