Today is Mother’s Day. It is the day we take to honour mothers and thank them for all they have done for us. Mother’s (father’s your turn will come) are the everyday leaders at home. They are the ones who make a difference every single day with the lives they touch by shaping the next generation leader-it is a daunting task.
Parenthood doesn’t come with a manual. There is no succession planning. There is no salary for being a parent. You make the best decisions you can, learn from your mistakes and hope that the balance of probabilities is in your favour; that you do more good than harm.
I remember when my daughter was born, and I became a mother. We brought my daughter home, and all was good for about an hour. Then my daughter cried. My husband and I looked at each other and he said, “why is she crying, what does she want?” Like I knew!
We are both bright and capable people. But this little bundle of 7 lbs. 11 oz. humbled us. We knew at that moment we were completely alone and that this was going to be a journey of trial and error. We were in it for the long term, and we would have to do the best we could. We didn’t have any of our immediate family around us to help, it was just the three of us. Each day we learned something new and became more confident parents. I would say our parenting style was a team effort. We made joint decisions and we shared parenting responsibilities. It made it easier to be a mom, but it was still tough for the two of us, so I have the utmost respect and admiration for the single parent moms.
Sometimes when I had a minute to think about it, I second guessed our decisions-did we do the right thing? Are we teaching them to be independent, to be their own person? We knew that our mission was to equip our daughters to be successful at life, in all areas, physical, mental, social and with their work life.
At times being a mom was bone weary exhausting, but I knew I had to keep going. At other times it was head popping off moments, where I just wanted to be somewhere else. Then there are the times of heart bursting pride. Yes, motherhood comes with its challenges and rewards. Holding the long term view is hard, now I get to see how the hard work has paid off and am reaping the reward on this side of being a grandmother.
I also learned that what we do matters so much more than what we say. This is the crux of leadership at home. This is the influence you have. Don’t get me wrong, what you say is important. I have written about the consequences of negative speech. My daughters have watched my words and actions. They have called me out when my actions didn’t line up with my words. They have also called me out when my words hurt. They have learned as have I ,about the good, the bad and the ugly of parenting. They have taken what they have learned and are forging their own way. I am happy that they have grown up to be lovely, strong, capable and caring young women.
My oldest daughter is a first-time mom and I see her finding her way. She is braver than I was and has fully embraced motherhood. I see my granddaughter watching and learning from her parents. It is a miracle and a wonder at the same time.
Mothers, know that your small steps and consistent actions pay off over time. You are raising a new generation of leaders.
If you know of a mom who needs to hear about how important her job is at home, please share.
Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!