Happy Mother's Day for those of you reading this in real time! Today in the United States we take the time to honor the women in our lives who "mother" us and we know that comes in many forms. So however and whomever you celebrate on this day, we celebrate with you!
I sat in reflection a few weeks ago and asked myself, what is it that I wish I could tell every mother or mother-to-be and these seven things poured from my heart and mind into my fingers to share with you today. They are in no particular order. I hope that you cling to each one that you need and will share them with the mothers and mothers-to-be in your life.
Side note: I want all women to know these things as well so if you're not a mother please keep reading.
So here they are. Seven things I want every mother to know.
1. You Matter.
I recall from my childhood hearing women be praised for being "selfless" and the "type of woman who would give you the shirt off of her back" and "put everyone before herself" and "would give you her last dime" and while I understand the 2% good that was meant from those statements (I desire to be a person who is generous, giving and loving) there is about 98% wrong with this depiction that I heard repeated time and time again.
These type of statements made it seem as though being a good mother meant being this broken down, no more energy left, drained shell of a human who is praised for how little she has left. I don't want that to be the story my children tell. Instead, I want to be an example of a person who loved and was loved and who showed what that looked like starting with how I loved myself.
I want every mother to know that adding this role in our lives doesn't move us to a sub-class of humans who now has to deplete ourselves for 18+ years to obtain a crown of praise from people who gained from lack of boundaries and an absence of self-love.
You matter. I want every mother (and woman) (and human) to know that.
2. Ask for help.
Ask for help. This is the first and greatest lesson I learned after the arrival of my daughter almost a decade ago. I was not the type to ask for help. I wanted to be the helper (no, I'm not an enneagram 2 though). I didn't want to ask for help because I thought that was a sign that I didn't have it all together.
Yeah, motherhood helped me throw that trash in the trash. Ask for help and receive the help from the places that are giving it out of love. Side note, meal trains are the best invention since queso.
Allow people to help you and be confident in explaining how you need to be helped. Say no to the help offered that you don't want or need but please be okay, be more than okay with asking for the help you need.
What I need and what you need may vary so be specific about what you need. But please momma (and I mean moms to more than just newborns and infants) ask for help. And in the places where you can, hire help!
3. Drop guilt and shame. They have no space in motherhood.
I've recorded so many podcast episodes about the term guilt (I've linked those I could remember below) and I know there will be more to come until I can get this generation to stop using these useless and deadly words: guilt and shame.
Guilt and shame have no place in motherhood. Here's the thing, someone will have something to say about your choices no matter what they are. There is no winning choice. They all come with the consequence of someone else having an opinion.
The good news though? Those opinions and thoughts and "shoulds" have NOTHING to do with you and they are NONE of your business.
Guilt and shame do not belong in motherhood so if you ever find them creeping in I want you to boldly disinvite them and continue to live your human experience of learning and growing and evolving.
Anyone who wants to bring up the past doesn't get the privilege of being in your present. I want every mother to know that guilt and shame have no place in motherhood.
4. Protect your mind.
At all costs please protect your mind.
Peace of mind is a number one priority for me and my life. I will move heaven and earth to protect my mind. Doing that allows me to live in a space of well-being regardless of what else may be going on in my life.
I want every mother to do what she needs to protect her mind. Prune, not consuming so much crap on the internet and television, be mindful of the conversations you have and the advice you intake. Protect your mind.
You will find you operate differently, your joy looks different and your health is better when you protect your mind.
5. You can do it differently.
You can do it differently. You do not have to parent the way that you were parented. You can make different choices from your neighbors, co-workers, church members and friends. You can do it differently.
"It" can be a number of things. I want every mother to have the confidence to do it differently when doing so means a better and healthier life for you and your children and family.
6. Children want to be loved, safe and seen.
They will tell stories that reflect the times you made them feel safe, seen and loved. The expensive and grand gestures won't be the things that they remember. So you can take the pressure off.
Those moments when you think it wasn't good enough, if they were loved, safe and seen, it was more than enough. It was exactly what they wanted and needed.
Because guilt and shame aren't a part of motherhood, you will not nitpick over every second you were apart from them instead you will pour so fully into the time you are together.
Your children. Our children. They want to be loved, safe and seen. I want every mother to know that so that she can make that more of a priority than external things that don't matter nearly as much.
7. Make time for the many other parts of who you are.
PLEASE. Please read this. Make time for the many other parts of who you are. You are more than a mom. I want every mother to know that she can make time for the other parts of who she is. You can value other relationships, hobbies, dreams, and the like and you do not have to wait until your children are "grown and gone." I talk about that a bit here in episode 55 of the Best Today® Podcast. I've also linked the episode below.
You are more than one thing. I want every mother to make time for, and explore and get to know, the many other parts of who she is.
And those are seven things I want every mother to know. Let me know in the comments below which were the one(s) you needed to hear and what is the one thing you would share that you want all mothers to know!
Extras for You!
I've been sharing my life and lessons learned for over five years via podcast so I'm going to share a recent episode of the Best Today® Podcast and previous episodes of the Business Life & Joy Podcast that might be relevant to you. You can listen to each below. They each represent a different part and phase of my journey in motherhood. I hope they help you right where you are today.