Monday, March 14, 2016

#MotherhoodMonday - Motherhood Motivations


Motherhood and Motivation...those two words haven't always clicked for me. Growing up I was always motivated to do well in school because I loved the positive feedback I would receive. A big fat gold star on my report, a "Book-It" button full of stickers so I could go eat at Pizza Hut, a certificate at the end of the school year for citizenship, and that National Honor Society collar at graduation. As I finished college and entered the work force I was motivated to do good work for the "attagirl"s and end of the year bonuses. I flourish under positive feedback and appreciation, and am motivated to exceed expectations because I definitely do not want to be on the receiving end of a bad performance review.

And then there was motherhood...

I don't know if y'all know this, but newborns don't rain down praise when you soothe them and cure their diaper rash with coconut oil. Toddlers don't high five you when you sneak organic veggies into their diet and manage to teach them their colors in a fun and playful manner. There is no performance review. There is no bonus structure. There is no climbing the ladder, and guess what, there is no absolute right way to do your job. (I shudder)

For a while this frustrated me and scared me. How will I know I am measuring up? What if I fail?! The short answer is, I have no effing clue. Motherhood is the single most amazing and terrifying role to embark upon and carries an incredible responsibility. You mean, I'm charged with shaping the heart and mind of this tiny malleable human? I'm the one who needs to  model empathy, patience, and goodwill towards others? 

So I had a paradigm shift. I began to see the small, day-to-day rewards of motherhood and let those motivate me through sleepless nights and long weary days. I became motivated by:
  • Gummy grins (even if they were only because of passing gas)
  • Contented sighs
  • A heavy tired toddler in my arms
  • Messy hands that have been exploring the world
  • The first words strung together (Mama, I HUN-GEE! - aka hungry)
  • Belly laughs when I make silly faces
These are the gold stars of early motherhood. Recently I've been looking to the future, something I rarely did before becoming a mother. My long-term motivations are raising a brave, confident child who respects others (even if they have different opinions), has empathy for the feelings of those around him, and loves with abandon. It's a tall order, and I hope I'm up to the task. Someone just tell me that I can get a ribbon or gold star when he's a successful, self-sufficient adult, okay?

On a lighter note, here's a list of some of my other Motherhood Motivations:
  • Nothing motivates me to work like looking at the clock and realizing I have 30 minutes before Mother's Day Out pick-up.
  • Nothing motivates me to move like some French Roast first thing in the morning.
  • Nothing motivates me to exercise (y'all, never in my life have I ever wanted to exercise) like the thought of 30 minutes to watch Netflix on the treadmill while my son plays in the gym childcare. Also, I'm motivated to still be moving and shaking by the time he graduates college .(I'll be 56!)
  • Nothing motivates me to get through the bedtime routine like knowing my comfy chair, sweats, Hulu, and contraband cookies are waiting for me.
So mommas, tell me, what motivates you?

Don't forget to visit all the other remarkable mommas participating in this week's topic:

Lisa W. http://www.themotherblog.com
Alexis http://www.mrsmombie.com/ 
Farrah http://www.newandnaturalmom.com/ 
Tiffany http://www.stellarmama.com/ 
Natasha http://www.natashabyrd.com/blog 
Heather http://www.frugalsouthernliving.com/

Katie http://www.alwayskatie.com




17 comments:

  1. Love this so hard! I think you should write another post of your toddlers performance review. How hilarious would that be? Like from a two year olds perspective! I wanna read that!

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  2. I second the performance review post idea - would be so funny! My two little ones are my biggest motivators - I want so much goodness for them and it keeps me going!

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  3. A performance review by toddlers...haha! I can only imagine. I should make a report card and have each of my kids fill it out.

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