When I say I am a stay-at-home mom, I get the feeling that people assume I have no skills. I remember sitting with some fellow military spouses before any of us had children. We were talking about our “work” experiences. Even though I and two other spouses had teaching experience, whenever I tried to add to the conversation the talking halted. I felt like I was being ushered into a harsh new reality: choosing to be a SAHM means everyone will assume you are incompetent.
It’s like the fall-back right? The choice you make when you can’t handle the real world, juggling life and kids and work and marriage. You just decide to stay at home. Never is a conversation ended before it begins than when a working woman hears that I am a stay-at-home mom. It’s as if SAHM is code for “can contribute nothing to the conversation.”
Do you feel that rejection in conversation? Do you feel that push aside as if you have no personal goals or skills worth sharing?
The reality is that I have lists of goals I want to achieve in my life. I may get there. I may not.
I know for sure that I can’t achieve everything on my to do list as a mom every day, so chances are many of my life goals will be achieved on a much more long-term timeline than I may want to admit. That’s the realist in me. I don’t dare dip my feet into the pool of thinking I can achieve it all on my time. My life is not for me alone.
We moms have goals. Right now our goals are caring for our families so they don’t end up as the topic of an after-school special. (Remember those?)
My goals as a mom are important.
Every new year, I think about what I want to improve about myself. I have concrete goals that I hope to accomplish in my lifetime. You probably do as well.
As a child, I remember finding a list of goals that my father had written down on a piece of paper. He stored his list of goals in the main desk drawer in our home ‘office’ space. From the age of about 8, I learned that it was important, to set goals for my personal achievement and work hard to accomplish them over time.
They may not get checked off of the list in a week, or even in 5 years, but I would be at least working towards the accomplishment of them over time.
(Of course, the steps along the way are not the listed goals, but they can be looked back on as milestones as well.)
Your goals are important too, even though you may be placing many of them on the sidelines right now by necessity or choice as you care for your family.
Take a look at what those goals are. Think about how you are growing and will grow as a person even while in this role of mom right now.
The truth is you can set goals that expand beyond being a mom, and work on many of them while still staying at home with your family.
Moms Have Goals: Setting and Achieving Them
Write down your goals.
Make a list! The items do not have to be things you can accomplish this year. Whatever you want to do in your life, write it down.
Maybe you want to continue to be a better wife, be a better mother, be a better daughter, etc. That’s great!
Maybe you want to go to school to earn a degree. Maybe you want to learn to knit. Maybe you want to start a home-based business.
Write it all down.
My goals: (Anything crossed off is a goal I have achieved…even as a SAHM!)
I hope to earn a Master’s Degree at some point.
I hope to start a preschool.
I want to build a home-based business. I hope to be able to roll this blog into a financial opportunity.
I want to write about 5 books-the topics are swirling in my head already. (First book is drafted.)
I hope to open an Etsy store.
I hope to improve as a wife. (Probably will never be 100% done with this one.)
I hope to grow more patient as a mom.
Don’t Get Disappointed in Your Speed of Achieving Your Goals
This list can be daunting to me. Maybe your list will be a little scary to you.
I know I can’t reach all of these goals tomorrow: my time is too needed by my family right now. I want to give it to them.
There are however pockets of time in my days, as my children have grown, that allow me to focus some time on my goals separate from motherhood.
Of course MY goals may not always be what God needs me to do in my life. I wrote about my constant struggle/conversation with God about His will and my will for my life.
Setting goals is about looking forward, and I do need to stay focused on today as well.
I know that every day I achieve the goal of instilling self esteem in my children.
I know I achieve building my husband’s sense of accomplishment by reminding him how lucky we are to have each other and two beautiful children.
I know I can take some credit in providing a comfortable, safe, loving, soft place to land for my family and myself.
I have this list that may not be written down, but I work on it every day.
It’s not about pride or being selfish. Setting goals and focusing on when we achieve them is about being better today than we were yesterday. It is not prideful to want to improve-exactly the opposite.
To want to improve means we are humble enough to notice that we have areas that could be improved. But balance that with spending your time where you need to most today.
It’s ok that our written goals may take time to achieve. It may be years before we actually start to work on one item. That’s ok.
We are still productive every day: count the diapers, temper tantrums navigated, meals cooked, etc.
Make your list. Store it in a place that is not in your face every moment, but where you can find it when you think of something new to add. Read it periodically in case you get to a point where you can check off an item.
Keep your goals in mind, but don’t obsess over getting it all done today. There is so much work to do as moms right now!
Life could end tomorrow, but chances are it won’t. In my opinion, ‘seize the day’ does not mean: Get everything done, that you want to do, today. It means: Do today what needs to be done, and remember that tomorrow is another day.
Ultimately what we do for another has more lasting an impact than what we accomplish only for ourselves.
Moms have goals too, but our timeline for achieving them is not only our time.
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Enjoy your time at home!