“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 19, 2019
How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want
We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.
When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.
In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.
Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.
If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.
According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.” Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.
No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.
When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.
Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.
1. Embrace Your Vulnerability
When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.
Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.
When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.
Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.
In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.
It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.
You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.
Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.
What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?
You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.
That’s where we all should be.
So, answer me this:
How are you, really?
And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.
Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.
Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.
Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)
Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.
It’s taking control.
2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity
You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.
You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.
In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.
Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.
You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…
Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’ When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.
But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?
It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.
In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You
It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.
Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:
Change will happen.
Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.
You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.
And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.
You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?
That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.
You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.
When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.
3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking
Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.
In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.
If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.
Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.
Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable. It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved. It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.
How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?
Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.
“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.
Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.
Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.
It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.
Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,
“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”
What would you do if you felt you were enough?
By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.
So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.
By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.
Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.
When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.
You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!
More About Living Your True Self
- Do You Want to Know the Secret to Living a Fulfilling Life?
- How To Be True To You When Life Pulls You Off Track
- How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life
- How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up
Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com
|||^||Svend Brinkman : Happiness Has Become an Emotional Burden|
|||^||Clayton Barbeau: Shoulding Yourself, Shoulding Others|
|||^||Meagan O’Reilly: A Stanford Psychologist Says Feeling You’re No Enough Rips These 5 Things Away From You|