What if you based your accomplishment as a mother on your connection with your child?
We naturally reflect on how 'good' we are within our motherhood role, but so often we measure ourselves against a success criteria as if it’s job.
Is my child on course to read by age 5?
Have I taught my child to be well behaved all the time?
Have I provided my child with the chance for most success in life by signing them up for after school activities that cover a range of areas, including music and sport, whether they have a deep interest or not?
Am I serving at least 3 organic evening meals a week?
Am I protecting my child from negativity to ensure they are at their most happy?
Honestly, reading through these questions feels like being in a performance management meeting analysing KPIs. It’s no wonder we’re critical of ourselves! In the business world these would not be SMART targets. As mothers we are placing pressure on ourselves with unrealistic targets.
Our children are not a project for us to manage. When we hold them in our arms for the first time, we feel the sense the opportunity that lays in front of them. We envisage a successful life that we then continue to project on to them. We feel the weight of responsibility to help them achieve this vision. This vision, however, is not ours to own and focusing on it leads us to set motherhood goals that we work on as if it was a 'job'. A job we will probably be rather critical of, especially if our children don't meet the expectations we have as a consequence of our goals.
What if we focused on the relationship with our child instead? What would you look for now? How achievable do your motherhood goals become when they focus on relationship building?
Maybe you’d think about closeness, enjoyment of time together, compassion, empathy, kindness and trust.
Would you be kinder to yourself if you noticed how you and child show each other affection, or how you listened fondly as they told you about their day?
Would you recognise the safe space you give and how supportive you are, when your child comes to you upset, hurt or afraid?
Would you reframe the fact your child misses you when they are at school as a strong attachment, rather than an insecure child?
Motherhood is not a job. It’s a relationship.
Hey! I'm the founder, creator and voice of Ink and Scribbles. Sharing thoughts on child well-being and parenting that are based on my teaching and parenting experience, and NLP learning.