In early motherhood I was so stumped how other mom’s were doing it. How they were happy and thriving. I often felt so lost in how to actually connect with them, without feeling like a failure.
I didn’t connect with my kids on anything because I was so overwhelmed with the thought of doing everything.
As they got older I grew more comfortable in my mom shoes (figuratively, and literally, I’m lookin at you, sensible loafers with arch support 😉 ). Because I felt the need to love ALL of motherhood, I was missing out on finding joy in the parts I actually did like!
Realistically in life, we aren’t good at everything, right? So why would we think in motherhood that our skill set should be any different? So, to put it simply, I stopped trying to love it all.
Imaginative play. No thanks.
Rec activities outside. Not my cup of tea.
Detailed, high performance projects. Not my fave when the littlest hands are involved.
In this world of social media, it’s so easy to see others highlights and think, “why can’t I?”
But I’m going to encourage you to stop. Stop looking at what others are doing. And instead, think about the things you LOVE to do with your kids. Write them down, make a list. It may be just be one thing. It may be two, three, or even ten! Look at what you love to do.
And. Just. Do. That. Thing.
I’ve finally found the ability to connect in motherhood since letting go of my many mom failures. Doing our best to focus on the positive, the moments that bring us joy and connection with our kids, that is what motherhood is about.
Once I stopped trying to be the mom that does everything perfectly, and focused instead on being the mom that does one (or two) good things well, I started to find more happiness in my motherhood.
I focus on what I actually enjoy doing with my kids.
What a silly concept, right?! But choosing to focus on doing the things I love, and doing them well, means there’s less energy to dwell on the things I don’t enjoy to do with them. Less energy on the negative means less mom guilt. Less mom guilt means a happier mom.
And you know what? We are all better off for it!
Choose your One Good Mom Thing. Or two. Or three.
But either way, find what you actually enjoy to do. And own it as their mom. For me it’s mainly coloring and reading. I put my phone away, grab a warm comfort beverage, and sit with my kids.
Remember, it’s okay to change your mind!
As kids get older, some activities will become less, or more, appealing. I previously swore off sensory bins. Now we LOVE them. I just take a really lazy approach to keep it as stress free as possible.
It’s also okay to like different things. I know baking is NOT a favorite for many moms, but we love to bake. And that’s okay. It takes all kinds of moms to raise children. And you were hand picked to be your kids’ mom! So embrace what YOU love to do for them and with them. Because it’s what you were meant to do all along.
Find your One Good Mom Thing, and make it a priority!
It’s often in these quiet moments of activity together that kids choose to open up and connect. Through time and habit, we’ve established these are my “things” as a mom. So now, my kids know how to ask for connection. They invite me in. If I’m getting asked to color with them, I know they’re needing a bit of my time (and often open ended conversation). If they climb on my lap with a stack of books, I understand they’re craving closeness.
I make OGMT a priority, and include it in my weekly spread tracker box. Pictured here in my TAP Planner.
So here’s your permission, mama. Don’t worry about all the things you don’t like to do with your kids. Focus on the things you do like to do. And do them well. I promise it’ll leave you (and them) all feeling more connected. And much happier!