Tags: Enrichment, Kids, Parenting
Breaking Your Everyday Routine
Be Intentional With Your Motives
April 01, 2011I recently read an article about the founder of Facebook. I learned a lot about not just him, but his motive and drive to great value through social networking. It got me thinking about being intentional with...well, just about everything. I started to think, "Am I intentional?" You might ask, intentional about what? Well, about what motivates and drives me as a person, wife, mother, friend and so on.
Most of the time, as a mom, I find myself being more reactive to a situation, rather than intentional about it. For instance, many times I make plans to volunteer, workout, make a home cooked meal and then one of my kiddos spikes a fever, throws up on the floor or does both at the same time. You know what I mean, as a mom, you can plan, but we all know that the best plans can change in a moments notice. I once heard someone say, "You want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans!" So true, especially for us moms!
This thought kept creeping up on my mind though. Yes, of course, I am intentional. I intentionally make my Kids breakfast everyday, I intentionally make sure they have clean clothes, have their homework finished and have food in their lunch boxes. I mumbled to myself, "My whole day is intentional." Then it dawned on me, we all have a routine and things that we have to do, need to do and even want to do, to keep our lives going. In all honesty, I was maintaining my family's lives, but not really being intentional with mine outside of motherhood.
Then one morning, while changing the sheets on my daughter's bed, it hit me. How can I expect my kids to be intentional with their lives, friendships, talents and gifts if I am not leading by example? YIKES! I mean, I really want my kids to be intentional with their lives. I would not be working so hard as a mom for them if I didn't want the very best for them, right? So how are they suppose to know if I don't show them, lead them and help them? Right then, right there, I decided to be intentional.
I started by setting up a meeting with each one of my kids after dinner that night. Earlier that day I had been at the grocery store so I grabbed three writing tablets that just happened to be on sale. After we ate dinner, I invited each one of them to come into the family room separately. I intentionally told them how proud of them I was. I listed their individual traits that made them special and told them how much I loved them. Then I handed them the writing tablet that I had purchased. I asked each one of them to keep it with them and to write down words that inspired them, made them happy, and things that they liked to do or wanted to try to do. I also told them to really think about what they were involved in, and if they really loved pursuing it. I told them to put down the word "like" next to their activities or "love" next to it. After all, if I am spending the time and resources on their activities at a certain age, shouldn't they love what they are pursuing? Obviously, this does not apply as much for my 4-year-old currently, but my two older daughters I definitely think it does matter.
A few days later, my fifth grader came to me and wanted to show me her tablet. We sat down and she showed me what she had written. She wrote: I love to write. I love to read. I like dance, but I don't love it. I love soccer more than dance. I love dogs...I think I want to help or work with animals somehow when I grow up. I like music. I take piano, but I would like to try the guitar. I would love to play the guitar.
Her list went on and I was shocked and pleasantly surprised on how intentional she was with what in her heart she already started to make sense of - things she wanted to pursue and dedicate herself to - things she loved.
With that, I have started my own journal - jotting down words and things I love and want to be intentional about in the future. (The list does not include doing more laundry either.) It does, however, include making more time for myself outside of the everyday routine to pursue my passion for writing and speaking.
I encourage you this spring to do the same. To take the time to be intentional. What is it that you want to pursue, learn, strive and grow to do in and outside of motherhood? As you do, your kids will learn from you and be inspired to do the same.
While writing this column, I came across a quote by David Viscott that I thought was perfect to share. He said, "The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is giving your gift away."
Mary Susan Buhner is a Life Coach for Moms and author of "Mommy Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity." Visit her Web site at www.Mommy-Magic.com.