Mom Strong: Honoring our Strengths as Mothers {Series}


It is really easy to think of things we wish we could/would/should do better as mothers. However, sadly, it is much harder to think of things that we do really well as mothers. And it’s even more difficult to elaborate on those strengths. Each of us can point out the amazing things we see others do, but often struggle to turn this same positive reflection on ourselves. Here at CMB, we have challenged our team to write about something they think they do well as a mother. We hope you enjoy reading along as we take this journey and hope you do some positive self-reflection on your own mothering strengths as well.

StrongMomThe majority of days I am pretty sure that I’m screwing this whole mom thing up. I’m not as patient or gentle as I should be, I’m way selfish, and I resent people whose lives look “better” (different) than mine. When CMB encouraged us to write about strengths I thought ‘I can decorate a cute nursery and make a tasty homemade mac n cheese, but that’s about it’. The truth is, I haven’t spent much time thinking about what I’m good at because most days I feel like I am drowning. People who are drowning don’t stop to think about their strengths. But maybe they should – maybe we should mamas. Maybe those strengths are what could save us.

As I think back to my pre-mama days, I could have told you where my strengths were, the areas I was making progress, and the areas I just plain stunk. The reason I could have told you then is because I regularly sat down to think about it. I regularly received feedback from other people and they were even crazy enough to pay me to help other people learn how to evaluate themselves and each other! Work-at-home mama life is vastly different from corporate America, no doubt, but (other than the people) the thing I miss the most is feedback.

There’s no one here telling me that I’m doing a good job or that I missed the mark, and there’s no one here helping me make course corrections in the middle of a screw up. So scratch my initial assessment. What I miss most is not the feedback, it’s the coaching that came with it. It’s someone else offering me their perspective as an outsider to my situation. It’s someone else who has been there before, climbed the same mountain, and fought the same battle showing me their scars to help me avoid the same mistakes (or at least learn the lessons sooner). It’s someone else looking at me and saying “I totally know how hard this is! I remember. Here’s what I tried. Here’s something I learned.”

And there it is mama friends: the thing that I’m good at just happens to be the thing that I need most. I desperately need an older (wiser) mama to come alongside me and tell me what I’m doing well. I ache for a woman who will challenge me to be selfless, more patient, and more gracious. I want to hear her stories, understand her struggles, and learn how she changed for the better. So that’s exactly what I try to do for others.

More than four years ago I started keeping a list of lessons I was learning about being a mama. Some are simple, some are practical and some are sentimental. Some are about discipline, some are cleaning solutions, and some are silly. I have shared these lessons publicly and privately, and not a week goes by that I have not found myself in some situation where I can encourage another mama by sharing what I’m learning. It’s not so much prescriptive (here’s what you should do) as descriptive (here’s what happened to me, what I did, and what I learned from it). I don’t typically offer them to strangers, only to close mama friends who may be where I once was.

It turns out that I do have a mom strength; it’s the same strength I had before I was a mom.  In an effort to encourage other mamas (and people in general), to remind them that they aren’t alone, and to reach out a hand when they feel like they’re drowning, I’ll share. I’ll put my ugly right out there where it can be seen, if it helps a mama realize it’s ok to make mistakes. I’ll mention the moments I knew my kids were starting to get the lessons I’ve been teaching them, if it helps a mama see the evidence of progress in her own kiddos. And – hard as it may be – I’ll share my strengths, if it helps a mama realize she has them too.


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