My friend Patty Cook offers these words of wisdom for moms:
I am a late-blooming step-mom. After rising from the ashes of a career burnout, I found myself falling into the same old traps when children came into my life. Use these guidelines to strengthen your ability to thrive – as a mother, as a woman.
To have the life I want, I will:
MODEL the behavior I want to see
Gandhi said it best when he said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” So if you want respect, respect. If you want understanding, understand. If you want happiness, be happy. And if you want your children to grow up to love and nurture themselves…
ORIENT my life around my values
Stress happens when you stray from your core values. The further you stray, the more stressful it is for you. Identify those values that are key to your happiness, learn to notice quickly when you are misaligned, and use a variety of tools and techniques to bring yourself back to center.
TAKE CARE of myself
When your needs are being met, it takes the pressure off of others to meet them, and life gets easier. Whether you need to be accepted, acknowledged, cared for, needed, safe, free, etc., honor that need and start getting it met so it stops driving all your actions and your very best self can emerge.
HELP OTHERS help me
You don’t have to be a martyr, suffering and sacrificing yourself, to be an extraordinary wife and mother. In fact, giving yourself away until you are exhausted and depleted is not a badge of honor. It leads to unhappiness and poor health, and sends the wrong message to your children. We train people how to treat us, and this includes our family. Does yours need retraining? Start now and help them help you be the Mom you want to be.
Here are 10 ways you can energize yourself every day: You can build your self-care skills, your De-Stress NOW skills, clarify your vision, and build communication and decision-making skills. And, you can let go of tolerations, attachments, resistance, taking things personally, and the need to be right. Choose one and focus on it for a week at a time, or choose a different one every day to explore. Either way is perfect – each is a major energizer and whatever attention you bring to it will make a positive difference.
REST when I am tired
Animals and kids rest when they are tired, naturally. Why don’t you? Even a few minutes can make a world of difference in the quality of your life, so make carving out time to rest, relax and rejuvenate a priority. And help others help you do it!
SAY IT so it can be heard
When you speak directly, with kindness, respect and a willingness to listen and understand, your message can get through. Thinking it isn’t saying it. Yelling it can’t be truly heard. Neither can blaming, shaming or justifying. Make your requests out loud – the people you love really do want to please you, but they aren’t mind-readers. And be sure to sing praises out loud and often, too. Both will deepen your connection – to yourself and to them.
Patty Cook is an Executive Life Coach and founder of Life by Design, which she founded in 2000. Now celebrating over 11 years of victory over breast cancer, Patty has experienced first-hand how quickly and radically life can change its course, and is committed to supporting people in living like there’s no tomorrow, today. She walked away after 18 years from a highly successful construction career she absolutely loved because she didn’t know how to deal with the stress of it. Since 1992, she has dedicated her life to helping people do what they love to do, and are good at, without paying such a high price for their success.