Word Mapping Motherhood {A Valuable Exercise for Moms}


Full disclosure: I’m a college professor, which means I sometimes get nerdy and try learning strategies for my students on myself that “normal” moms likely wouldn’t do.

But word mapping, for real, helped me a lot.

word mapping

It got me to write down all the crazy thoughts running through my head, and in a way organize them, or at least group things together. Word mapping can be a great way to put together the random thoughts, words and connections in your brain on paper – having something visual to represent you. And it gave my partner a sense of what it is that makes me so incredibly different from him.

If you’ve never done a word map before, I promise, they are easy! There is NO WRONG WAY to do this – and it really depends on you, your style and what you want to do this with. So ask yourself that question first – is this something private you may just want on a notecard or a small piece of paper hidden away? Is this something you want to try maybe again and keep it in a journal you can reuse? Or something you want to post somewhere as a reminder?

Next, think about what you want to word map. In my example, the image demonstrates my brain dump of 10 words that sum up motherhood for me. You’re welcome to try the same words or use your own. Mine are: Chores, Prepared, Redundant, Reluctant, Proud, Worry, Unfinished, Blessing, Fun and Active. I made mine in a rainbow coordinated circle around the word Mom, but you can list them, you can make a chart, you can do whatever suits you. You can Google this and you’ll see the many ways that people creatively make them or you can try a SmartArt option in Word or try using a Word Cloud Generator like this.

word mapping motherhoodTo complete your word map, add words that describe your words. Yes, that sounds funny, but get it all out there. See what sticks, see what catches your attention as something that may need a little bit of focus, see where you may need to tap into resources like family or friends to address. But, you also get to see what makes you tick, what makes you smile, what makes it all worth it.

If you choose your own words, I do hope that you are honest. Being that this is something just for you, it doesn’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows. Words can mean a lot of things, and motherhood can be tricky, but when you put your pens or markers to the paper and write it down, there can be a very cathartic feeling of release.

If you like word mapping, consider trying to use it for your to-do list, as each line off the main words can be the smaller, realistic task that can be accomplished and crossed off, or try this with the kids with memories or bucket lists or favorite things about sports or bugs or a vacation. I find it fun to look back at these and sometimes add sticky notes or dates or whatever may be appropriate.


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