The title of Mother has scared me, confused me, given me hope and given me joy. I have floundered with my motherhood. I have struggled to stay afloat as the title overwhelmed me and the duties and responsibilities pulled me down, suffocated me and then threw me back up allowing me to catch my breath.
Many days have ended with me deep in thought, wondering what it is I am actually supposed to be doing. I know my role is to nurture my child, but what does that mean and how do I fit my personality to that particular word? Nurture. Why don't women get a manual or at best a Position Description before they enter the world of motherhood? For many months now I have considered the importance of knowing what is expected of me - having my own Position Description.
I knew that whenever I entered a new job BC (Before Child) I found that reading my position description and knowing exactly what was expected of me helped me form my days. Tasks that were given to me were prioritised based on my understanding of what my position was and who I ultimately reported to. I really felt as though my lack of understanding of my position as a mother is what contributed to the floundering feeling I was beginning to get more often.
So I set out to give myself a position description. I am not talking about those email forwards that you get from time to time to make mothers feel all important about themselves. I really wanted something meaty that if I started to feel directionless I could look at it and refocus myself.
This is what I came up with (this position description contains some words used by "Mormons" that you may be unfamiliar with. Click on the link and you will be taken to a description of what it means. Of course you can adapt this description to incorporate your own values or religion):
Position Description - Motherhood
The key objective of Motherhood is to raise children who desire to return to live with Heavenly Father and live worthy of that desire, have a testimony of the gospel and are upright citizens who glory in doing good and resisting iniquity.
The Scope of the Position
The Mother, in partnership with the Father, reports directly to Heavenly Father with the responsibility of day-to-day management of educational, spiritual and physical needs of children placed in the family. The Mother liaises with a scope of people both inside and outside the home and places the nurturing of her children above all else.
- Understand, demonstrate and model your family core values in day-to-day interactions with internal clients, external clients and the community.
- Recognise and provide teaching opportunities on a daily basis
- Oversee all family financial needs in collaboration with your husband
- Teach children by example and also by precept
- Rear children in love and righteousness, provide for their physical and spiritual needs and teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.
Your duties list will contain all day to day tasks needed to be accomplished to achieve your principal accountabilities. Duties could include talking to your child about their day; providing home made meals five times a week, etc. I am yet to do my comprehensive list of duties. But I am sure you get the idea.
This position description has already helped me refocus on what is important. Reminding myself daily that I am to report to Heavenly Father each evening instills more patience, more joy and peace in my day. If I can honestly say each evening that I am happy with how I conducted myself that day, then I know that Heavenly Father is happy with how I am looking after his child.
Motherhood doesn't always chew me up and spit me out, but now when it does I don't feel so alone and overwhelmed. I evaluate my actions against my PD and start afresh the next morning.