I’m in the midst of giving myself a performance review. A mom review. With Mother’s Day having come and gone, I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom, my mother-in-law, my friends who are moms, and the role they play in my life as a mother. There are qualities I admire in each of them and many qualities that I aspire to bring to my own family. And I am reminded of how important it is to regularly take a look at my own parenting style.
As moms, we don’t get report cards. We can only gauge how we’re doing by looking at our kids and how they’re turning out, by looking at ourselves and how we feel deep down about our choices in motherhood. I’ve written before about how I believe that we’re all doing the best we can with the resources we have. I also believe that like any role we play – be it wife, friend, daughter, sister – as a mom, our responsibilities are constantly shifting according to our circumstances, our current situation, our life experiences.
In the four and half years since becoming a mom, I’ve learned that motherhood can teach us deep personal lessons. That our children offer us endless opportunities for self-growth and development, and the chance to be the best person that we can be. (The flip side is also true in that we also have the opportunity to fall into our negative habits and show the worst of ourselves, but I’m trying to focus on the positive...).
Performance reviews usually cover past accomplishments, they recognize successes and failures, and look to where there’s room for improvement. They forecast goals for the coming year and explore areas where we need to develop certain skills. I’m trying to recognize how I’ve been as a mom during the past year. What has worked and what hasn’t, and the changes that I can make to help things run more smoothly in our lives. I’m acknowledging some behaviours that aren’t contributing positively to our household, and celebrating the good things I bring to the family. I’m taking stock of our family goals, my personal goals, and where I can… ahem… “develop” my skills.
It’s an interesting exercise to do as a mom. Give yourself a performance review. There are some parts of my review that I would rather shove in the shredder and not face head on but I know that that won’t help anybody. There are other parts that make me feel proud of the choices I’ve made and the way these choices have affected our household. And when I look at the fabulous moms I’m surrounded by, it’s hard not to be inspired to embody some of their amazing qualities as a mother.
One of the things I’m doing as part of this process is defining tasks or areas I can act upon. In business speak, defining my “action items". One of my action items is: “say yes more.” So far it has lead to some fun, new adventures so I’m already sensing it’s a good thing. There is lots to come for our family this year, so it'll be interesting to see what areas of my review I breeze through and which ones I struggle with. One thing's for sure, I've got one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. And there's really no option of quitting or getting fired, is there??? Now, about that raise....