Winging it in motherhood is like driving a car with no steering wheel.
My mom didn’t know how to drive. But she did have goals.
When I think about attaining goals, I’m reminded of my mom. As a Jamaican immigrant single mom back in the 1950s, she was not able to attain them for herself…at least not the lofty ones.
With regards to her mothering, my mom singularly focused making sure I got a good education. So, in my 8th grade graduation book that all my classmates and teachers had signed, my mom wrote the following:
“The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, toiled upwards in the night.” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
As an 8th grader, I understood this as my mom’s way to encourage me to work hard.
As a college sophomore at Brown University, I remembered these words when my chemistry homework was kicking my butt.
As a doctoral student, I drew upon its depiction of what toiling looked when I had too much work to do all the time.
When I became a mom of twins (while I was a doctoral student), Wadsworth’s words became the fuel for my focus.
My focus: The heights.
Heights of what?
MOTHERHOOD IS FULL OF LOWS & HEIGHTS
Motherhood is full of highs (heights) and lows.
On the “low side,” it can be a “thankless job” at times. It requires that you “do the dirty work” which takes different shapes (from diaper changes to dealing with different behavioral and attitudinal changes experienced) as your child progresses in age.
Sometimes the drudgery of “getting through the day” can be a cloud that casts a shadow over any vision of heights you could potentially experience.
So what are the heights of motherhood?
Well, when a person gets to a mountaintop, the first thing they usually do is “look at the view.” That’s when they get to the top.
When they are down at the bottom of the mountain, their focus needs to be either right in front of them (with an occasional peeking to the side) or right above them.
The things in front of them are where they are placing their feet to make sure they’re sure-footed and steady. While the things above them keep them oriented and motivated while in pursuit of “the heights.”
There are no “sudden flights” to the heights of motherhood.
IT’S A JOURNEY THAT IS TRAVELED ON FOOT.
Are the heights attainable?
It’ll depend on what you define as a “height.” What is the overall top-view scenery that you’d like to see when your motherhood journey is done and you’ve crossed “to the other side?” (If you believe in that sort of thing).
Here are some things to consider as you define the heights you want to ATTAIN:
- What Attitude do you want your daughter to remember you having most of the time?
- What Teachable moments do you want to have with your daughter that will help her when she is your age?
- How much Time do you want to spend with her?
- What Affirming message of truth do you want to instill within her about herself?
- What Insight would you want her to have about you personally?
- What’s your “Never” thing: one thing will you purpose to never say or do to your daughter?
If you keep these things in mind during your motherhood journey, it will help you find, place, and/or keep your hands on the steering wheel of your mother-daughter relationship.
Schedule a 20-minute call with me if you’d need help with determining your ATTAINable goals.
©Dr. Michelle Deering & Curative Connections LLC