Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Mothering Challenge #3

So, I failed miserably at last week's mothering challenge. I tried, really I did, to let the messes pile up and not worry about them while I focused on the kids. But I failed.

There is a lesson here though. I've realized that, for me, I need my house to be neat and orderly to have a happy disposition, and we all know that "if mama ain't happy..." Still, I am more mindful of when my focus on a neat home might cause me to miss a special moment with my children and I will keep trying to leave the dirty dishes when I can, as long as it doesn't make me too cranky...

Let's aim for an "easier" goal this week, shall we?

Weekly Mothering Challenge #3 - Smile more.

Prior to motherhood when I taught corporate workshops on effective leadership and communication skills, I would over-emphasize the importance of smiling. I would talk about its role in helping the leader have more confidence, be more approachable, more persuasive, more enthusiastic, more "real." But the true benefit of smiling is that it helps all of us feel happier.

While there are the bursts of hilarity throughout a day with small children, I find much of my day to be expressionless. It just doesn't always occur to me to smile while I am making peanut butter sandwiches or wiping bottoms.

I have begun, however, to remind myself to smile more. And you know what? It's helping me to stop and savor the moment. By smiling, I can't help but be happier with and more mindful of whatever mothering task I am undertaking.

When I was teaching professionals about the importance of a simple smile, I would often quote philosopher William James, who said:

"Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not."

So this week, how about if we all take action to smile more and see how many more feel-good mothering moments it creates?

4 comments:

  1. I think that smiling for no reason other than you're happy to be with your kids is one of the nicest gifts you can give them.

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  2. I wouldn't say you failed because of a little
    mess, I'd say that MJ & A are lucky to have a mother like you!

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