"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
Recently, I was speaking at a local Mom's group, and one of the moms told me that she was having a hard time figuring out what her mission was at home. I was intruiged.
She said that every day is pretty much the same, and she felt a like she had nothing she was "working towards." She asked me to write a blog post about it. Done.
Since being home is so important to this mom (and probably everyone reading and writing this), she wanted to have a mission to match that level of committment.
Can you relate?
Where to start? I've got a simple 3-step approach.
This might get a little Back to the Future. Hang on.
(I suggest just taking out a piece of paper and writing your thoughts down.)
start from the End
This is what some smarty-pants call Reverse Engineering. We are all smarty pants here, so that's why we're doing it.
When your years at home raising your kids come to an end, ask yourself:
- How would I like my children to function in the world?
- How would I like to be on the other side of the hands-on years of motherhood? (Frazzled, chill, very involved, more hands-off, I have no idea, etc.)
- What kind of shape will my marriage be in? (Strong, more in love than ever, more independent of each other, etc.)
- What will make me feel like I've done my best for the family?
- How will you know that you've accomplished your goals as a SAHM?
- What sorts of personal activities, hobbies, and interests will I have?
Knowing where you want to go is the best way to figure out what to do now. That's why I suggest starting from the end.
Now let's back up the truck.
start from the Beginning
Think back to your reasons for wanting to be a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) in the first place. Those reasons are so important because they are your heart. Take a moment and write those reasons down. (Ask your husband if you have mommy-brain and forgot!
What made you decide to be home:
- Did you want to be the one to raise your children?
- Does your husband work a lot, and someone had to be the one manning the fort?
- Was your baby just too cute to be left in anyone's care?
- Are you from a long line of stay at home moms, and this is just business as usual?
- Do you just love kids and this is how you roll?
Your initial reasons for joining this rodeo are good and sweet and loving and come from a place of nurturing your own (even if the horses are a bit feisty). Never discredit them.
CONNECT where you are Now
Considering the ages and number of kids you have, you have different tasks to deal with presently. If you have a baby, your job is to make her feel loved and secure, and that you are there to respond to her needs. If you have a toddler, your job is to teach him boundaries and to learn to start to control his impulses. You see what I mean ...
I'd also take note of specific details of your family life that you are handling now, such as:
My husband is deployed in the military.
We're going to move in 5 weeks.
Emily Henderson is coming over to redesign my living room.
You need all of this information for your mission.
Starting where you want to go, then remembering where you started, you are now able to plug in your current mission. Let me demonstrate with an imaginary SAHM named Jennifer.
Mission in Action
So let's say that Jennifer is a first-time SAHM with a 1-year old named Max and feels like she is just floating along - not really having a sense of purpose at home. If she and I sat down together to craft a mission for her, we'd begin with imagining what she envisioned her life and family being like in 20 years.
I'd draw a big line on a piece of paper, and write down her dreams and goals for her, her marriage, her kids, and her home life when her super busy time raising the kids is over. (I'm old school and visual - so we'd be rocking a timeline.)
It might look something like this:
Next, we'd go back to the days when Jennifer was pregnant and when she brought the baby home and what was going through her mind when the decision to be a Stay at Home was finalized.
We'd jot the following down together.
Pretty typical reasons for wanting to be home, wouldn't you say?
So, knowing the end and the beginning, it becomes clear to Jennifer what she can do now to CONNECT why she originally wanted to be home with what she hopes to accomplish when the kids are all grown up.
This connection is her current mission. Let's see what she comes up with.
What I love about this little exercise is that it's so easy and so specific to Jennifer's (and your) goals and family life. There is no wrong answer, and it can be done again and again over the years.
Do you see how her end game and her starting point make it pretty clear what she can do now? (I hope so!)
Well, I want to hear from you! Do you feel like you need a mission at home? Are you willing to sit down and do this (FREE) exercise and see what you come up with? I'd love to learn what your mission is. Share with us all in the comments below!
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PS- If you're apart of a Mom's Group in the Chattanooga area, and need someone to speak to your group and make you snort laugh and maybe learn a thing or two about being a happy Mom, contact me! It's FREE, and it's a good time!
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