My mom was there to greet me, and, seeing my tears, brought me over to the couch for a long talk. With an arm around my shoulders and a hand clasped in mine, she told me all those things a young girl needs to hear--that I wasn't ugly, that I needed to forgive my friend for her unkind words, and that I must always look to the right sources for my sense of validation. This was a very deliberate decision on my mom’s part. She could have stopped at just comforting me, instead she used the moment as an opportunity to teach me as well.
You see, strong little girls and strong families don’t just “happen.” They require effort, sacrifice and the art of being deliberate.
The online organization I run, Power of Moms, is a gathering place for deliberate mothers. And because we're often asked what, exactly, that means, we went to our community (the deliberate mothers, themselves) for a definition.
Here's what they had to say:
It means being present, making home and family highest priority, and saying no to those things that don't really matter.
It means finding humor and joy--even in the drudgery and monotony and hard things about motherhood.
Deliberate motherhood means finding contentment in the simplicity and complexity of mothering.
It means not just going with the flow, doing what everyone else does just because, or just taking things as they come along, but actively seeking, studying and pondering what kind of mom YOU need to be, then planning and acting to be it.
A deliberate mother is proactive. She defines who she wants to be as a mother, what qualities she wants to have, and what values she wants to instill into her children, then does her best to live up to that ideal that she's set for herself and her family.
It's parenting with the "end" in mind.
Mothering with thoughtfulness and self-control.
You can read the rest of the thread and “like” Power of Moms here.
Can you see why I love being part of this community? There have been days--too many, I'm afraid--when my children have gone to bed at night with worries on their minds, because I was too distracted to see that they needed to talk. My list of imperfections is lengthy.
But deliberate mothers try. They try every single day to be just a little bit more aware, a little more intentional, and a little bit stronger--for their families and themselves.
As far as I'm concerned, deliberate parenting has been happening from the beginning of time. We just might not have had a name for it. But when we as a society define our ideal and support each other to achieve it, the result is breathtaking.
That’s the kind of family I want all of us to have.
Click here to listen to our recent Power of Moms Radio episode where Saren and April (co-founders of Power of Moms) have a more in-depth discussion about the definition of deliberate motherhood.