Posts tagged purpose
How To Punch Fear in the Face

“I just want to have a good night.”

That’s what I think EVERY. SINGLE. AFTERNOON. on my way to pick up the kids from daycare. That’s not too much to ask, right?! A few hours of family bliss. Hugs and snuggles. Sure, the occasional time-out when necessary, but let’s just all get along.

Well, that wasn’t tonight. I knew we were off to a bad start when Josie wouldn’t let me look at her when I picked her up from daycare. Yes, you read that right. She wouldn’t even allow me to watch her get into her car seat and buckle up. And, of course, as the parent, I don’t follow her rules because she doesn’t get to make the rules.

Disaster ensued.

punch fear in the face.png

But I was able to channel something that felt a lot like confidence. I was peaceful, even as she was losing her mind. And I think I know where that came from.

Last night, I stood in front of a hundred people – spotlight shining, mic booming, and cameras rolling – to share my story of creating this whole Mother of the Year movement. I was scared to death. (So nervous, in fact, that the day before, I was so full of self-doubt about speaking that I had myself convinced I was so inadequate that I couldn’t even buy a shirt at the mall. It’s quite the leap, but I’m sure you’ve been there with something equally as ridiculous!) But once I hit that stage, that sweet peaceful confidence took over. I stepped right through that fear to tell the crowd the same truth that I try to tell myself every day.

I told every single person there that their best is enough for their families. That they didn’t have to love every minute of motherhood to love their kids well. That they are great mothers (or fathers, grandparents, sisters, etc.).

Tonight, I believed that for myself.

And that’s what made a difference in my parenting. Maybe I was still riding that high, but I figured if I could push through fear last night and experience something life-giving and amazing in front of a crowd, then I could push through the fear of not having a good night with my kids to be the confident, tough, loving mother that my firecracker daughter needed tonight.

fear is a liar.png

Some takeaways:

  • It’s not about perfection. I flubbed and ad-libbed a few times in my 10-minutes on stage last night. And I waffled a bit tonight, too. Perfection is not what ushers in the peace.

  • Replace the lies with the truth. The gremlins in our heads will give a pretty powerful performance, convincing us that the mean and horrible things only we would think of ourselves are actually true. They aren’t. And the sooner we can spot the lies and replace them with the truth, the more peaceful we will be.

  • Get to know yourself. Seriously, as soon as I started on my journey of discovering and naming the unique parts of my personality, my passions, my drive, I truly believe God kept calling me step by step into my future. I started a blog, got back on the radio, and launched the Mother of the Year movement. But more than those “accomplishments”, I was able to see that how God put me together wasn’t an accident. That my empathy is more blessing than curse. That my gift of storytelling has actually been one of my strengths my entire life. And the list goes on. THE BEST PART: the more I know about myself, the better mother I am! (If this sounds interesting to you, and you want to know more about starting this journey, I’d love to invite you to an event that could seriously change your life!)

The best things in life are waiting for us on the other side of fear. For me, I may always be scared that I’m going to ruin my kids one way or the other, but I hope I keep walking through that fear to parent from a place of peace. And I will probably always be shaking in my boots before I speak in front of a crowd, but you better believe I’m going to find a way back to that spotlight and shout it from the roof tops that You Are MOTHER OF THE YEAR!

And you want to talk about peace? How about putting your 4-year-old to bed at 6:15 p.m. I mean, that’s real peace right there! 

So what’s it for you? Is fear or peace shaping your motherhood?

P.S. I’m working on some AMAZING resources for you to help us sort through all of this! Join my email list, and you’ll be the first to know!

Have You Ever Had a Trip to the Grocery Store Like Jen's?

Have ya ever had a trip through the grocery store like Jen’s?

“I left the baby home with my hubby and took the two-year-old grocery shopping this morning. All was well until I got done unloading groceries onto the belt. That's when I realized that the entire time I was doing that, my darling boy had been cracking eggs, one by one, against his chest. Thank God for understanding cashiers and fellow customers! The guy behind us even sent his daughter to get me a new carton of eggs while I was cleaning up.”

I mean, I don’t even know where to begin except to say that two-year-olds are some of the most creative people I’ve known. Who else do you know that, in any social setting, would even think to grab eggs from the carton and crack them one-by-one onto his chest? It’s brilliant!

have you ever had a trip to the grocery store like jens.png

But what I really love about this story is that we can all identify with it. With a simple shopping trip gone awry. A breakfast ruined because the toast was cut into squares instead of triangles. A fun playdate that ended up in time-outs and tears instead of sweet goodbye hugs.

Toddlers (and maybe kids in general, but for now I can only speak from experience) have the unique ability to challenge each moment of the day in ways we couldn’t even anticipate! And if we’re not careful, we may start to resent these tough moments and even these kids.

Gosh, of course we love our kids more than life itself. I’m serious. Sometimes I look at my kids and I can actually feel my heart bursting from the inside out. Other times I look at my kids and can barely keep from exploding with anger and frustration. GO TO SLEEP! QUIT STALLING! GO POTTY FOR. THE. LOVE. OF. EVERYTHING. GOOD.

So how do we keep ourselves from resenting these moments and resenting our babes?

1. Keep some perspective. If Jen’s day didn’t get any worse than the eggs-on-the-shirt incident, she still had a pretty good day. Plus, it makes for a really great story!

2. Laugh it off. If you don’t laugh you cry, that’s what they say. And I agree, although usually I laugh and cry. And cry and laugh. It’s a very fine line for me. Laugh when we need to and cry when we need to, but then let’s take our cue from Elsa and let it go…

3. Name the good. So the grocery store wasn’t a success, but you survived it. Say that out loud. Then look for the next thing, and the next and say those wins out loud too. It’s so important to keep our eyes on the good. There’s so much good in our days that we can miss when we’re caught up in the bad.

4. Don’t forget you were made on purpose and for a purpose. You’re raising babies and there is no more noble cause. You’re also a friend, a spouse, an employee, a neighbor, and the list goes on. You’re on this earth to love others well in ways that only you can. And if you’re buried in the weeds of motherhood you may forget this. But don’t.

you're on earth.png

What’s also cool about Jen’s story is that after she posted it to our awesome I Am Mother of the Year Facebook group, she was cheered on by an amazing community of moms who totally get it. She even jumped back into the conversation to share the fact that it turned out better than expected because she found an extra outfit and some wipes in the car to clean him off with. Mother of the Year!

Jen, thanks for sharing your story! Mamas, thanks for being the best online community we could ask for! You. Have a great day. The best one ever. And if you’ve got any advice on how not to resent our kids, our situations, our long and hard days of motherhood, pretty please share it! We need all the help we can get!