If you ask any experienced mother her biggest regret, no doubt most would say they wished they would have slowed down and enjoyed the ride. But the truth is – duty calls. Carpools, dinner, naptime and beyond do not wait for the clock to catch up. So how can you live in the present, but maintain perspective?
Parenting expert and author Linda Eyre shares ways to enjoy the mothering moments.
My mantra the past few years has been “Love More”. This has been our family mantra for many years but it especially applies to mothers. Of course we love our kids but they we don’t always approve of what they do. When they make bad choices, are disrespectful and a plethora of other “not so loving” behaviors, if we can just try to figure out what is behind those actions and then figure out how to “love more” instead of judge or condemn it changes everything. In fact our daughter has this little mantra emblazoned above her front door so she (and the kids) can see it every day as they come and go to school. It’s a nice reminder when a child is having an all-out tantrum!
The three things I would suggest that go along with this terrific theme are:
1. Begin with the end in mind. It’s important to be deliberate about mothering! Motherhood is a career, the most important one! You may have other careers but motherhood is much more crucial and long-lasting. Ways to be deliberate: a) have a half hour planning session every Sunday to consider what you need, what your family needs and how you can do a better job at work (home or outside the home) 2) Take A-Day-Away at least once a year to think and plan . 3) Be inspired by other mothers via Book Clubs, Learning Circles etc. Good ideas can be found at PowerofMoms.com, 71toes.blogspot.com, Boston Shumways.blogspot.com.
Hard to think that this:
Would become this:
2. There are no perfect mothers! No matter how deliberate you are, no matter how fast you run or how hard you try, things aren’t going to turn out just as you expected! Divorce, children’s medical issues or syndromes, mental issues always complicate things. You have to be “Your Own Best Kind of Mom”. I wrote a book when all the kids were home called I Didn’t Plan to be a Witch. You always plan to be a perfect mother but it just doesn’t happen. Mothers love to hear about the hard stuff. It makes them feel normal!
This is a cover from an old Newsweek Magazine that shows the many multiple roles of a Mother.
Perfection is impossible, especially when you’re dealing with something like this:
3. Motherhood Moments are more important that you think! You get more experienced as time goes on and the moments become more and more important. It’s so important to capture them and even write them down! We know this mother was experienced because she grabbed a camera instead of grabbing the kid!
New York Times #1 Bestselling Authors Richard and Linda Eyre are the parents of nine children and, by coincidence, the authors of 9 internationally distributed parenting and life-balance books. They lecture throughout the world on family related topics, and are the founders of Joyschools.com. Visit the Eyres anytime at www.TheEyres.com or www.valuesparenting.com