I had this great plan for posting my second annual Mother’s Day Meme on Mother’s Day (which would be quite sensible), alas my cold had other plans and I spend the entire weekend lying in bed bemoaning my fate. Hopefully it is not too unfashionable to post this a day late (you know how I worry about fashion!).
In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield (of the Chicken Soup series fame) says that one important thing to do in business is to focus on what you do best. I’m paraphrasing here, but, the theory is that you have to find the intersection between the things you do best, the things you enjoy the most, and the things that bring in the most money. That intersection is your Core Genius, and once you have identified it you are supposed to focus on that thing (or those things) and delegate the rest.
When I read that a few years ago, it reminded me about something I had read in Jennifer Lawler’s Dojo Wisdom for Mothers – a reminder that you don’t have to be everything to your kid. If he or she enjoys something that drives you crazy, you can always find someone else to do that actviity while you spend your time doing the things you both enjoy.
That, in turn, got me thinking about core genius in mothering.
To be clear, when Lawler was talking about activities, she wasn’t referring to the daily labours of mothering she wasn’t suggesting that you can ditch all the unpleasant tasks. You will have to do at least some of the toilet training and some of the dsciplining. But in the midst of all of those necessary tasks there are some that you can choose between and you can always choose to celebrate the tasks you are best at and cut yourself some slack on the rest.
So, it’s hard for you to entertain your kids on a busy day, or you find it a challenge to let them roam as freely as you like. That’s fine, you can either work on those things or accept them (and yourself) as is, whichever your personality dictates. But what is your core genius of mothering? We can’t really talk about mothering in terms of the money it brings in but we can talk about it in terms of the rewards of joy or satisfaction.
My core genius of mothering is communication. I get a lot of satisfaction out of really listening, of making sure as much of the world makes sense to my sons as possible, out of teaching them to communicate effectively verbally an non-verbally. I may suck at home schedules but I TALk to my kids and I LISTEN to them.
And I feel good about that.
So, in the tradition that I started last year this is my second annual mothering meme:
What is your ‘core genius’ of mothering? What is the common theme running through all of your mothering successes? If we were creating some sort of über-franken-mother what part would we take from you?
Tell me about it in the comments or on your own blog or on facebook or hell, even on twitter.