My friend quit working full-time to become a full-time mom to her three kids. She said she was going into it with a CEO mindset. If she were CEO of her home and family, how would she run things?
I loved borrowing her way of thinking about motherhood because it made me think about goal-setting, vision, mission statements, and purpose. It was also a little funny to me thinking how underpaid Home & Family CEO’s are.
But lately I have been thinking about how much real value I am putting into the world just by putting in TIME here at home, creating the life I/we want for our family. I find myself wanting to educate my children about all sorts of things. And as I envision a Motherhood Master Plan for what I want my kids to know, it looks something like this…
I want my kids to know all about God. Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost. Of course. Yes. Everything I know, I want them to know. I want them to know it is their journey, an exciting journey that only they can take the steps for. I want us to have daily religious discussions and daily prayer.
I want my kids to know about health. Even though I’m not the optimal daily example, I give them the “chore” of “Sunshine and Exercise.” They have to get outside and move their bodies before they can have screen time or play with friends.
I want my kids to know about food. I often think about past cultures all being centered around gathering and cooking food. And then here I am in the 21st century, getting around that by zapping some frozen food in the microwave or grabbing some fast food. The more I learn about and prepare nourishing, whole plant foods, the more connected I feel to eating this way. I honestly can’t imagine going back. It feels right in so many ways. Thankfully I have access to modern conveniences like frozen and instant plant foods, but I want to learn and also teach my kids how to cook these foods from scratch.
I want my kids to know about healthy relationships. I want them to know about sex. I want them to know about their own sexuality. I want them to be able to have healthy discussions about these things without wanting to hide. This requires me to open my mouth. It requires me to study and learn and get myself to healthy mindsets. These are the foundations of life! I am thankful to have the time to talk about these things with my kids in casual settings.
I want my kids to know how to work through conflict. Lately I’m realizing just how much I have to learn in this area. But it’s great, I get to learn with my kids because too often I act just like a kid when I am in conflict with someone. I often read parenting articles, books, and listen to podcasts. My biggest lesson learned lately? In a conflict, everybody’s number one need is empathy. I’m working on giving it.
…which leads right into my next point. I want my kids to know that love is the most important. So often, I have to remind myself to set achievement aside as the lesser goal. Who cares what you can do if you have no love in your heart? Who cares about all your talents if you make no sacrifices on behalf of others? Who cares if you’re right if they don’t even know that you love them?
And yes, I still want my kids to know about achievement. I want them to feel the satisfaction, the joy, of accomplishing big things. I want them to feel that joy within themselves so they don’t feel a huge need to seek for praise from others. I want them to learn to persevere and work hard.
I want my kids to know about failure. Here is another area I am learning alongside my kids. I tell them often, “It’s okay to fail,” which is perhaps just as much a reminder for myself as anyone else. Sometimes we go around the dinner table and talk about a way we failed that week. If we’re not failing, we’re not trying. What is failure anyway? It is just missed expectations. Pshhh, that’s all? It doesn’t seem so bad on paper. I want them and me to able to admit failure, to be able to say sorry, to think about how to be better, and then to pick themselves back up and happily carry on. SO important.
I want my kids to know mom is just there. One day they will see the enormity of that gift. I try to find ways to fill my own cup with things that delight me, so I am here emotionally for my kids. I try to take care of my physical body so I have the endurance to work hard all day. I make time to seek God daily so I have a testimony to share with my kids. If I practice all these areas of self-care, then I really can BE THERE for my kids in every way.
As mother, I want to be more than a taxi driver, more than a microwaver or drive-thru fast food lady. I want to be more than an accidental teacher. I want my actions as mother to be purposeful. I see the life I want and the things I want to teach my kids, and I am trying to take action to get there. In big and small ways, I am working on changing what I do so my actions align with those priorities. It is hard work and demands the best of me.
I see myself as the creator of our family life. Maybe my job title could be CFL? It is a fun job and an important job. I love the creation part of this job, and I look to those higher-level creative planning duties when the daily monotony gets old. I love being Mother.