Motherhood

Learning Motherhood and Performing Motherhood


Confidence in Motherhood

One of my goals this year is to explore, expand, and love my motherhood. I have never felt confident as a mother – I usually feel restless, depressed, and insignificant as I often lose the eternal perspective of one of the most eternally significant roles. This year I am actively striving to overcome that lack of perspective and fully embrace my motherhood in 2017 and beyond.

To that end, I’ve been filtering everything I read, see, and hear through a motherhood-lens. How can this apply to my motherhood? How can this strengthen my resolve, passion, and expertise as a mother?

“How to Get Better at the Things You Care About”

One morning I was on the treadmill. To distract myself from the sweat and pain of exercising I like to watch TED talks. If you’re not sure what a TED talk is, think General Conference but on secular topics ranging from how optical illusions work to how to fight against genocide. TED talks can be as intense or light as you choose, but I always learn something.

This morning was no different. I browsed the featured TED talks and saw Eduardo Briceño’s “How to get better at the things you care about.” It sounded like a perfect match to my overarching goal regarding motherhood. So I watched it. And I was blown away.

Learning and Performing

In his presentation, Briceño discusses the concept of a learning zone and a performance zone:

The performance zone maximizes our immediate performance, while the learning zone maximizes our growth and our future performance. The reason many of us don’t improve much despite our hard work is that we tend to spend almost all of our time in the performance zone.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have my primary residence set up in the performance zone and a summer home shanty that I timeshare in the learning zone as I carry out my roles as wife and mother. But spending practically all my time in the performance zone “hinders our growth, and ironically, over the long term, also our performance.”

Learning Motherhood

It’s only been recently (think the past month or so) that I’ve gotten off the Go-Go-Go-Mommy train and paused to learn more about how to be a mother. I’ve created goals for myself to read books and blogs that relate to my children’s needs and my role as their mother. I’ve been diving more deeply and consistently into the scriptures to learn about my role as a woman, a wife, and a mother. And I’ve been letting myself make mistakes, try new approaches and ideas, and be ok with failure.

Being in the learning zone has allowed me to be more efficient, resilient, and passionate in the performance zone.

I love Briceño’s closing thoughts:

What if, instead of spending our lives doing, doing, doing, performing, performing, performing, we spent more time exploring, asking, listening, experimenting, reflecting, striving, and becoming?

I’m still working on spending adequate time in the learning zone. The pressure to migrate back to the high-stakes performance zone is real, true. But I can already see that as I study, experiment, make mistakes, and listen, I’ll become a better mother.

What part of mothering do you want to get better? Share in the comments below.

Learning motherhood is different than performing motherhood. To get better at anything, you need to take time to stop performing and learn more about it. Motherhood is a skill like any other that can be developed and bettered over time and with practice. Learn how to become a better mother one day at a time. Read more at MiddayMornings.com

Learning motherhood is different than performing motherhood. To get better at anything, you need to take time to stop performing and learn more about it. Motherhood is a skill like any other that can be developed and bettered over time and with practice. Learn how to become a better mother one day at a time. Read more at MiddayMornings.com

11 thoughts on “Learning Motherhood and Performing Motherhood

  1. You always have such profound insight! I too have those inadequacy thoughts on my talents as a mother. It’s good to know I’m not alone! I’m totally checking out that TED talk!

  2. Jen, I know I’m one of your STP – but you always pack your posts with so much useful energy! I love how you are growing this year as you learn more about motherhood! You are an example to me:)!

  3. I just finished reading Greg Trimble’s book “Dads Who Stay and Fight” and it was awesome because there were a few small impressions that I got regarding things I need to do to become a better father.

    1. I’m so motivated and encouraged by parents who purposefully parent. Growing up I never thought of myself as “mom material” and while some facets of motherhood come easy to me, other facets take a lot of study, practice, grace, and determination to see through. Thanks for reading, Ben.

  4. “What if, instead of spending our lives doing, doing, doing, performing, performing, performing, we spent more time exploring, asking, listening, experimenting, reflecting, striving, and becoming?”
    I agree so much! We do need to do, but we need to be mindful as we do!

    1. Mindful mothering is something I have to work on every day. It’s so easy to get into a mindLESS habit of doing the same ole, same ole without much thought of how you can change things up, improve, or altogether scrap something that may not be working the best. My toddler would love it if she has scrambled eggs for breakfast every single day, but it takes a little creativity (mindfulness) on my end on how to make those scrambled eggs a little more nutritious. And that “extra” effort is something I genuinely want to give as her mother. Thanks for your comment, Heather.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and sharing, Kris. Congratulations to your sister! Being a new mom can be so blissful and so overwhelming – sometimes all within the same moment. 🙂 But it’s all so worth it.

    1. I find it works best for me to spend some time each night going over what went well and what I would like to have changed. My husband got me a 5-year journal in 2014 and it’s provided that structure for my nightly review. Also, seeing what happened the previous year(s) on that same day helps to put things into perspective, turning a hard day into a not-as-hard day. Thanks for reading, Heather.

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