MOM Motivation

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fishmama and fishchick4Last week we had a fantastic conversation about how to pursue joy in this journey called Motherhood. Here are just a few of the Great Things that were mentioned:

* Daily time with the Lord, relying on His strength and not our own
* Remembering how it feels to be corrected and keeping that in perspective as we respond to a child’s childishness
* Finding the humor in the situation
* and of course, Chocolate.

If you haven’t read the comments on that post, please do. They were so encouraging!

Today I wanted to take on another meaty topic:

What Motivates You?

As moms we can feel pressure to do certain things or to do them in a certain way because of outside influences, fears, or a desire to be perfect. We can find ourselves trying to do things that someone else does that maybe don’t fit our personalities or the needs of our families. Or we can strive after a goal that may be unrealistic for this time and place in our lives.

For my part I find that I can fall into the trap of doing something because I should, rather than focusing on the ultimate good reason for doing it. For example, I feel guilty if I don’t get the bathrooms scrubbed on a regular basis. It hangs over my head like an evil spector. And though I may ignore it for other tasks, it’s a nagging thing that I want to avoid. And yet, I still feel the condemnation for having a grungy bathroom. Instead, the best reason to scrub my bathrooms is that it brings beauty into my home and creates a safer, healthier environment for my family. That is entirely more motivating. If I replace the should thinking with the “loftier” reason, I can dispel some of the guilt and feel more invigorated toward the task at hand.

I’m not saying that shoulds don’t have a place in our lives. There are times when responsibility needs to supercede other thoughts and desires. That’s part of being a grown-up. But, I think there are always good (and maybe better?) reasons to do a good thing than simply because I should.

What do you think? What motivations are helpful to you? What pitfalls lie in your path? How do you overcome faulty thinking or motivations? Chime in and let’s talk about it.

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  1. well I don’t think you want to get me started…:)
    being on a journey from four years of homeschooling into public school has shown me a lot of all the “shoulds” I’ve been living by and ungodly motivations as well.
    God has taken my “mommy mold” that I long so desparately to fit into even when it’s uncomfortable, an obvious “not fit”, and shattered it completely. He has in essence said to me “you will stop being what you think you need to be and you will walk by faith!” To stop looking for formulas that define “fine accomplishment” and live for the image of Christ. I no longer want to be motivated by what I define as the perfect mom, I want to be motivated by the will of God, the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light, the life that reflects the Father because it is seeking Him for the next step in every way.
    The perfect mom mold can be a bad motivation, and it can become an idol, set up and worshiped. That is what I did. Praise God for stepping in in a loving and intimate way and throwing it to the floor!
    He is a jealous God and want’s my heart seeking HIM, and I am so thankful.
    Now I am motivated by obeying His will which brings me joy that goes deeper than temporal performance satisfaction.

  2. Hey Alicia,

    While this post and the contributing thoughts have been brewing for a few weeks, I thought of you while I was writing this morning. Knew that you had recent experience in reevaluating motivations. Yours is a good example, I think, of “finding your groove.” God bless you as your pursue Him!

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have struggled greatly with comparing to other moms, other families, and how they do things better than I do/we do. I have found peace in realizing that God gave me my especially-picked husband for me, and as the God-appointed head of home, I can rest in the direction he is taking for us. Whether it includes praying together or hanging out on the couch and watching Sponge Bob, I gotta keep it real and not worry about what other people are doing. Everyone has great strengths, gifts. Everyone also has great weaknesses! So, it’s foolish and futile for me to try to keep up with the Joneses…(oh, wait, I AM a Jones) But you get my drift. And that motivation is burdensome, leaving out the most important motivation: love. For God, and others. Otherwise, all I’m thinking about is myself and why I’m not doing (fill in the blank) good enough or like so and so is.

  4. While I know that I’m accountable for what I say and do, that doesn’t always stop me from becoming the example of “What Not To Do”. It is very humbling. Especially when there are witnesses … and there usually are.

    I wish my motivations were purely for the Lord’s glory. But sometimes I catch myself trying to scootch into the spotlight. Your post has given me a lot to think about, but not much to offer to you.

  5. I’m a newer SAHM (within the last 8 mos) and am still figuring out this whole thing! I worked for the first 2 yrs of our son’s life, and admit I had many “ideals” of how this SAH stuff was going to work. Now that those have been shattered… 🙂 I am learning each day that I need to just depend on God to help motivate me. My hubby works 2 jobs and is gone a lot, leaving me at home with a 2 1/2 yr old & I am currently 6 mos pregnant. We moved 8 mos ago as well & I am still growing friendships here in my new state. All that to say, it gets lonely & I get discouraged easily, because it seems my “jobs” never stay completed and the affirmation is rare. Your post really made me think about what is and what should be motivating me. (I have a bathroom cleaning problem lately but after your post I’m going to get right on that!) I’ve realized that lately I have focused more on whining about why I have to do things when it seems no one notices them or don’t seem to make a difference, rather than focusing on the big picture of “what will this mean for my husband and family?” I appreciate your blog & the topics you write about–they keep me going!

  6. I read in my devotion this morning about “living for an audience of one.” I’ve heard this many times, but today I finally GOT IT. Before today, I thought, “Yeah, of course, live only for God.” But this devotion broke it down into “Don’t be a good wife to please your husband, do it to please the Lord. Don’t be a good mom to please your kids, do it to please the Lord.” etc. etc. etc. It went through being a daughter, a friend, an employee, I finally GOT IT! If I’m doing what I need to be doing as a wife and my husband doesn’t appreciate it or recognize me, I am not supposed to be affected because he is not my audience. GOD is. Duh! Now I just need to work my selfish desires out of the equation and everything will be just fine. 🙂