“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 December 2, 2018
7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience
When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.
You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:
1. Connecting them with each other
Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.
It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.
2. Connect with their emotions
Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.
For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.
3. Keep going back to the beginning
Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.
On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.
4. Link to your audience’s motivation
After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.
Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.
5. Entertain them
While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.
Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.
6. Appeal to loyalty
Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.
In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.
7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation
Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com