The Optimal MOM
A guest post by my friend and life coach, Lisa Engle.
Recently, a public inquiry to describe the optimal mother brought in a wide scope of adjectives. Some words that came from the poll were: supportive, nurturing, nourished, wise, faithful, intuitive, intentional, attentive, energetic, organized, loving, motivated, encouraging, devoted, loyal, connected, balanced, healthy role model, filled with grace and fearless.
No pressure, right?
Evaluating our own definitions of optimal motherhood can bring great insight. I’d love to hear your input and what you might add to the list. Isn’t it beautiful the varying values that each person places on the critical and powerful role of Mother? Isn’t it also beautiful that what I authentically bring to motherhood will serve my children well, but when I try to “do” motherhood by someone else’s standards or expectations, I will be uncomfortable and it will ripple to my children? Culturally, we’re taught that discomfort is a “bad” thing to be avoided yet when it comes to healthy living, we learn that it’s often an important part of telling us what needs attention.
Insight gained through evaluating your own definitions of a “well mother” can help us tie the choices we make regarding our family to values. Much like the cultural experiences back in school, the pressures a mother may find herself faced with can lead to extremely refining moments where she (and those around her) may describe herself with very opposite descriptors, quite unwell, in fact. Often, upon evaluation, we may realize that choices we’ve made were really rooted in someone else’s values. Motherhood is plenty refining enough without trying to make ourselves appear, behave, or have a certain way according to the values of others. When we’re rooted in our own well being, rooted in our own value systems, in our own authentic expressions, we bring a strength to this important and powerful role that is shaping the next generation. Let’s shape them well.