R E C O G N I T I O N. It was the buzz word when I was completing my Human Resources degree. You know… intrinsic vs extrinsic rewards, motivators and drivers, yadda yadda yadda? I learned that some employees are driven by money, bonuses, and other tangible rewards. While others are driven by the people they work with, encouraging emails, or a simple pat on the back. These textbooks taught me how to provide (or find) a job with benefits that really matter, and how to be a boss that really understands motivators and drivers so their people don’t burn out.
Years have passed since sticking my nose into a textbook, and now I’m left wondering, why do they not make textbooks for Moms?! If only it were that simple… Wouldn’t it be nice to have a parenting manual that was Universally celebrated and agreed upon? And then I thought, can I apply the same principles to my life as a Mom?
I have two bosses now, and they are 1 and 3 years old. They don’t give me bonuses at Christmastime nor do I get an engraved glass plaque with my name on it. Instead, I work for free 24/7, 365 and, if I’m on my best behaviour, I might get an “I love you, Mama”. My work will pay off eventually, I know that. I’m just holding out for that big promotion… aka, when I die a happy woman knowing that I raised kind humans. And if they happen to be educated and super rich, that’s pretty great too.
So, in the meantime, I find what motivates me to be the best Mom possible. Which is a difficult thing to do when you’re in the thick of it all. I was in a major funk the other day – I was short with my family and irritated by the smallest things. I realized then, that I had not left the house for three days, I hadn’t taken any time for myself and was completely run down. Had I even showered? I honestly couldn’t remember. We’ve all had similar experiences, but what gets you out of your rut? For me, it’s treating myself to something. Anything! It can be a walk, baking a dessert, a bath, just anything to acknowledge me. But you know what can be even better? When others around you recognize you. A simple thank you, a handful of freshly picked weeds out of the back garden, it doesn’t matter! Any act of kindness to convey that you are appreciated and recognized as Mom is the simplest most powerful thing those around us can do.
I know I’m not alone when I say that my kids have changed my perspective on just about every aspect of life. They are grateful for the tiniest little things – be it a heart-shaped strawberry or a puddle of water they can splash in. Gratitude is everywhere for these little humans and that’s the biggest lesson they’ve taught me. I’ve also learned that I am being recognized by my kids in their own special way, and for that, I’m so grateful. Recognition comes in the form of your kids asking you to play with them or comfort them. It’s in the “I love you, Mama” moments or when they eat their entire plate of dinner. It’s a whole other heart-warming, fuzzy-feeling-inducing, good-vibes-only kind of level.
Mother’s Day is coming up quickly on May 12th. Some might think it’s a silly made-up holiday, and they’re likely not Moms. So for the rest of us, it’s a reminder to husbands, kids, and friends, that Moms need a little bit of recognition all throughout the year. Just a hint of recognition or acknowledgment goes a long way. We’d be forever grateful… until next year.
Love, peace & happy Mother’s Day