I was flipping through the pages of a magazine, admiring the silhouettes of clothes I’ll never be able to wear, reading the stories of the beautiful people and where they find their inspiration and the thought crossed my mind that, whether you work outside the home or not, the role of “mom” is a job that requires inspiration — inspiration to be a good wife, to keep up with the kids and all of their needs, and to take care of ourselves.
I began thinking of my own style icons, images in my mind from whom I draw inspiration for my 9-5 (only wishing to be as glam as they are), and set out to discover who my mom icons were. In which relationships do I develop motivation and encouragement? Who do I learn from?
What if I instead of negatively comparing myself to my mom-friend and starting a downward spiral of discouragement, I found a way to turn her into my mom icon? By watching how she does things, I strive to be a better mom. The internal monologue that was once “why don’t you have it all together??” becomes, “If she can do it, I can do it!”
In which relationships do I develop motivation and encouragement? Who do I learn from?
Tips for Finding Your Mom “Icons”:
- You are not jealous of her. Don’t get bitten by the green-eyed monster! If you are constantly comparing your weaknesses to their strengths, you will never overcome your jealousy, and you won’t be able to be the wife and mom your family needs you to be.
- She is real with you. When you talk to your mom icon, does she share her own struggles? Does she tell you about the time she had to pump milk in the bathroom stall on a break from grad school? Or about the time her toddler locked her out of the house and everyone was a little bit traumatized as a result? That’s a mom I want to be friends with! They know what it’s like to power through and make it to the end of the day.
- She encourages you. After spending time with my mom icons, or even after a phone call, I feel more energized and ready to take on life because of their encouragement to get through the tough days.
- She’s a little further down the road…and survived. Maybe this is a friend whose kids are a few years older than your own, or have already flown the nest. Maybe it’s your own mother. My own mother raised two girls and worked full time, in a time when it wasn’t possible to work from home if the kids were sick. And she did it without a lot of family around. Mom survived and lived to tell the tale.
- Maybe she’s a celebrity. Not only is she a working mom, but she also deals with the pressure of being in the public eye. Emily Jones, anyone? She once shared how it takes a whole clan of people to help get her to her job with the Texas Rangers every week. Me too, Emily! With my own work schedule, I sometimes need grandparents to pick up our Little Man at the last minute because I’m just not going to make it to school by pick up time. I look to Emily and know that she’s rocking it as a mom and sometimes it takes a tribe of people taking care of your family to be successful.
The point is: mom’ing is hard. And we should surround ourselves with the women and moms who support us and motivate us to do well. When we get this kind of support, it reminds us to be mom icons for others—to provide help to our mom friends when they just can’t make it through another sleepless night! Be the encouragement they need to hear in a really tough moment.