What does it mean to be a Mom? The first thing that comes to mind is kids.
You need kids to be a Mom, or at least in the traditional sense. I suppose you could be a room mom, or a team mom or a mentor mom… but in each of those scenarios, there are other people (sometimes kids, sometimes other moms) that you nurture and love and care for. So in a sense, yes, in all situations, to be a mom you need kids.
What else does it mean to be a Mom?
Often times the image that pops into our frazzled, overwhelmed, multi-tasking brains is just that: a woman running around frazzled, overwhelmed and multi-tasking in order to please and serve and care for everyone and everything around her – the kids (as referenced above), the husband, the clients or boss. It’s ping-ponging back and forth between soccer practice, school fundraisers, volunteering in the community and coffee with a girlfriend.
It’s the “when’s the last time we had a date (or sex)?” conversation you have with your husband because you literally can’t remember.
It’s drinking half your pumpkin smoothie (because that’s healthy and let’s face it, the best part about the Fall season is, you guessed it, pumpkin smoothies that make you feel like you’re eating pie for breakfast) as you simultaneously attempt to finish your coffee before it gets cold, matt down your tangled hair because nowhere on earth is there possibly time to actually take a shower and wash your hair, find a shirt that isn’t wrinkled, stained or with a hole in it, and load up the car with kids (again, refer to the above), backpacks, water bottles and hopefully lunch that isn’t entirely pre-packaged or loaded with sugar.
Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about all of that. And all of that is what it means to be a Mom.
But what if there was more? More to being a Mom than all of that running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.
I believe there is.
I believe there is a LOT more to being a Mom.
I believe the BEST part about being a Mom is two-fold.
First, it’s love. Our capacity to love another human being, unconditionally, before ever meeting him or her, before staring into those innocent newborn eyes – it’s huge. Now I know all too well that sometimes a Mom doesn’t have that breathtaking moment and surge of love. Sometimes, it takes a long time, or maybe doesn’t ever come at all. But I believe the capacity to love – the ability to love – that is in all of us (even if it’s buried deep down).
As a Mom, at least for me, my heart grew when I had my second child. I used to fear that I would never be able to love another child as much as I loved my first. And you know what happened? My capacity to love grew, and it continues to grow, even now that they are six and nine. Yes! It’s true.
The second thing about being a Mom is this: you were YOU before you were Mom. Huh? Yes. Anatomically you are able to be a Mom because you are a WOMAN. Sure, there’s a scientific / medical anomaly or two out there, but as God created you, you were first a woman and that means there’s more to you than just being Mom. You may have heard me say this before (and if you have then listen up again, because this is important!), I don’t say “just” lightly.
Being able to call yourself Mom is a gift, an honor, a blessing (even though there are some days when you want to lock yourself in the bathroom with a box of tissues and a bottle of chardonnay).
The point here is this: there is more to you than taking care of the kids and the house. Yeah, take a deep breath here and really let that sink in. Your world expands beyond diapers and dishes, beyond carpools and crafts – if you choose to let it.
That’s not to say that any of that stuff is bad, but it’s just not all there is when it comes to being a Mom. Remember, you’re a woman, with a name – yeah, her.
You are a woman. A woman with hopes and dreams, with passion and purpose. A woman with a mission to change the world (or at least leave it a little better than how you found it – hopefully). Maybe your purpose right now IS to take care of the kids and the house, and that’s all right – there is nothing wrong with that – but it doesn’t mean you have to do that forever.
Your kids won’t be little forever. Someday they’re going to grow up, move out, make mistakes, live life their own way and not need you anymore. Heartbreaking, I know (and as much as it pains them to hear), they’ll always be our little babies. So what happens when the house is empty? What happens to you? Do you wait for that moment to occur before you start thinking about who YOU are, or were? Or do you incorporate who you are as a person, as a woman, right now – while you have little ones at home still, so they can SEE you as a person beyond just Mom.
It’s a big question, I know. You don’t have to answer it all right now… But as you think about it I’ll leave you with this thought: You want your kids to grow up following their dreams, pursuing their passions. How can you tell them to do that, to believe in themselves, if you aren’t being the example for them?
In my world, I’m a Mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, an entrepreneur, the CEO to my own business. All of those titles, all those hats I wear, they’re all important. And all those hats together make up who I am, as an individual, as a unique, one of a kind woman – who happens to also be a Mom.
Do I live a perfect life? Heck no! I’d like to meet the woman who claims she does. (And yes, I do believe that I am in the perfect place at the perfect time for every experience and journey in my life – another post for another day, because that’s not what I mean in this context). Do I live a relatively happy, balanced life that I’m proud of? Absolutely! It’s taken me many years to come to the realization that I matter as a person, that I’m more than just Mom, that my hopes and dreams have a place in this world sooner than later – like right now.
Our world is flooded with choices. Should I do this or that? Say this or that? Go there or here? Be like this or that? My advice to you is to make the choice that fills you up, that helps you remember who you were before becoming a Mom, or maybe who you envision yourself being now and in the future. Make the choice to do something for you – because you matter! Choose how you want your kids to see you. What kind of example are you going to lead them through?
Choose to put yourself first, not in a selfish way, but in the way that is the most loving, giving, self-honoring fashion you can ever imagine… and your kids will see the light in your eyes shining, reflecting to them, and they’ll want that too.
You’re more than just Mom. There’s more to you.
So what does it mean to be a Mom?
The only thing I can tell you is that you have to define that for yourself. I know what being a Mom means to me. It’s everything I just wrote above (and more… there’s always more). I’m redefining what it means to be a Mom for me. You get to do the same for you.
Ask yourself, “What does being a Mom mean to me?” I’d love to know.
I’d also love to invite you to join me for a very special 3-day virtual event called “Redefining Mom – Permission to Break the Rules!” It’s completely free. To register or learn more, just click here: www.RedefiningMomSummit.com I can’t wait to see you there!