Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and while I think about my own mom, my mother-in-law, and countless women who impacted my life in positive ways, I return to the reality that I, too, am a mom. Don’t get me wrong. I do not take my momhood for granted. It has just become such a part of who I am, that I don’t quantify it as a life skill. But, maybe I should. Most people view moms as the ones who manage things, organize things, clean things, shop for things, and make earthlings.
You really must hand it to moms – things get done, but not at the expense of bonding with their children. In between work, loads of laundry and grocery runs, they take time to show their love by snuggling, reading, playing games, walking to the park, and engaging in long talks on gloomy days. Moms seem to balance business and fun so effortlessly.
But, moms also know when their own battery needs recharging. How do they manage to take a time out? Is it a learned skill or is it pure instinct that drives mom to a warm bath? How do you, as a mom, deal with the “crash and burn” moments in life, when you wish you had listened to your great-grandmother, and become a nun? You know – those rainy days when the sump pump goes belly up, the school is calling because your littlest angel just puked all over her classmates, and a message on your computer informs you that you’ve been hacked.
Continuing our journey filled with fun references to air travel, let’s examine how moms use their energy or their power. Oh, and let’s not forget about super powers that allow moms to manage change or handle a crisis in creative ways. Moms must continually evolve, as their undeniably adorable offspring will always find the chink in their armor. When that happens, they will engage her in “battle”, looking to hone their own novice skills. And, moms are good at letting that happen so everybody can be a winner. But, watch out, because mom wears a reversible cape, and will dodge future attempts or write a new game plan. Moms are stealthy, really.
Moms seem to have their own unique radar system, and seem to know when turbulence is ahead. Then there is that “eyes in back of their heads” thing. My own mom belonged to that club. She didn’t miss much, and many times I knew that she knew what I wish she didn’t know, but she didn’t say a word. That had to be exhausting! And, if you keep your kids guessing, and are never too predictable, you have honed your craft. When moms find a cruising altitude that allows them to clear their heads, they can continue keep their families on course, and have a bit of sanity as well.
If we add a mom’s perspective to the family mix, we may find someone who has a broad overview of most situations. If she focuses too much on a single activity or minor dilemma, something else will inevitably become overwhelming. So, she avoids getting swept up in the trivial. How does she do it? How does she manage all that multi-tasking and responsibility? I will take a stab at this- she takes a bird’s-eye view of her family and their circumstances.
Take a moment to envision a child, frustrated and crying, unable to zipper his jacket. Then, child #2 and #3 enter the scene, bickering and demanding mom’s attention. This is the point at which mom can realize she needs to step back, and not get caught up in it. But how? Think of the bird. He’s sitting on their windowsill, taking in the show. He decides to take off, and flies to the tree in their backyard. While still able to hear the children, he now sees a slightly bigger picture of the human family and where they reside. He decides to fly over the house and get an even broader view. He realizes that there are many houses, and noises from all of them. To escape the noise, he flies even higher, and now has a completely different perspective of the humans, so far away, small, and quiet. He sees an entire town – trees, houses, a river or perhaps a mountain. The sights and smells are much different from below, he realizes. And, so peaceful.
When a mom takes a step back to get a bird’s-eye view, she can see her problems as much smaller than they really are in relation to her home, her community, or the universe, for that matter. It’s all blue sky and fresh air, reminding her that from aloft, these “problems” are just life being lived, and in the grand scheme of things, perhaps not worth losing sleep over. Moms can be micro-managers, but also guardians of secrets such as time-management and prioritizing. They wear many hats, and are skilled jugglers. But, mainly moms know what their families need to work together as a happy, healthy unit, and will find the most efficient ways to get them there.
I thank mothers everywhere for setting the bar, but also for teaching us that these strategies can be reproduced whenever we desire a change in our lives. Think about perspective, think about what you value, and what can be prioritized, and think about that bird, because his view taught us to change ours.
Happy Mother’s Day!