Much of parenting can seem like a grind. Think feeding after feeding, changing diapers, taking your kid in and out of the carseat, asking him to please listen, or receiving his dirty napkins like a gift in the palm of your hand. These things happen over and over again. If you’re looking for fresh challenges every day, you’ll be sorely disappointed. If you’re looking for validation — the gratification that you are doing things right or at least okay — you’ll be flattened into dejection, too. Parenting is a long haul. You issue your lessons, crossing your fingers that fifteen some odd years later, a human being will surface who thrives in our world, and who perhaps looks back and appreciates YOU.
Tips for Staying Motivated as a Parent
Given how delayed our gratification is as parents, staying motivated to do your best while remaining energetic and optimistic is no easy feat. One way in which I’ve been fortunate to keep myself refreshed while spending loads of time with my children is by traveling, venturing off to new horizons that we discover together. As we discover new places together, conflicts and frustrations fade and we gel into a team. Bonds are formed; memories are created.
As part of these travels and because we are avid skiers, I took up ski racing with my kids two years ago. For a while I held my own, but this year, even little Marielle (7) surpassed my time. Yes, I am the slowest. But I’m not racing to win. I’m doing it to spend time with my kids while challenging myself to be my best, as well.
When my kids observe me tackling something difficult, it teaches them something valuable about life. “Nothing worth having in life comes easy,” I’ve been reminding them. When you do your best, you feel good about yourself, happy. When you don’t do your best, nothing feels good. I truly believe this about life. my yoga teacher Jackie advises: “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
How do you stay motivated as a mom or dad? Chime in below.
Ways to Thrive as a Mom
Every moment cannot revolve around your kids. You need to drink something out of the experience yourself, mama. You’re still a person with dreams. Rather than get frustrated over things you can no longer do or have — such as late nights out, a flat stomach, or days spent reading long novels — find something you can do together with your kids and set some new ambitions. Bike riding, hiking, bowling — whatever it is, find a shared adventure and challenge and plunge in. Make it about your kids and about yourself.
When I crossed the finish line ski racing, my goal was not a certain time or medal but to enjoy the process of being of parent. That, in my book, is the only way to go.
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Thanks for reading. Gratefully,