Why do we need a vision for parenting in general, and motherhood specifically?
The answer is simple, really. A vision helps us clarify our short term goals. By having a destination in mind for our motherhood journey, the route we should take becomes more clear. If Motherhood is a road trip ( and I think we can all agree it is a trip) , then our vision is our map. It helps get us to where we want to go.
I personally love planning and lists. Especially in the area of my work. I take my responsibility to care for my children and home seriously, and having a plan and a list help me to make sure I’m not forgetting anything or neglecting an area of my life. Planning my work also helps me be spontaneous with my play. For instance , I know that my housework and responsibilities generally take me four days a week. This also means that I know Friday can be more flexible. I resent Monday- Thursday less because I know that on Friday I will have time to do something special with my children. Now, am I saying that I only do fun things on Friday? Of course not, that would truly be absurd. But what I am saying is that having an overall weekly plan eases tension in some other areas. This general concept can be applied to our vision.
So let’s start with a list. Maybe you have a designated planner or journal. Maybe it’s a sheet of paper that’s close at hand. Maybe you are all ready to sit out and write out your vision for mother hood.
Or maybe this overwhelms you. perhaps you would rather draw or paint your vision. Maybe you want to cut images out of magazines and create a collage of images of motherhood that inspire you. Maybe your primary expressive language is music, so you want to create a motherhood playlist . Don’t get hung up on the medium. We don’t want to worry so much about the how , as the why.
Things to consider when crafting your vision for Motherhood:
A) Consider your dreams for your life and your children’s lives.
What type of Mom do you want to be? Move past the superficial and really get to the essential .
B) Consider your reality.
What are your limitations? We all have them. Be realistic about them, and include these realities in your overall vision, rather than ignoring them:
What preconceived notions did you have of parenting ? What have you learned so far? Do you need to make and course corrections based on this new information?
C) Consider Long Term
What is the most essential thing for you to teach your children? I’m not talking an exhaustive list here – although those can be fun and eye opening too. But for this exercise try to narrow this one down to one essential thing. What is most essential for you to teach your child?
D) Consider Eternity
From my here it’s a natural process for us to move on to morals and values . What values are you hoping to instill in your children? How do you plan to carry this out?
If you’re familiar with Charlotte Mason; this might be where we talk about habit training. If you’re interested in this topic, Simply Charlotte Mason has some excellent resources on this topic.
From a Christian perspective, we hope to spend eternity with our children. This means as parents we have to diligently teach them about God, His Nature, the Gospel, and a solidly Biblical worldview.
From a simply human perspective, we are going to be adults with our children for more of our lifetimes than we are fin to be raising them: this means we need to make cultivating a friendship with others our children a priority.
E) Get Inspired
It’s hard for me to separate vision and inspiration, I’m a creative. I think in images. I find inspiration in general to be extremely motivating.
Whose mothering examples are you inspired by?
Or what inspires you to be a better mom?
This could be a wide range of things. I have found Sarah Mackenzie from read aloud revival, and Sally Clarkson to both be very inspiring, for example. Charlotte Masons writings encourage me to be a better educator. Jeanne Oliver inspires me to make better art, and that inspiration feeds over to every area of my life.
There are also tools that help me be a better mom, although they aren’t “inspiring” per way. Instrumental music encourages me and soothes me in general, helping me to be a better mom. Cleaned off surfaces help me focus. Time limits on my phone help me prioritize the people Right in front of me instead of people on the internet.
F) Get Specific
Now that we have considered the larger picture, I also what you to break your vision down.
If you haven’t started writing yet , this is where we start. I find journal prompts and questions to be enormously helpful, so I will provide a few for you.
1) Write down the Big Picture . When your child is an adult what is important for them to be able to look back on? Lessons , speedily memories and experiences? When they are your age now how do you want them to remember your family and home?
2) what is important for the next season. Think roughly three years out. For example; if they are 5 or 6 years old and you are home educating them- then laying a solid academic foundation in the next three years might be a priority for you.
3) Now what is important in this season, right now? What phase of development is your child in? What do you need to do to provide for them?
If you have littles , then the pressing matters of importance are going to be vastly different from those of parents of middle schoolers or teenagers or parents with young adults who are starting out on their own.
Our motherhood journey is directly linked to the phases our kids are going -and growing- through.
But as we consider our vision, essentially we are painting ourselves a picture of where we want to end up. Where our hearts are satisfied at the end of our lives.
The vision helps us get there.
As a mom, you are a lead . You get to set the direction, tone; and purpose of your home. You get to promote the things that you value and love. This is one of the special honors and privileges of being a mom you set the tone. You create the family culture.
All of this begins with intentional decisions . With living out your values. Turning your ideals into action points. What you esteem is what your children will esteem. Generally speaking, although the nature of your relationship with your children and the atmosphere of your home will also effect this.
I hope this helps you as you are thinking about creating a personal vision for parenting.
Briefly I want to mention vision statements. These were really big circa 2009 or so. These are generally for companies, although many different organizations have adopted them. Churches, ministries, non for profits, and yes even some families. Mission statements are usually pithy. They are one to two sentences. If short and sweet is your unofficial motto, then you may prefer to craft a mission statement for your family:
Whatever you choose, I’m hoping you leave today feeling inspired to spend some time crafting your motherhood vision today.