“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” Maya Angelou
After 22 years of being a busy Mum, a working Mum, an involved Mum, a helicopter Mum, a kind Mum, a nagging Mum, an insecure Mum and a taxi driver Mum, I am still asking myself: is there an easier and less complicated way to be a good Mum?
The answer is thankfully yes, there is a better way and I found it when I met Sarah – a self-proclaimed joyful mother. She actually said to me she was a “joyful mother” of 7 children. The fact that she had 7 children was amazing enough however what I also couldn’t get over was how fantastic she looked!
I wanted to know Sarah’s secret about how she managed to look so great and happy while being a mother to 7 children. Secretly I was hoping that she would turn out to be a Wonder Mother, who is so perfect that I wouldn’t even try to follow her advice.
Sarah is definitely not a wonder woman and as I got to know Sarah, I discovered that her secret for being not only a great mother but also a fantastic woman, is that she truly is a joyful mum, who loves her family and lives a happy and fulfilled life.
I now believe 100% that the secret to being a good mother is to choose to be a joyful mother. I also realise that it is hard for us to be great mothers all the time however by being joyful we can be good mothers most of the time.
With Sarah’s guidance I am working towards being a joyful mother which thankfully releases me from all the constraints of having to play all the other roles of motherhood – it can get exhausting trying to play out what I believe to be over 50 Mum roles.
As a joyful mother I get to play only one role. Life is simple, my parenting skills have improved and the husband and kids are happy! It’s a no brainer.
So what is it that makes being a joyful mother so appealing?
“A joyful mother will have sticky floors, dirty ovens and happy kids!” Unknown
Well, joyful mothers understand 10 things about being a mother that many others just don’t get.
If you are planning to become a joyful mother, then these 10 things that only joyful mothers understand, will give you a really good insight into the mind and life of a joyful mother. I guarantee that once you have read these 10 things there is no way you can do anything but become a joyful mother!
1. They understand that it is an impossible job to aim for perfection – so they don’t.
They aim to be the best mothers they can be, with imperfections and all. Perfection creates a huge distraction from the joy of being a mother – that’s why joyful mothers have no interest whatsoever in being perfect and everything to everyone.
A joyful mother would rather be a real mother,who does not get everything right all the time, than a super efficient perfect mother. Joyful mothers understand how important it is not to sweat the small stuff.
2. They will happily take time to be alone to revive and energise themselves.
Joyful mothers know how important it is for their families wellbeing and happiness for them to look after their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being. Joyful mothers will happily and with no guilt take a time out from their families on a regular basis.
3. They understand the power of their intuition.
They trust and have faith in themselves and will act on their instinct. Joyful mothers use their intuition to guide them through the minefields of challenging times. A joyful mother will know immediately by looking at their child, if something is wrong. Joyful mothers focus on getting to know their children and they use this knowledge along with their intuition to support and parent their children.Advertising
They understand that their number one role is to be a parent to their child. There second role is to be their friend. Joyful mothers strive to build loving, respectful and happy relationships with their children.
4. They are not afraid to ask for help.
They understand that by asking for help, they enable themselves to be an even better mother. Joyful mothers are not hung up on the fact that they have to do everything for their children. They believe that it is “healthy role modelling” for their children to see that their mother is not perfect and that she will ask for help. By asking for help everyone in the family benefits – its a win – win situation and joyful mothers get that.
5. They understand the importance of letting go – so they do.
A joyful mother understands the reality of parenting and knows that there comes a time when their children leave home. A joyful mother will encourage and support her children to go out into the world and live their lives to the fullest. She also understands that her children need to be independent and will make mistakes, wrong decision or wrong choices in life.
She will not shelter her children from the reality of life. A joyful mother understands that her role as a parent, is to instil in her children the core values and behaviours that will keep them be accountable for their own life – their successes and their failures.
Joyful mothers trust their children and know that by letting them go, they will always come back to her because they love and respect her.
6. They understand how important it is to take care of relationships.
Joyful mothers value their relationships and will work hard to take care and nurture them. Joyful mothers in any relationship, with or without partners, will focus on ensuring that communication is flowing and conflict is resolved as quickly as possible.Advertising
A joyful mother does not like to have unresolved conflicts as it impacts on her role to be a good mother. A joyful mother is solution focused. She works hard to ensure that her children are able to manage and deal with conflict constructively.
A joyful mother understands how important it is for her children to experience “positive and healthy relationships” in their lives. She knows that these healthy relationships will lay the foundations for any future relationships her children will have.
7. They understand the value of friendship.
Friendships are highly valued by joyful mothers. Having friends is a way for a joyful mother to stay sane and feel connected to people who are going through the same things as she does. It is good to be surrounded by your comrades in arms!
Friendships allow you to let off steam, get advice from like-minded people, have fun, relax and laugh. Joyful mothers know what to look for in a friend and will also be a very loyal and supportive friend themselves.
8. They understand how important it is to forgive.
Joyful mothers are able to forgive themselves and others. They love their children unconditionally and one of the gifts of unconditional love is forgiveness.
It is a challenging role being a parent and joyful mothers. But they do not hide away from the pain and hardship that can come with parenting. They accept that they will make mistakes and that their children will also make mistakes – however it is forgiveness towards themselves and others that keeps joyful mothers emotionally strong and resilient.
9. They love to laugh.
Joyful mothers understand the immense happiness laughter can bring to their families and to their own lives – so they laugh a lot.Advertising
Joyful mothers make a conscious effort to find things in their lives that they are grateful for and they choose to be joyful every day. Gratitude and happiness are daily habits joyful mothers religiously practise.
Playing,cuddling and hugging their children even when they are adults, brings mothers great joy and happiness.
10. They understand how important it is to be a “Future Thinker”.
Joyful mothers plan for the future. They focus on raising their children to be future leaders and to be accountable for how they live their lives. A joyful mother always has a plan on how she can build her children into future leaders. She will not abandon that plan and succumb to social pressures. She knows her children really well, she listens to them and she encourages and supports them to be the “best people they can be”.
A joyful mother understands that her behaviours, actions and values have a huge influence on how her children live their future lives. She therefore chooses to live her life demonstrating the values, behaviours and actions of the leader she wants her children to be.
To be a joyful mother one has to wake up each day and choose to be joyful. It takes work, commitment and the desire to be the best mother you can be.
The thing about being a mother, is that you only get one shot at it and you want that one shot to be the “best one shot” ever.
By choosing to be a joyful mother you are definitely on the right path to being the “best mother in the whole world” for your children.
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us when adversity takes the place of prosperity when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” Washington Irving
Featured photo credit: Portrait of happy mother and baby playing outdoors via shutterstock.com
Last Updated on August 16, 2018
10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks
The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:
1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone
What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?
Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.
2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome
Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.
How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.
Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?
Or, are you afraid of being ignored?
3. Get comfortable with discomfort
One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.
Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.
4. See failure as a teacher
Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.
Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?
Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:
5. Take baby steps
Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.
Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.
Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:
6. Hang out with risk takers
There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).
Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.
7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses
Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”
Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.
8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you
What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.
If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.
10. Focus on the fun
Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com