By: Brenda Shover
Recently, as I was teaching a parenting class exclusively for mothers, I was reminded of a common trait I have often found with those that answer to Mom, Mother, Mama, Mum and/or Mommy. My subject was the value of taking the time to reflect on parenting techniques, interactions and reactions to our kids. I was encouraging the moms to keep a written journal for that purpose and I passed out spiral notebooks for the women to get them started. I had a few prompts prepared for them to copy and use, if they wanted. As they began writing in the notebooks, I continued to talk. “Write down an activity or occasion and describe the beginning, middle and conclusion.” Now, here’s the thing I said that stunned this group, “I recommend that you journal about occasions that you feel you can improve on but, also, occasions that you feel good about; ones that you felt great about as a parent.” At the word “good” all heads snapped up and looked at me as though I suddenly started speaking gibberish or something.
Moms nurture, take care of kids, homes, spouses/partners, aging parents. We have jobs, careers, girlfriends, exercise classes, support our children’s schools, our churches. We plan, organize, help out, sacrifice and the list goes on. Does this sound familiar? Your days are full from am to pm; you are an expert juggler and, most days, you wouldn’t give up any part of it. For everything you do, you are a little surprised that you should acknowledge that what you do that is great.
This is the common trait. Moms, in general, tend to be self-critical. It just may not sit right or feel like bragging or maybe you just assume anyone could do what you do. Not true. While there are many moms juggling as much as you and as well as you do, you are the only mother to your children. No one else can or will ever connect with them, love them, nurture them, the way you do. Ever. So, as I encouraged the moms in my parenting class, I will encourage you. Spend time reflecting on what you do as a mother, that is good and great. What is right for your unique family and delivered in a way only you can convey. Acknowledge that you are an amazing mom, not perfect, but a marvelous mom, nonetheless.
Give credit where credit it due… You.
Oh, and Dads, my next article will be for you.
BIO: Brenda Shover, a certified life coach, specializes as a parenting coach in the Chicago area. She lives with her loving husband and elderly but still spunky English springer spaniel, Maddie. She is the mother of four adult children: two daughters and two stepsons and is a proud grandma of four, three boys and a princess. Holding a certificate in early childhood education, it has been her life’s work to teach young children and passion to partner with parents in raising their families, encompassing the whole person and respecting the individuality of all.
Whole Child, Whole Parent, Whole Heart Coaching