The name of this blog is Motherhood: My Full Time Job. I have been thinking lately about what it means to treat motherhood as a profession and have made it a goal to do so in 2012.
Adhere to a dress code.
We always laugh at the commercials where the mom is vacuuming while wearing high heels and pearls, but how good do you feel when you put on a string of pearls, or a pretty dress? Now I'm not saying to only wear dresses or professional wear, but feel good about the way you look. Put on attractive clothing, do your haid and makeup. It really makes a difference in just feeling like you've got it together. Already do this? Add that string of pearls! ;)
Becom an expert in your field.
Some people like parenting books, some people don't. I personally love them, but I think you have to find the kind of books that fit your style. Do you have a parenting style? Do you know what it is? If you don't have a set idea of the way you want to parent, I challenge you to browse around Amazon for a few different parenting books that look interesting and then read them! I am a mix of attachment parenting, waldorf early childhood learning, and a firm belief that in a lot of things, less is more! My current favorite parenting book is "You Are Your Child's First Teacher" by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.
A word of caution. It took me a few years to be able to do this, but when you read a parenting book it is imperative that you learn to keep an open mind while at the same time sift through the information and be ok with agreeing with some of it and discarding what doesn't sit right with you.
Already feel like an expert in your parenting style? Find books about other aspects of your parenting as they come up; Early childhood education, learning styles and disabilities, child health,etc.
Have goals and expectations.
We have all though about it, but now lets write it down. Think about the kind of adults you want to raise. I'm not talking specifics like profession, but generals like happy attitude, grateful, helpful, good citizens, hard workers, life-long learners, etc. Keep this big picture in mind when you do the next exercise. Think about some short term goals for your actions as a mother that you hope will help your children achieve the big picture. These goals may help you model this desired behavior, or maybe you will engage in these behaviors as a family, etc. You can set it in a time frame of a year, a month, a week. The important thing is to write it down, hang it where you will look at it often and evaluate frequently. You may change your mind about a certain goal, or you may realize that you have accomplished it. Don't expect perfection, just progress!
Always look for ways to improve.
Of course as a mother there are no pay raises, quarterly evaluations, performance reports or promotions; but you can still always be looking for ways to improve your mothering. Develop a new skill, hone a talent, try something new, take a challenge! You have to decide how to do this. I personally like to try a new recipe every week. This year I am trying to increase the number of things I make from scratch, as well as grow a garden and lern how to preserve my harvest. Perhaps you want to improve your efforts at being eco-friendly, a better budgeter, a historian, gardener or whatever you want.
Record your work and progress.
Well there you go. Take a look at this list. What do you already do? What do you want to start doing, or do better?