Are you a successful mom? What does that even mean?
If the thought of even attempting to answer that question makes you feel anxious, nervous, guilty, or inadequate, you’re not alone. We know that mothers have one of the most important jobs in the world. So, how can we evaluate if we are doing well?
Don’t beat yourself up
I think when we stop to self evaluate, it is always so easy to beat ourselves up. At the end of the day we may recognize all our failures. The times we lost our temper. The child we corrected too harshly. The child we didn’t discipline enough. The lesson we didn’t teach. The special meal we didn’t make. The child who went to bed without their favorite book being read to them.
And, we might even take our self evaluation further and look at social media to see how we are doing. There we find perfectly dressed families in photos of enviable vacations and perfect birthday parties while we are just trying to get our kids out the door in matching shoes and brushed hair.
Self-evaluating is a good thing if done honestly
As a mother of 12, I frequently found myself evaluating how I was doing. Since we homeschooled, there was another whole layer of ways to compare myself to other moms. It always seemed that other moms were scholastically more diligent on one end of the spectrum or way more fun and creative at the other end.
Was I a successful mom?
The self doubts lingered. There was always more that I could be doing. There was always room for me to be a better person. There were always more failures to weigh me down.
How could I be a successful mom?
Figuring out the secrets
I finally found the answer so I’d like to share it. If you don’t know how you define “successful mom”, you will never know if you’re achieving it, right?
If you just look at all the activities your friends are doing and start frantically trying to replicate these things in your own home, you will never be able to keep up and can inevitably feel like a failure. In addition, some of these activities may actually work against each other – for example a heavy load of extracurricular activities could prevent you from fixing healthy, homemade meals.
So, take a minute and honestly think about how you would define success. Like the old saying goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any train will take you there.”
Your family’s goals will not look like your friends’ or family’s list. These goals belong to your family. And, they can be very simple.
I’ll share mine with you.
- I want my children to love God and serve Him.
- I want my children to love each other.
- I want my children to be able to read well and think critically. Any gaps they may have in their education can be filled if they know how to read, think and self teach.
These three goals represent my heart. And, they keep it simple for me. Yes, there are many other side goals off of these original three. I want my children to be kind and loving to others. I want them to be hard workers. I want them to take stands for truth and justice.
Set your own (realistic) goals
I encourage you to take just a minute and really think about what you want for your children. Write it down. Post it on your refrigerator. Know what your goals are. I promise, your self doubts and worries will lessen when you put into words what is truly important to your family.
So many of the things we stress about and judge ourselves over really have little importance in the grand scheme of being successful as a mother.
Can you be a successful mom? Of course you can if you know where you are headed.